A friend of mine just emailed me a link to the following video, courtesy of FanIQ.com:
I’ve watched this clip several times and cannot come up with a valid explanation as to why the official did what he did. This clip has gained a lot of coverage in the media over the past two days, which make sense in light of the Tim Donaghy scandal in the NBA. What I couldn’t believe was how quickly the SEC just wrote off the incident altogether (see this article on ESPN.com, 10/21/08). There is so much attention on officials that incidents like this need to be addressed openly and publicly. I haven’t seen or heard any comment from the official in question (maybe there has been one today and I missed it) and it seems like the SEC just wants to let the incident go. By doing that, people are going to continue to question the integrity of the official in this situation.
Now, I’m not advocating a large-scale investigation, but there is nothing more important to the stability and success of sports than trust. Trust between the players, fans, officials and media that the sports we love are being played honestly and fairly. If fans lose trust in the game, everyone suffers. Personally, I’m surprised that the NBA hasn’t had more of a backlash from their own referee scandal.