Lately, a trend in sports seems to be to criticize referees for anything and everything. Sometimes while watching a game either on television or in person, or even when playing I will hear someone say, “That ref doesn’t like us.”
I’m sorry, what?
The odds are that the officials do not have any sort of personal relation or affiliation with any school or person in their respective conference at any level of play, be it high school or college. For instance, the son of legendary coach formerly at the University of North Carolina, Dean Smith, is a Division 1 referee. However, he is not allowed to officiate in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The fact of the matter is that these officials go through countless hours of rules and mechanics training. They know what can and cannot be done, and have their primary assignments while on the field or court. As an example, the lead in 3-person mechanics for basketball has primary on contact below the shoulders, the trail has above the shoulders and the center has first dibs on the back side of the play.
To demonstrate another way fans can be ejected, we just need to rewind to last night, February 8th. I was in Lubbock, Texas for the Oklahoma State-Texas Tech Men’s Basketball game in which OSU Guard Marcus Smart shoved TTU fan Jeff Orr in an altercation with only a few seconds remaining. The long-term effects of this incident are yet to be seen, but Orr will not be attending any of the remaining Red Raider Basketball games and Smart has been suspended for the next 3 games at Texas, home against Oklahoma and at Baylor. Smart will return against Texas Tech at home on Feb. 22. (Click here for Texas Tech University’s statement regarding the altercation)
If this trend of overly-rowdy fans doesn’t stop, it could get out of control.