A New Face in NCAA Basketball Officiating

March 09, 2008 |

After watching yet another Duke- UNC game last night (feel like I watch one every day) I noticed one thing: the officiating this year in Men’s Basketball is gawd aweful. Everyone on the court in last night’s Duke- UNC game should have fouled out. I don’t know where head official Teddy Valentine and his crew were last night- but they weren’t on the court where they were supposed to be.  They might have been thinking- Is This Season Over Yet?

So- next year there will be a new look with NCAA Basketball officials. John W. Adams will succeed Hank Nichols as NCAA coordinator of men’s basketball officiating at the end of the 2007-08 season. Nichols has been the head honcho since 1986- and he can’t leave fast enough as far as I’m concerned.

Adams, a 1971 Indiana State graduate, has evaluated Division I officials for the NCAA since 2000. He was a liaison between the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee and the Conference Commissioners Association’s officiating coordinators.

The first thing Adams should do when he takes his post at the end of this season is “clean house” on some basketball officials. Honestly- was that call in the UCLA- Stanford game the worst call you’ve ever seen on that blocked shot? That official should be handed his walking papers now…..he’s had plenty of calls like that this past year.

Oh- by the way- here are my top 5 BEST NCAA Basketball Officials:

!) Donee Gray: Best there is. This guy has been running up and down the court since the Never Nervous Pervis Ellison days. Bob Knight once singled him out as the best official in the game. Resident of Prince George’s County. Does a host of charity work for the schools in Prince George’s and Charles County. A class act.

2) Mike Kitts: Every time I turn the tv on- it seems that he’s officiating every game. Has the best “charging” call in the game. Looks like he’s in a state of anaphylactic shock when he makes that call.

3) Ed Hightower: Has worked 10 NCAA Fianl Four Games. Knows the rules of basketball better than anyone. Also has the best hairpiece of any NCAA official. Is semi-retired.

4) David Libbey: 8 NCAA Final Four Games. Makes calls without any hesitation- and is right 100% of the time. Also has the best guns in the game. Seems to be in the gym 24 hours a day. He’s the Ed Hoichuli of College Basketball.

5) John Clougherty- 12 NCAA Final Fours. I had to put him on the list because not only is he top notch- but he’s also in charge of the officials in the ACC- and I’m hoping that he makes changes in officiating next year in the conference.