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ESPN.com calls out UK’s bogus Flagrant 1 foul at Auburn

ESPN.com’s Myron Medcalf, like all college basketball fans with eyeballs and a brain, did not agree with the officials’ decision to hand PJ Washington a Flagrant 1 foul in the closing minutes of Kentucky’s game at Auburn last week. He too saw that Washington was only making a play on the ball, and though it was unfortunate that Horace Spencer’s head was split open on the play, it wasn’t anything more than a hard foul followed by a bad fall.

Medcalf wrote about the play on Monday in his “What’s real, what’s fake, and who should really be No. 1?” column on ESPN’s college basketball page.

It was “one of those calls that they can’t miss,” he says:

Real: Kentucky-Auburn finish altered by questionable flagrant call

With 1:53 remaining in a five-point game, Kentucky’s PJ Washington tried to block a dunk attempt by Auburn’s Horace Spencer. Washington was going for the ball but he got still hit with a flagrant 1, largely because Spencer landed awkwardly, cut himself and got up with blood pouring from his face. It was a call that did not fit the NCAA rulebook’s description of a flagrant 1. “A flagrant 1 personal foul is a personal foul that is deemed excessive in nature and/or unnecessary, but is not based solely on the severity of the act.” Nothing about Washington’s play was excessive.

A minute after the call, Jared Harper hit a 3-pointer to give Auburn a one-point lead with 32 seconds to play. The flagrant 1 call had shifted the momentum. Kentucky held on to win, but plays like that shouldn’t affect outcomes.

Officials have difficult jobs. They won’t get every call right. But that’s one of those calls that they can’t miss. [ESPN.com]

At least it wasn’t as bad as the no-call in the NFC Championship. I can’t imagine the pain Saints fans feel today.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

26 Comments for ESPN.com calls out UK’s bogus Flagrant 1 foul at Auburn



  1. Smyrna_Cat
    3:37 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

    Exactly right. That was a call for the crowd. Bad, bad call. I thought Auburn got a few of those.



    • BluemanGreen
      4:00 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

      They sure did…like the fouls on the 3s



    • Skooms
      5:56 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

      Also Smyrna, don’t forget about the call on Herro. When they showed tge replay, you could see the court in FRONT of his shoe. That was a 3 pt attempt, yet they reviewed and gave him 2 shots. Total BS!



    • CellarDoorx06
      1:22 am January 22, 2019 Permalink

      I ABSOLUTELY AGREE, Skooms! His foot wasn’t on the line at ALL!!!



    • JASUN74
      7:06 am January 22, 2019 Permalink

      Skooms, did you notice how fast they called it a two? Lol. Every other replay took forever, but this was way too quick to see it good enough to make that call. Lol. I agree with everyone of you guys. Lol



  2. ClutchCargo
    3:45 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

    This was worse than a missed call. They reviewed it for approximately 2 hrs and still got it wrong.



    • mashburnfan1
      3:58 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

      That is the bad part/ I can see them making the call initially based on appearance. But this they can review and did review. How do you still stick with the call after watching it 100 times, only took 1 time to see it was not as bad as it may have appeared. BTW the refs do get punished for bad calls they just don’t always make it known to the public.



    • Smyrna_Cat
      4:07 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

      Agree on that. But after the review there was no question.



    • 4everUKblue
      5:14 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

      There is NO excuse for making that call after reviewing it on the monitor like Clutch said. I’ve never known of a college ref that was punished for a bad call and can only thing of one in the NBA.



  3. jaws2
    3:46 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

    That call was as bad or worse than the no interference call on the Rams yesterday. We survived ours but NO didn’t. I really didn’t care who won but it’s a damn shame it cost them a shot at the super bowl.



    • trumpetguy
      4:02 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

      Am I the only one who sees these “pick” plays by crossing receivers? Supposed to be illegal, but about everyone gets away with it. Unstoppable if officials don’/won’t call it.



    • tiffincatfan79
      4:21 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

      As long as the receiver doesn’t blatantly run into the DB, or he looks to make an effort to avoid the contact, it is a legal play.



    • 4everUKblue
      5:16 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

      There was nothing about that play that was within the rules, in fact there were two infractions on that one play. Helmet to helmet should also have been called.



    • 4everUKblue
      5:54 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

      Or there’s this explanation….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrDK0L3fcJY&frags=pl%2Cwn
      There are several other indisputable examples if you want to find them, but this one not be disputed!



    • 4everUKblue
      5:58 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

      I don’t know about all the other stuff in that video but the big games in sports are rigged, pretty easy to see.



    • JASUN74
      7:15 am January 22, 2019 Permalink

      4ever, as much as I’d like to disagree with you I just can’t. It’s a shame on the professional level, but to do shiiit like that to college kids, (and it 100% happens every year), makes me sick. They should actually get jail time for some of the stuff I’ve saw in my life. I’d rather lose a game or championship fairly, than to win by cheating the other guys who’ve put in just as much work as I had. The really bad thing is, after a few years, hardly anyone remembers that the game was fixed. Just the winners.



  4. N-UR-i
    3:47 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

    Terrible call. The had ref should be suspended. And, btw…..Go Patriots!



    • N-UR-i
      3:47 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

      Head ref….not had ref



  5. somerset bill
    4:08 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

    It would be nice if such a flagrantly bad call by an official, or in this case, a team of officials would have some tangible effect that fans could see. Maybe their first one gets them a public warning or yellow card or some sort of official, on-the-record certificate of distain. And the second one gets a one game suspension.



    • BluemanGreen
      4:20 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

      Yea there has to be some repercussion for a whole team of officials reviewing a play and still seeing it completely wrong. To do that they are either A) Completely biased for one team B) They are not knowledgeable enough about their job. Either way…not holding them accountable for their actions in any way is only making things worse



  6. maximumscott
    4:13 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

    Was literally written about hours ago



  7. Han
    4:41 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

    He’s right that the bad call swung momentum, but there’s another thing the sports analysts never mention about a bad foul call. Not only does it potentially take or add points, and sometimes impact whether a team is in the bonus, but it also impacts how a player plays the rest of the game. Yeah, they have to adjust to how the ref is calling the game, but specifically, I think this was PJ’s 4th foul. It was going to be so either way, but the earlier double technical on him meant he was now up to 4 and couldn’t be aggressive. He can’t risk a bad foul call on D, and he can’t try to drive to the rim in case they flop and draw his 5th foul.

    Again, it was his 4th foul whether it was flagrant or not, but in general, bad foul calls can change how the players are playing. (To say nothing of when you give everybody on the team 2 fouls in the first half and the entire starting 5 is on the bench, as in that horribly-called UNC game ruined by the roofer.)



    • JASUN74
      5:33 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

      I agree with you Han. It can and did change the effort of PJs game the rest of the way. It also showed our team and Cal that they were absolutely going to help Auburn anyway they could. Maybe not intentionally, but we got the point quick.

      And Drew good post bud.
      I really didn’t think it was a hard foul, and I think he was just going for the block shot. It was a common foul because he got him on the arm but it was very close to a block. He absolutely didn’t try to hurt him, Hell, he didn’t try to foul him at all, only make a great block! He did get him, but the guy being uncoordinated, and trying to flop, (like pearl must teach because they flopped all night), is the only reason he landed on his head. As a matter of fact they fouled us worse than that and we’re no calls all night.

      They had their arms wrapped around us every time we tried to post up, and I’m fine with it being physical as long as it goes both ways and it’s certainly didn’t. Man I hate to be a referee complainer but when it’s a bad call, it’s a bad call! They should grade them after every game and fine them something if they need up like that. They were out of their comfort zone all night and honestly, they seemed scared and unsure about themselves the whole second half! It really makes you wonder if they got a call or a visit in their dressing room at halftime.

      Anyway, I’m very, very proud of our kids for playing with soo much heart and Pulling out that victory. It was a great day for them and should give them even more confidence than they had. Coach Cal is the best in the history of College Basketball at teaching young guys how to be great in such a short time. He’s proved it over and over again and I have no doubt in my mind that he would love to have some of these kids two or three years! When he tells them from the beginning that he has their best interest and intentions, well he’s got to do whatever it take to help them reach their dreams. I’ll guarantee Cals dream is to win more Championships and I know he’s going to. Anyway here I go again with my long posts. Lol. Sorry everyone. Everyone except bigolblueasshat!!



  8. Wildcat_blues1029
    5:48 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

    Yea the call was AWFUL but we’re missing the big picture. Our guys on the road, CRAZY atmosphere, blowing a 17 point lead, less then a 1:30 left and all the momentum going in Auburn’s favor, terrible call against us and yet our young team stays composed and together to still get a strong solid victory. That game Saturday will be huge for our growth and how we play in March



  9. Wildcat_blues1029
    5:50 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

    Even after the terrible call against P.J. Can honestly say I was more then relaxed and comfortable we’d pull the W out. I’m loving my team and how we continue to progress and grow.



  10. FKCat
    6:57 pm January 21, 2019 Permalink

    Since they called that a flagrant instead of common foul, Auburn was able to pick who shot the free throws. Had it been correctly ruled s common foul Cal would have picked the shooter since the player fouled couldn’t continue at the time. Doubt we would’ve sent their best shooter to the line.