On Wednesday morning, Jim Burr, Tim Higgins and Earl Walton were three anonymous Big East officials, stuck pulling an all-day shift in the seemingly endless Big East tournament. However, by Thursday, they were the opening story on Sportscenter, Mike and Mike in the Morning, and every other national sports show. And now, on Sunday, they get one last jab from Adam, as they earned the titles Adam’s Adversaries of the Week.
The New York papers really let these guys off the hook pretty easy, in my opinion (Yahoo! Sports)
In case you’ve been camped out under a rock or celebrating Spring Break in Punta Cana for the past few days, here are the bullet points:
- Rutgers, down by two points with 4.9 seconds left, inbounds the ball 3/4 length of the court, where a Rutgers player and a St. Johns player both cannot control the ball.
- St. Johns forward Justin Brownlee picks up the loose ball in bounds, along the right sideline.
- Brownlee, takes not one, not two, but three steps, and heaves the ball into the New York air. If it were closer to New Years, everyone would have thought it was the ball dropping in Time Square.
- Oh yeah, did I mention Brownlee’s second step was out of bounds with 1.7 seconds left??
If you missed it, here is a great quality video from Youtube. Basically, Rutgers got the terrible short end of the stick here. Sure, they still should have been down by two points with 1.7 seconds left, but considering all of the buzzer beaters we have seen this weekend (Princeton vs. Harvard, Washington vs. Arizona), don’t you think Rutgers could have pulled it out? Also, the chucking of the ball into the stands is, according to the Star Ledger, should have resulted in a delay of game technical foul, which would result in (you guessed it) two free throws.
There are some positives that came out of this. For one thing, the officials “voluntarily withdrew” from the rest of the tournament. My guess on what happened? Someone called them and said, “Hey, if you guys ever want to ref again, you better take the rest of this year off.” Also, Rutgers head coach Mike Rice might not look happy in this picture, but after the game, he was very calm, cool, and collected. Cheers to him for not blowing a gasket like many people would have in that sitation.
I don’t know if I have a way to fix what happened on the court last Wednesday. I’m personally a fan of the NFL instant replay system, because the coaches can choose when they want to challenge plays. If you challenge something inconsequential, you waste your challenges. In basketball, the speed is so high and the judgment on fouls vary so much just on a game-t0-game basis. But this one time, someone has to be responsible for what happened. I don’t know if it was laziness, a sheer disinterest in the game, or wanting to get out of the Garden, but gentlemen, you have earned my honors of Adam’s Adversaries of the Week.