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Seth Greenberg says threats on officials happen all the time

Seth Greenberg is always a great guest on KSR, but today he was better than usual because it was really good to hear his perspective on two hot topics: the threats on the official who called the UK-UNC game, and the obvious bias among some of his colleagues in media.

We’ll begin with the recent death threats that have painted Big Blue Nation in a negative light, to which Greenberg said it isn’t so uncommon. Greenberg, who agreed the first half of the North Carolina game was poorly called, is obviously against the behavior of fans following that game, but he said it’s not the first time officials have been threatened. In fact, it happens all the time:

“I talked to three Final Four officials yesterday. Three. Guys that have reffed in the championship game, multiple times. They said the whole idea of calls and threats — maybe not to the extent that it’s happened with Kentucky this past week, allegedly or whatever because we don’t know the facts — but what I’ve gotten is, from all these guys — solicited separately and not even knowing I’ve talked to the other three guys — they said, ‘Coach, this happens all the time. It happens five or six times a year. Every school in the country has fans like that.’

I had one guy say they had a picture of his house. One guy got an e-mail saying I’ll be waiting for you at the airport. So this isn’t a Kentucky thing, this is societal.”

From there, Greenberg went on to share his thoughts on members of the national media who have a clear bias toward or against certain coaches. He sees it as a real problem and it is the reason why he thinks he is disliked by a lot of his peers in the business.

“I think it’s joke,” he told KSR. “They all want to have an opinion, but the prism that they look at the game through and building coaches and programs through, is so biased it is ridiculous.”

You should definitely take a moment to hear Greenberg’s interview in the beginning of our second hour below:

Article written by Drew Franklin

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

22 Comments for Seth Greenberg says threats on officials happen all the time



  1. Sentient Third Eye
    2:11 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

    But that doesn’t diminish the need to take threats seriously. If a guy threatens to kill his ex-wife, it doesn’t excuse his behavior simply because in the past, others have threatened to kill their ex-wives as well.



    • KTR2786
      2:13 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

      Well obviously context matters and not all claims are created equally.



    • KTR2786
      2:15 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

      *not created.



    • secrick
      2:15 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

      I think that’s a little different than what we are talking about here.I remember a coach threatened to kill Coach Cal once on live T.V and he didn’t get half the Pub this got.



    • damage_control
      2:15 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

      I think it’s a bit irrational to compare this behavior to domestic violence. One is an epidemic and the other is a bad week for one guy.



    • damage_control
      2:18 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

      There’s also thousands of examples of people following through with threats to kill their ex-wives. Not heard of anyone actually doing anything significantly violent to any referee.



    • Sentient Third Eye
      2:36 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

      damage – the best way to test the rational of any idea is to extend it to its logical extreme. If it still holds up, it’s valid. If it collapses, then it’s not. When I applied this time-tested method to Seth’s argument, it falls apart.



    • Trevor
      2:49 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

      I must reply to one of the posts. The coach that threatened to kill Calipari was John Chaney from Temple. That was a very heated press conference. 🙂 I don’t remember the context but I was a student at Temple at the time. It get a lot of pub. Not as much as now though because the 24 hour news cycle and Social Media weren’t as huge then as they are now. I remember talking to Calipari abut that one day and he just laughed and didn’t comment. 🙂



    • damage_control
      4:48 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

      That isn’t testing it’s logical extreme. It’s a false equivalency so it’s pointless.



    • damage_control
      5:35 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

      Testing the logical extreme of his argument is that since Greenberg asserted that the majority of referees experience harassment and threats, therefore all refs can expect death threats. I’d say that holds up decently. You said that because some abusers threaten to kill their ex-wives, and then some do kill their ex-wives, that threats against referees should be taken seriously. That is creating a completely different train of logical thought and then sloppily throwing in a false equivalency. The truly logical thought process is- All refs have to deal with death threats, and there have been zero incidents in the history of American sports, then all refs can expect zero incidents resulting from death threats.



    • damage_control
      5:36 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

      Back to logical thinking 101 with you



  2. secrick
    2:12 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

    Thanks Seth, Some one with some common sense.



  3. KTR2786
    2:14 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

    Anyone who has spent a significant amount of time online has received death threats at some point. It’s a rite of passage almost. Not a good look, but there has already been too much discussion about this.



  4. Kfckernel
    2:25 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

    Nice to hear someone that works in the business call out his co-workers for bias.



  5. leon singleton
    2:27 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

    Quit blaming the victim of Higgins biased calls. Kentucky and its fans got screwed by this SOB.



    • secrick
      2:44 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

      Yep The difference in Ky fans and other fans is we know a bad ref from a good one. Just Kidding.



    • runningunnin.454
      3:43 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

      I saw a good ref once….so long ago I can’t remember the name.



  6. Wildcat Sheli
    2:52 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

    Would have liked to hear more from Coach Greenberg, who says Cal is one of his dearest friends, talk a bit more about the animosity Higgins has towards Cal. He mentioned it yesterday on another radio show and briefly this morning on KSR. He says “without a doubt” some refs don’t like certain coaches.

    If this is a well-known fact that Higgins dislikes Cal, then WHY is he allowed to officiate UK games? We couldn’t possibly get a fair whistle! We’ve only won 1 NCAA tournament game Higgins has called since Cal has been here: Cornell 2010 and it didn’t go as easily as the score would indicate. Higgins tried to negate Boogie’s presence in that one.

    Since 2011, we’re 0-3 with him calling tournament games, all either in the Elite Eight or Final Four. (Not to mention our loss to UCLA and then our odd senior night game against Vandy, both at Rupp). Even under Tubby, we had a rocky game against EKU in the first round of 2005 and then the heartbreaking Double Overtime loss to Michigan State that year, where Rondo was called with quick fouls in the opening minutes.

    Yes, we certainly need to be classy! But we don’t need to let this issue go, BBN.



  7. UKBlue52
    3:47 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

    I want to know who grades NCAA officials to allow the type officiating that occurred with KY to continue to the next level. I am told that Higgins will be officiating the Final 4. I thought only the top graded officials are able to officiate the Final Four.



  8. TBW3011
    8:07 pm March 30, 2017 Permalink

    Obviously anyone should know threats happen regularly. This is only a story because his business Facebook page got blown up and Because a handful of reporters decided they had an opportunity to make Kentucky look bad.