Ready for some good news? According to Gary Parrish, the SEC is nearing a deal with the American Athletic Conference (AAC) to share basketball referees. Parrish notes that it’s a complicated deal, but says it should ensure the SEC has better, more consistent refs working league games going forward, which is very welcome news. Between Doug Shows, Pat Adams, and Doug Sirmons, Kentucky has had more than their fair share of questionable calls over the past several years, most recently Adams’ technical on Isaac Humphries for spiking the ball at Texas A&M in February. If you remember, the SEC had to issue a statement about that call because there is no specific language about spiking the ball in the rule book.
We all like to gripe about officiating, but that call really was horrible, and, you could argue, a pivotal moment in the season given that Texas A&M ended up with a higher seed than Kentucky, despite the Cats’ win over them in the SEC Tournament.
Here’s hoping the AAC has better refs than Shows, Adams, and Sirmons. Hard to be worse, right?
UPDATE: It’s now official, the SEC, the AAC, and the ASUN conferences will now share refs.
“We are pleased to be collaborating with The American and the ASUN to continue the enhancement of men’s basketball officiating,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “We are focused on improving the quality of men’s basketball officiating and this consortium, with the leadership provided by Mark Whitehead, provides officials with coordinated assigning between our three conferences, offers opportunity for efficient evaluation and training of officials, and continues the SEC’s efforts to strengthen its commitment to men’s basketball.”