Pac-12 Needs To Hold Their Officials Accountable

Jan 21, 2020, 10:29 PM
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott...
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – After the recent events in both college football and basketball, the Pac-12 Conference has an issue with officiating on their hands.

To clear this up right away, in college basketball, they don’t have conference officials, but this concept still applies. The officials in basketball are assigned regionally, so they can work games in the Pac-12, Mountain West, West Coast, Big West, etc.

A trend that has often filled up Twitter is “Pac-12 refs.” It was on full display in the College Football Playoff National Championship game. Also, in basketball, the Pac-12 doesn’t just suffer from this. As a conference, they can put in their own protocols for officials who work games in their conference.

Some possible solutions were discussed on the Crimson Corner podcast.

The most recent incident happened in the Utah basketball game against Arizona State. With less than two minutes remaining, Utah freshman center Matt Van Komen was given a technical foul for hanging on the rim following a dunk. The problem with the call was an ASU player was underneath Van Komen, causing him to hang on the rim longer. When the technical was assessed, Utes head coach Larry Krystkowiak was clearly upset and received two technical fouls and was ejected from the game.

On Tuesday, Krystkowiak was reprimanded by the Pac-12 for his negative comments towards the officials.

Here are some problems with this story and some possible resolutions to improve officiating in college sports.

Reprimands Should Go Both Ways

If the Pac-12 is going to reprimand a coach for his comments toward the officials, the conference should also look at the play and give feedback to the officiating crew. It’s easier to do so in college football because the Pac-12 has crews assigned to only the conference.

But, in basketball with the officials being assigned regionally, they should know ahead of their assignment working a Pac-12 game that they are subject to feedback and being reprimanded or even punished for how a game is officiated.

It should work both ways.

The coaches are trying to lead their team to victory but when a bad call is made, they can’t even discuss it after the game without being given a slap on the wrist.

How To Improve

This is a process that could help improve not only college basketball but football as well. In the NBA, the league office looks at the last two minutes of games and puts out a report of if calls were correct or not, also if they missed a call or not.

That’s a great thing for officials to learn and grow from their mistakes and get better as a referee.

Another thing the NBA does that could benefit the college game is after a game that finished with controversy or a questionable call, a media member or a “pool reporter” can talk to the crew chief at the end of the game and can ask questions about a certain call.

We could also dive into how coaches challenges could come into play (in college basketball), but that could be the next step in the process to improve the game from an officiating standpoint.

The Crimson Corner podcast is the one-stop for all things University of Utah Athletics hosted by Utah insider Trevor Allen. Ute fans will find interviews with current players, coaches, and staff alongside expert analysis of every game, story and angle coming out of the University of Utah.

You can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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