The Curse of Goodman?

In last week’s article, I made a number of predictions about various NCAA Basketball teams on both the Men’s and Women’s side of the tournament.

I did not mention all the teams nor all of the games….but the few teams I did mention did not fare well at all.

Here is a quick recap.

  • Ohio State – LOSS
  • La Salle – LOSS
  • Baylor Women – LOSS

I did mention that Indiana was over-rated in my opinion, and they were shown the door. So far, I have not cursed Louisville…although they did have a player go down with one of the most freakish basketball injuries I have ever seen in my entire lifetime of watching games on the Hardwood. Fortunately Kevin Ware has had successful surgery and appears to be doing quite well.

No more picks for now.

Substantial Cash Reward?

When news of this hit the first thing I thought of was Darth Vader, speaking to the bounty hunters in the Empire Strikes back. It appears that there may be some explaining to do by the head of Pac – 12 Officiating.

The story was reported by Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com. According to “anonymous source” (one can ascertain it is a referee that was part of this meeting that is going officially off the record) Pac-12 coordinator of basketball officials – Ed Rush – who also happens to be a former NBA referee – told a group of referees a few weeks ago on the Thursday of the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas that he would give them $5,000 or a trip to Cancun if they called a technical foul on Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller. The words that are quoted being used are either “rang him up” or “ran him” meaning to charge Coach Miller with a technical foul or toss him out of the game. Rush then reiterated during a Friday morning meeting, according to one referee in attendance, that officials should take similar action against Miller if he did anything on Friday in the Pac-12 semifinals against UCLA.

As it so happened, referee Michael Irving — who sources confirmed was in the room with Rush on Friday — hit Miller with a technical late in Friday’s game…and UCLA ultimately won 66-64.

Did I mention that the technical foul was called exceedingly quick? Did I mention that Miller had not been called for a “T” all year prior to this point? Did I mention that he did not use any profanity? Trust me, if you are a remote lip reader at all and have watched the NCAA tournament, you have seen plenty of profanity and also excessive whining done by a number of so called “prominent coaches”. Tom Izzo, Mike Kryzezewki, most notably come to mind.

Since the Pac 12 Tournament was closely followed by the NCAA tournament, this likely did not get the steam that it should have right out of the gate. But it appears to be picking up more momentum and now more of the general public is wanting answers.

Pac 12 Commissioner Scott told CBSSports.com that a review of the matter concluded that Rush did indeed make these comments, that the comments were “in jest and the officials in the room realized they were not serious offers”, and that steps were taken to ensure that such an occurrence would not happen again.

If these statements are true, this represents collusion against one team and one coach. The Pac-12 should instantly fire Ed Roush, no questions asked. Referees are in place to try their best to uphold the integrity and rules of the game. This would be blatant disregard ethics, and the spirit of basketball or any other game for that matter, and simply cannot be tolerated – period – end of story.

How soon we forget the scandal that hit with NBA with Tim Donaghy just a short time ago. Fans constantly complain of officials deciding games. I am usually in the other side of the argument. My opinion is a foul is a foul, and travel is a travel, and it should not matter at what point in the game you are or how much time is left.

Call the rules of the game the way they are written.

Baseball Starts!

I will not proclaim to be a huge baseball fan, although I am a lifelong fan of the Boston Red Sox and also have once again jumped the shark and entered not one, but two fantasy baseball leagues and also a new-fangled baseball simulation league. Last night I already found myself tuning in to MLB Network to catch highlights. I am hopeful that my fantasy teams, and my Red Sox stay competitive and that I pay closer attention to baseball then I did in the past year.

Until Next Time, Stay Classy Kemmerer, Wyoming

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Johnny Goodman writes a weekly sports column for The Soap Boxers. His articles can be found in The Goodman File.

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