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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: How much impact do you think refs have?

(photo courtesy of Deadspin)

I’ll be honest, I can’t stand the “blame the refs” fan and I know many of you agree with me on that.  That fan thinks every call that goes for your team was the right one and every one that goes against is the wrong one.  And above all else, it’s probably a conspiracy to screw your team.  Certainly, we have a sliver of fans that act that way in UK world, but every fanbase does.  Look at UL fans.  They continue, to this day, to claim the officials screwed them out of the game against UK in the Sweet 16.  It’s quite annoying because it ignores that refs have about a 20% impact in my opinion on a game in the long run.

We saw bad officiating rear it’s ugly head a couple nights ago in the NBA.  Oklahoma City was the beneficiary of a very bad out of bounds call that would have given the ball back to the Clippers.  Instead, OKC kept the ball and went on to win the game.  Fans cried outrage and even Doc Rivers claimed the refs screwed them out of the game.  If the correct call had been made, it is likely the Clippers would have won.  But blaming the refs alone ignores the multitude of mistakes a team makes when losing a game.  Just follow along to what happened in that NBA game for example:

1. With 49 seconds remaining, Chris Paul hits a jumper that put the Clippers up 7.  Kevin Durant then hits a 3-pointer 6 seconds later to cut the lead to 4.  (Refs have no impact there)

2. Jamal Crawford misses layup with 22 seconds left and Thunder get rebound.  (Refs have no impact there)

3. Kevin Durant makes layup with 17 seconds left to cut the lead to 2.  The Clippers have now allowed the NBA’s leading scorer to hit an relatively open 3-pointer and an uncontested layup on 2 straight possessions.  The refs did not impact either of those decisions.

4. Chris Paul has ball stolen from him.  The refs didn’t turn it over, nor did they miss any fouls that caused the turnover.

5. Ball is knocked out of bounds off Thunder player and refs get call wrong.  Thunder retain ball.  At this point the Clippers are up 2.  If they are given the ball, do they win the game?  Probably, assuming they hit their free throws.  But nonetheless, the bad call does not give points to the Thunder.  If the Clippers do what they are supposed to, they still are likely to win the game.  But…..

6. Chris Paul then fouls Russell Westbrook on a 3-pointer.  Westbrook hits all 3 shots to give Thunder the lead.  Some would argue the Thunder should not have had the ball in the first place.  True.  But the refs bad decision earlier did not then force Paul to make a horrendous foul.  The more unusual play of the 2 is not the missed call, but Paul’s foul.  The refs are not the blame for the foul.

7. Paul then turns it over in the lane and the game ends.  Maybe I’m wrong, but the refs did not steal the ball from Paul.

Seven different plays, 6 of which the refs had no impact in.  And in the 7th play (#6 on the list), while a refs call gave the Thunder an extra possession, that doesn’t excuse Chris Paul making a horrible decision and fouling a 3-point shooter.  Did the refs play an impact on the game?  OF COURSE THEY DID.  But they are not the sole reason for the loss, and they are nowhere near the main reason for the loss.  But for fans it is easier to just blame someone other than your team.

The point is this: refs are an easy target and sometimes they deserve to be.  The quality of officiating has gone down over the last 5-10 years at both the college and pro level.  But just because that is the case doesn’t mean that officials decide who wins and loses games.  They don’t.  Their decisions are not always right, but the actions of the players still are the main impact on a game.  Officials are rarely the cause for a guy to shoot 1-10 or why a team allows an opponent to score 45 points.

I think officials have around a 20% impact on a game.  Does putting a guy into foul trouble impact a game?  Sure.  But that also assumes that each foul the official called was wrong.  Normally, most fouls officials call are correct.  Timing is a consideration on many of these calls too.  But at the end of the day, a player has 4 times the impact on a game than an official in most cases.  And I always wish that the sliver of fans who think refs have it out for them could see the bigger picture of things and recognize that sometimes it their guy and not the guy in the stripped shirt that makes the most impact.

What say you?  Do refs actually have a direct effect on the outcome of the game or do they just play a small role in what truly goes on?  I say 20% impact.  Too much or too little?

Article written by Bryan the Intern

60 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: How much impact do you think refs have?

  1. dragonlord741
    9:08 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    BTI – while I mostly agree with you, it should be noted that Paul fouling Westbrook was a questionable call (there WAS contact, but it was fairly minimal, and has been let go many times before), and Paul was fouled on the last possession, having his arm grabbed when he drove the lane. That ups it to 3 plays the refs could have had an impact on, and all 3 went in favor of the Thunder.

    • danger
      9:50 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      “The correct answer is A TON of impact. There is an official report circulating on the Internets as we speak about how the refs of the NCAA have officially ruined the NCAA tournament and how this past one was the most unlikely turnout to date because of so many crooked calls. A few teams are under investigation for paying off the refs.. one of them being UK. It was stated that in every game UK played in the post season tournament calls were LITERALLY made up out of thin air against the other teams best players and fouls were straight up ignored when UK did direct illegal actions. This is the 4th time cal has been under investigations. the last two times he left his program to deal with it. Many commentators have said that UK wouldn’t have even come close to making it as far as they did if it wasn’t for the refs being on their side.”

    • beavis
      10:01 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      Danger,,,,,please tell us you are not that naive. You, being a Louisville fan, of all people should know better. I watched Russ Smith push off with his off arm to get shots off ( because of his height ) , walk with the ball, and play what could only be called karate chop defense for years. So when they get into the tourney and the refs start calling those obvious fouls you think there is some big conspiracy to bounce Louisville from the tourney. As for coach Cal, do you really think UK has to cheat to win games and get players ? If they did Mark Emmert would bust them in a minute. Unlike UNC and Duke.

    • danger
      10:15 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      beavis… firstly, I am a duke fan… why are you UK fans always so ready to believe that your better in-state brother is out to get you??
      Secondly, if you want to talk about the Louisville game… what you are accusing smith of is blatantly untrue… UNLIKE, when one of your players CLEAR AS DAY punched one of theirs in the nose and he bled the whole game…….. SURPRISE… nothing was called.
      Louisville led 38 of the 40 minutes of play… Nothing but the refs could have brought that game back from the dead. Louisville killed you guys. Stop trying to justify it.
      I’m sure if Duke had played you… we would have got the same treatment from the guys in black and white. Cal is crooked.

    • beavis
      10:31 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      Duke fan,,,,should have known. If you watched Smith at all the last four years and had a pair of eyes you would know he has trouble getting his shots off over taller opponents and pushed off. I also watched Duke a few times this year to see how the KINGS OF FLOP would deal with the new rules,,,,not very well I might add.

      If you want to talk crooked,,,,lets talk about Corey Maggette for awhile.

      Next question, slow day for you ? Why are you on a UK sports website ?

    • danger
      10:34 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      “Trouble getting his shots off over taller opponents”?
      Now, I haven’t seen every single play the boy has made… But I do know he DUNKED on Randell… TWICE.
      And we do quite well for your info.
      And nope, Getting paid to goof off. Its a benefit afforded by having higher education degrees. try it sometime.

    • Transparent danger
      10:36 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      Gosh this “Duke” fan sure does follow Louisville games closely. Duke fan my a$$.

    • danger
      10:38 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      No…. Like a normal fan..I watch the NCAA tournament and it’s biggest games… Dumbass.
      I’ll never understand why UK fans are always so paranoid that a UL fan is around the corner. I swear I cant have an honest discussion about Duke and UK for 5 seconds without your big brother being brought up. Why are you guys so damn paranoid? seriously…

    • Dangermouse
      10:57 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      If we were having “an honest discussion about Duke and UK” that complaint would make sense. Instead we’re talking about UK-Louisville. You reference Smith’s dunks over Randle from separate games and something about a bloody nose with a passion that belies your claim as a Duke loyalist. You also mention some absurd, tin foil hat “official report circulating on the internets”. What exactly makes a report “official”. Where might the link for this report be? Finally don’t you think it’s a bit ironic for a Duke fan commenting on a Kentucky fan site and whining about corruption and “official reports” to call UK fans paranoid?

    • danger
      11:03 am May 16, 2014 Permalink


      For your information you damn inbred paranoids are the ones that brought up UL to begin with. I had no reason to talk about them… stop bringing up your big brother and then blaming the fact that they are talked about so much on a DUKE fan. Does your better in-state rival scare you that much?
      and everything discussed is very relevant if youd pay attention. UK player punched someone in the face and it wasnt called. Crooked.
      Smith dunked on Randle twice. Relevant to what was said previous.
      And look it up dumbass, I am not your news source. Do your own research for once. It is an official report by the NCAA about officials being paid off. look into it you inbred.

    • beavis
      11:08 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      Don’t want to talk about Maggette ? How about Lance Thomas. Walks into a jewelry store in New York and lays down 30K on a purchase of 100K worth of jewelry. Now, even for my uneducated ass ( by the way,,I have a BS degree) wonders where a college student got the 30 K in the first place. You also have to wonder why the Jewelers ( Thomas & Rataella ) extended a college student 70 K in credit. Looks like a clear violation of NCAA rules. Know what that means ? You may have to vacate the 2010 title. The lawsuit brought by the jeweler was settled because someone paid off the 70K balance. Who did that ? Yep,,,Cal is crooked alright.

    • danger
      11:21 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      Firstly, Yes… you said it. Cal IS crooked. Why did he leave 3 programs in a flaming heap of debris and move on to the next victim? It is truly cute that UK fans think they are any different and that they wont suffer the same fate. OR, Maybe it is just a match made in heaven considering that Cal has the most vacated wins of any coach in the sport… and UK has the NCAA violations of any school in the nation. maybe it is just fitting.
      Also, you poor fool with a BS degree.. talk to me when you have a doctorate (Only a UK fan would think that a BS degree makes you educated).
      Also, that whole jewelry thing was other fanbases trying to make an issue where there was none. so what, a boy tried to buy jewelry. since when has buying jewelry been an NCAA violation? At least it was just one boy… not a coach reflecting our program.
      Hello pot, my name is kettle.

    • Dangermouse
      11:25 am May 16, 2014 Permalink


    • beavis
      11:34 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      And the name calling has began. Why is it that when people feel they are not winning an argument they resort to name calling ? Is that what you were taught ?

      You did not answer my question about Lance Thomas. Where did he get 30K and who paid off the balance ? At a time in college athletics when a player is photographed driving a nice car and it gets national attention, you don’t think it is unusual for a college basketball player to buy 100K worth of jewelry. Other fanbases,,,please. The only thing other fanbases want is that same head in the sand treatment from the NCAA. Unless of course you are UNC. What did you major in, African American studies ? LOL

    • Troll Alert
      11:44 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      Please stop feeding the danger troll. All he’s doing is making claims he can’t document or provide links for, and calling UK fans names. Can a troll be anymore obvious?

    • beavis
      11:47 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      Troll Alert,,,,good point. There is an old saying ” Don’t argue with idiots, they just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience”. Danger proves that.

    • danger
      12:43 pm May 16, 2014 Permalink

      It isnt name calling if it is true.. it is a fact that an overwhelming majority of UK fans are Inbred rednecks. and my doctorate is in engineering thank you very much… hillbilly.
      go look it up. the article is there

  2. ukfaninwv
    9:11 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    I think the refs have a bigger impact on the game than you elude to in your article. First, the refs can dictate the speed of the game. If they call all these “touch fouls” it slows the game down and puts one or both teams in foul trouble. This can have a HUGE impact on the game. Second, they can let the game be a slugfest and call basically nothing. Again, this can have a huge influence on the game by allowing the more physical team an advantage. I do agree with you that bad calls can be overcome and I too hate when fans/players/coaches use that as an excuse. Both teams get bad calls and typically the better team is the one that overcomes the bad calls to win.

    • bmt22033
      9:18 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      This. Exactly this!

    • Wait a minute...
      11:00 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      That post was a rational, reasonable argument with valid points and applied logic. You have no place on the internet.

  3. Bigger Blue
    9:13 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    Ask Don Rutledge… I think he was the SEC ref banned by the league from calling any more UK games after a particularly game “impacting” performance at Rupp (I think it was against Vandy, but I may be wrong.

    • Bigger Blue
      9:15 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      I know I am wrong about the opponent being Vandy… but I think I am right about him being banned from calling UK games…

  4. Nick
    9:14 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    The difference here is that the players and coaches are the ones who should have 100% control of their fate. If the referees operate at perfect efficiency (or a video-assisted human’s level of perfect), they are just physical embodiments of the rules, which should not affect the game at all. Therefore, I think ANY impact on the game is too much, but adjusting for being humans, they should get some amnesty, at least when a call isn’t egregious.

  5. Ridge Runner
    9:22 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    Lets all (well, majority) be honest…

    In a calm setting, we all hate the blame the ref fan. In a close game, when a call is 50-50 goes against your team, we all suddenly become a “blame-the-ref-fan”

    • Karen
      9:27 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      Best perspective yet!

    • MustangCat
      9:36 am May 16, 2014 Permalink


    • Bigger Blue
      9:38 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      That’s a great perspective… GUILTY AS CHARGED here.. I always pull out these chants:

      I’m blind, I’m deaf, I wanna be a Ref!

      Foot Locker called… they want their shirt back

      May grandma makes better calls on her flip phone

  6. J-Dub421
    9:23 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    I agree with you BTI and with poster #1 above, that foul called on Paul that sent Westbrook to the line was very questionable. However, it doesn’t change the fact that in the last 2 games of the series the Clipper struggles to score late in the 4th quarter, which is the real reason they lost.

    My biggest issue with refs over the last few seasons is the general way they call games. They call “touch” fouls out on the floor, but in the paint it seems like it’s no autopsy, no foul. UK’s bigs got absolutely mugged in the paint all season long, and rarely got calls.

  7. cracka
    9:24 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    i disagree with this “Oklahoma City was the beneficiary of a very bad out of bounds call that would have given the ball back to the Clippers” … i don’t understand … i don’t root for either team, i actually like both of them. i can’t remember the players but a guy is going up and the defender reaches in and gets some ball and hand and strips the guy going up, the ball goes out of bounds and stays with the offense – that’s the correct call to me.

    this is the way games are called, guys go over a rebounder all the time, hit their hands into the ball or whatever and the guy with the position gets the ball, they don’t call a foul. if the ball goes out of bounds, why call all of those meaningless fouls. we want the better players in the game and playing, not on the bench or always at the ft line. inbound the ball and play, it’s the way the game is played.

  8. Hayley's quadriceps
    9:27 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    They seemed to have a huge impact based on the home team in the SEC. I know UK played better at the very end of the season, but that doesn’t explain why playing at South Carolina seemed more difficult than playing Michigan to go to the final four.

    • True dat
      10:24 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      There is even a large contingent of fans in the conference that considers that home court imbalance a given and thus isn’t offended by it. Anyone who regularly watches conference games can tell you which way a block/charge call will go during certain times of the game. Home team scores, gets steal and scores again, crowd gets rowdy. Following possession block/charge call to be made and ref gives whistle to the student section. Happens every time.

  9. Big Blue Bill
    9:28 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    There is a factor that I feel BTI has missed in the article. In the instance of a missed call, a referee can immediately swing the momentum and change the mindset of both teams. Using the above as an example, had the Clippers received the ball they can focus on protecting their lead and running clock. More than likely OKC has to foul. Instead LAC now has to scramble around on defense and they obvious flubbed that. Now, yes BTI briefly presents this possibility in #5 but he doesn’t give it enough weight. Yes, the Clippers made a whole lotta mistakes in the last minute of the game and the Thunder didn’t. But the entire feeling of the game changes as soon as the refs miss the call.

    Is it fair to blame the refs for a loss? Probably not, but at the same time it isn’t fair to say that they have little impact on the game. In pivotal moments of a game the impact of the refs is exponentially increased.

  10. wrong
    9:32 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    You must not have watched the last 49 seconds because in this article you missed quite a bit of vital information. The first commenter was spot on. After the CLEARLY wrong out of bounds call, Russell was not fouled but merely breathed on when he fired yet another terrible shot. (bail out by refs) In between play 6 and 7 (of your article) there was another breathing on a Thunder player incident that put the Thunder on the line for foul shots. (strike two for you) On play 7 of your article you must not have been as frustrated with the officiating as the rest of the nation was at this point (by the way not a Clippers nor a Thunder fan) clearly as you stated that Paul just turned the ball over in the lane and that the refs did not steal the ball from him. After watching the replay multiple times and watching his arm get RAKED and no call being mad makes sick. (strike three for you, you’re out) You’re a person who writes on a sports blog? smh.

  11. Ralph
    9:38 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    Less than 10%

  12. Ross
    9:45 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    I agree that refs are blamed much too much in some games, however they can very much influence a game on both ends of the court by not allowing a team to establish a rhythm either on offense or defense. It should be up to the other team to destroy that rhythm, not the refs. If you think it doesn’t happen, you need to take a closer look at some games – try digging out an old game played at Vandy – just pick one. I do not like to blame the refs for a win or a loss, after all they cannot put the ball in the basket. But they can put the ball in the hands of the opponent giving them a chance to score. Let me recommend you do something my brothers and I did. We watched a Duke game and right afterward a UK game – what an eye-opener. Duke with their flops and fake fouls lived at the freethrow line – 24 in the first half. Uk had seven in their game and was getting hammered constantly. I will end by saying, if Randall had played for Duke, he would have broken every freethrow stat in the record books. I know, you will pass this off as a disgruntled, blame-the-ref ttype fan but again, it was never so obvious as when I watched Duke and then a UK game I taped back to back. Duke blew their team away and UK struggled to win – had the officiating been reversed Uk would have won by probably 30. FWIW.

    • Ralph
      10:40 am May 16, 2014 Permalink


      You seriously still don’t know his name? You lost all credibility.

  13. Fans will be fans
    9:49 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    Blaming the refs for a loss to a rival is as predictable as Calapari beating Pitino. It’s just what fans do and the more important the game (Sweet Sixteen) the more predictable the whining. If roles were reversed the KSR comments section would still be littered with similar complaints. Complaints that become even more important when the head to head numbers have become so lopsided. It isn’t just Louisville fans either. Fans of SEC teams say the same things and in all cases when it isn’t the refs that caused their teams to lose it’s that “cheating scumbag Calapari”. None of this is any different than the group delusion that “ESPN hates us”. You simply cannot find a single fanbase in which a large percentage of fans don’t cry about this one. Don’t believe me? Just read the KSR comments section. It’s the network that employs Dick Vitale for pity’s sake. We get as much if not more run there than Duke, UNC or any other program but don’t try and tell these folks. Anyway it doesn’t matter the overall effect of refs in the outcome. You either accept it as is and move on or find something else to watch. Having said that the subjectivity of officiating in basketball is easily one of its biggest drawbacks. Still you can take it or leave it but either way move on.

    • Hayley's quadriceps
      10:03 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      I don’t know if anything is as predictable as Calipari beating Pitino, no need for hyperbole in this debate.

    • Fwbf
      10:19 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      Sorry I lost my head. Maybe I should have said as predictable as Morehead beating Pitino in the tourney. Hmmmm…no. Same problem. I’ll keep thinking.

    • backwordsben
      10:33 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      Using your theory, UK fans should have been blaming the Championship loss to UConn on the refs (being such an “important” game). I would argue that UConn would also be considered a rival at this point to further reference your theory. I personally didn’t see a lot of blaming going around. I think for the most part UK fans knew we lost because of poor shooting and bad defense (particularly on their guards). A closer game and yes I think the refs come into play with some of the no calls and bump fouls, but that’s a different story.

    • You're reaching
      10:43 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      UConn a rival? No and even if you take Mark Story’s sales pitch for UConn as a rival seriously it pales in comparison to Cats-Cards.

    • Wait a minute...
      11:08 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      Nothing tops the Cards in UK’s rogues gallery, but UConn has risen to elite status in recent years. I’d argue they could almost push UNC out of the top 5 biggest hoops rivals at this point –

      then flip a coin for UNC/Uconn

      I’d put UT in if they won more than 1 of every 10, then again by that logic I should bump UL out too (ha!)

    • Pausing 60 seconds
      11:36 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      Even if I concede UConn’s status as a bottom of the list rival it would only be after this tournament. You would be hard pressed to find many Kentucky fans that considered UConn a rival prior to the championship game. More importantly we didn’t lead by several points with a couple of minutes to go only to lose in crazy fashion. There simply is no comparison between the UK-UL game and the UK-UConn matchup which is the fatal flaw in backwordsben’s post.

  14. jman3715
    9:50 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    I don’t mind missed calls here and there but my biggest issue is consistency from game to game and even sometimes from half to half of the same game. Refs should never have the ability to “take control” of a game which occurs when games get physical.

  15. asdf
    9:57 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    The NBA ref scandal a few years back pretty much exposed the fact that the NBA is more “sports entertainment” than true “sport”, with the officials controlling the game to maximize the fan experience. Keep the games close. The NBA is still an awesome example of athletic excellence, but the games are not always true games like the college game is. Not in the modern era.

  16. CatsBBN
    9:59 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    Not a fan of either team myself but the refs by rule actually made the right call on the out of bounds. The rule states, not word for word, that if the defender makes contact with the offensive players hand and causes the ball to dislodge out of bounds the offensive team retains possession. By this rule it is actually the correct call in my opinion.

    • Hand is part of the ball
      10:16 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      For some reason fans only remember the “hand is part of the ball” rule when it’s their team trying to knock the ball loose from an opponemt’s hands but fail to recognize the rule in the situation to which you refer. I’ve always found it curious.

  17. bigblueiron
    10:05 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    My question is why has the quality of refereeing gone down over the last 5 years? Is the game too fast and too physical for any person to see in the instant it takes to blow a whistle? Do the rules change too often? Poor officiating can ruin a football or baseball game too, but BB seems to be the only game where teams count on “drawing a foul” as part of their game scoring plan.

  18. js2
    10:09 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    The two calls for OKC – giving them the ball and the foul call that gave Westbrook the three freethrows – were as bogus as they come. Someone got paid off on those.

  19. Craig Sager's Suits
    10:16 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    I don’t know much about officiating impacting games but, I still think that ref calling Poythress for a “charge” against UConn killed any possible chance of a momentum swing in the title game this year. Alex spun AWAY from the dude and it was a clear flop and should have been a no call if anything.

  20. Brian the Derpface
    10:21 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    Wait guys, I’m confused. Brian listed plays where the refs don’t have an impact, doesn’t that mean that refs don’t matter: if they don’t screw up every single play?

  21. Referee here
    10:28 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    I am a HS and NCAA referee in soccer. I understand that depending on the calls I make, teams may have to play a different strategy then their original gameplan. So at times, yes, a referee has a huge impact on the game.

    But the other side of that, when a referee calls an excellent game, they are not recognized for the outstanding contribution to the game. And that is how it should be. A official should be transparent to the game.

    But at times, a call is made that has the impact that will change the game. That is the “blame the ref” fans fuel.

    Don’t even get me started on the role of TV in games. Due to the multiple camera angles and replay, it is easy to scrutinize a split second decision made by a human being.

  22. Big Mouth REX
    10:33 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    Some bad calls no question, but Durant and Westbrook could no be stopped. The Clippers laid down just like UL did. UL missed to many free throws or they might have won and probably would have won another championship.

  23. MustangCat
    10:34 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    Networks are EDITING replays now, within SECONDS of live action?! While officials are supposedly reviewing plays during games?! Kinda funny how they seem to know what the call will be on the floor that fast??? With the gambling industry being as small-time still as it is, I’m sure that has nothing to do with it all…..?! If like to see SOMEONE do an honest review of UL’s win over Wichita St. year before last. That call on the Baker-Van Treese situation decided that game! And that was the worst call I’ve ever seen. That was blatant cheating.

    • MustangCat
      11:03 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

      1st off, they assess a common foul on Baker, by the use of the monitors?! Which they cannot do. They reviewed the play BECAUSE SVT punched Baker in the face. The blow to the FACE was not even addressed?? Intentional or not, there was still a severe blow to the head on that play. They were calling “T’s” on people the last two years for swinging elbows above the shoulders – where there was NO CONTACT??? That play should have gotten a flagrant 2 and ejection on SVT, 4 FT’s and the ball for Wch St. They blatantly broke several rules on that call – AFTER REVIEW?!?! The fix was on. No question about it. UL was handed a title, gift wrapped. You can’t cheat much more obviously they that.

  24. Guusje
    11:26 am May 16, 2014 Permalink

    Not a fan of the blame the ref argument…though I’m sure it affects a few games..but holy moly I can’t stand DOUG SHOWS. That guy has such a hard on for Calipari..seems like every game I watch him officiate, always leaves me throwing my remote at the tele…maybe it’s just me but I’d like to see the statistics on what Cal’s record is with this guy.

    • Gap Tooth Danny
      12:49 pm May 16, 2014 Permalink

      Some refs have a tremendous impact on the game, the infamous Doug Shows and Ted Valentine among the worst offenders in college ball, I would peg Joey Crawford as the most egregious in the NBA. I shudder to think how bad the Clippers-Thunder series could have been with J. C. out there.

  25. Syrin
    12:55 pm May 16, 2014 Permalink

    No Louisville fan should EVER complain about the refs, because you could flag 3-5 Lousiville players on EVERY play for a foul the refs let go. They turn the game into a brawl fest, and do it with such frequency that the refs only decide to call the fouls that are so egregious that they can’t let them go.

  26. Biglaw Dawgin'
    1:40 pm May 16, 2014 Permalink

    20% impact is A LOT, but I’d say that’s about right. But think about that when the spread is 2-3 points. In a 100-102 game, the ref influenced 20 of each team’s points. In other words, they can easily influence the outcome.

    The worst part about it is, like all humans, refs have the desire to be liked by the people they’re around. That’s why home teams have the advantage a lot of times. How many times have you seen a ref essentially fist pump when calling a charge on the visiting team? The crowd goes crazy. Same call for the other team and he just does the charge sign like normal. They definitely have a direct impact in a close game.

  27. The Doctor
    4:29 pm May 16, 2014 Permalink

    I think it is important to distinguish between people who believe that the refs are in some conspiracy to cause one side to lose (which is ridiculous) and people who believe that the refs’ bad calls can have an immediate impact on the outcome of the game. There are millions of variables in every game and the refs proper enforcement of the rules is a variable at all times. If they call two quick fouls in the first half banishing your star player to the bench for most of the first half, you have time to try to adjust. You have time and opportunity to overcome the effect of one of the variables. If they make an obviously wrong call near the end of the game, you have much less time and opportunity to overcome it. So, yes, the referees’ proper enforcement of the rules of the game is always a variable and definitely can have an impact on the outcome of the game. There is a 1% difference in a game where the score is 100 – 98. So a 20% impact on the game easily can be the difference between winning and losing.

    Remember the Chris Webber “time out” technical? People forget that when Michigan threw the ball in to Webber, he blatantly traveled before he took his first dribble. The referee was watching but chose not to call the violation (probably because refs regularly swallow the whistle at the end so as to “not have an impact on the outcome”). If he had called the violation, North Carolina gets the ball and Michigan likely fouls immediately putting Carolina on the line with more than 10 seconds left. Even if Carolina hits both free throws, Michigan has a chance then to hit a 3 and send the game to overtime. By NOT making the call, Webber burned off about 8 seconds taking the ball down court and then called the imfamous time out and got the T. Carolina gets free throws AND the ball and Michigan doesn’t have a chance. That ref who did not call the traveling violation on Michigan may well have had an effect on the outcome of the game.