As we’re all painfully aware, officials are calling more fouls than ever in college basketball this season. Over Kentucky’s last three games, 144 fouls have been called, and the Cats aren’t alone; SEC Basketball has become unwatchable as of late, but during his press conference today, John Calipari made it clear he wants officials to keep calling fouls…but only if they’re actual fouls.
“Let me just make my position clear: I think we’ve gotta keep calling fouls. Now, we’ve gotta make sure they’re fouls. So there are some replays that look and you say, well, that wasn’t even close to a foul. Those shouldn’t be called. There’s a forearm on a drive, there’s a body check on a big, those should be automatic calls. Call the fouls. On both teams.”
“Now, if one team’s fouling and the other team’s not, that’s when you get those fouls called because you’re feeling like, ‘I can’t call them all against the other team.’ Why not if they’re fouling every play? If the other team’s not fouling, don’t call — that’s when, how could they call that a foul, how could they call this a foul? Call the game the way we all want it to be. We want freedom of motion; we don’t want a guy driving to get banged three times before he shoots a layup and you say, why did he miss a layup? Well, probably the guy’s finger in his eyeball and his knee and his thigh kind of affected the layup. So, I’m about calling fouls. Better fouls. If the game is physical, it should be called.”
Calipari said he’s on the side of the referees on this matter, pointing out that he was behind the rule changes to call more fouls because the game was getting way too physical; however, what he doesn’t want is refs calling fouls that aren’t really fouls because they feel they have to call more this season.
“They’re being told to call fouls. The only issue is there are some that aren’t fouls that they’re calling,” Cal said. “Everybody says, nobody touched them, how did they call that? Probably not a foul they should have called.”
“Call the fouls. Does anyone want the game to go back to where they’re beating the crap out of each other? I support what they’re trying to do. As a matter of fact, I was one of the voices behind it. Call the fouls.”
Just make sure they’re actual fouls.