Hoosier Morning

Indiana football fans should be excited about the future with a better-than-usual recruiting class set to sign on Wednesday, Andy writes.

The Hoosier basketball team reclaimed the No. 1 ranking for the first time in nearly two months Monday, Dustin wrote.

IU’s Will Sheehey is still trying to prove he’s not the last man on the middle school team, Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star writes.

A short night in New Orleans preceded a short flight home for Indiana coach Tom Crean, Eric Prisbell of USA Today writes.

Evansville’s Maura Muensterman became the latest commitment for the IU women’s basketball recruiting class of 2014, Gordon Engelhardt of the Evansville Courier & Press wrote.

In case you missed it Saturday, Bob Knight took a shot at the “Fab Five,” SI.com’s FanNation blog notes.

Maurice Creek recently changed his number to 22, as did IU recruit Stan Robinson, in memory of Jamar Board, whose tragic tale is chronicled by the Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt.

Illinois’ season is fading fast, making Thursday’s game with IU a critical one, Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo! Sports writes.

On the occasion of the No. 1 ranking, “One Thing” by Finger Eleven.


  1. Bob Knight SI mention. Tried to read it but as always, got lost in the swimsuit photo’s. Probably just as well

  2. Just finished watching the MI – OSU game. Wow, the refs were pathetic during the last two minutes of overtime. I could’ve cared less who wins that game, but the refs screwed OSU in a big way. That was grand theft. Craft was clearly and obviously fouled on his last two shot attempts and no fouls were called. These refs were complete cowards, clearly turning a blind eye in favor of the home team. It was almost as if Burke knew he could do anything and that it would not be called. That was the worst case of home cooking I’ve seen in a long time. Craft gets fouled from behind and no call. Then, on his last drive to the basket, to tie the game again, he gets hammered, and again no call.

    Those refs should be suspended and fined. That was a travesty, and the Big Ten should be embarrassed. Credit to OSU’s coach for keeping his composure, because a lot of coaches would have exploded, and rightfully so. Even the ESPN commentators, normally loath to criticize, said that the refs should have called those fouls.

  3. Po – I set my DVR to record an extra 15 minutes, but of course with OT that didn’t cover it… So I missed the last 33 seconds and both plays you’re talking about.


    But remember the mantra around here – the refs don’t effect the outcome.

  4. Possibly 3 missed calls. The other was the Craft foul on Hardaway. It would have been a flagrant earlier in the game. Been nice for IU if OSU had pulled that win off.

  5. Po, I so agree with all you say. This is part of the reason I got out of coaching…you work your tail off and to have refs dictate the outcome of games is a killer. You have people that will say…you should not have put yourself in the situation for that to happen but come on…the refs have gotten worse in the past several years because most are allowed to have 2nd jobs and are tired! These guys at the college and pro level make a lot of money and I mean a lot! We watched the whistle get swallowed at the end of the super bowl and last night and I had no dog in the fight at all. It is so sad and I don’t know a solution?!

  6. J Pat I absolutely agree with your comment. Officials have become merely competition judges. They do not officiate as dictated by a rule book, they simply use their biased judgement as to whether THEY think an infraction has occured. This is not solely an NCAA problem, I’ve watched this occur in HS games throughout Indiana for the past several seasons.

    Obviously the santictioning bodies feel there is no solution needed. From there lack of improvement or change signals to me they think that this is the way the game is to be played.

  7. J Pat, we all know how to solve it. But until people are put in place with the rocks to fire a ref’s ass the morning after he places that part of his anatomy in the cross hairs things will remain in the status quo. I think you, the ex-coach, turned ref could make a difference, at least locally. Think about it. Extra cash and much less time consuming than coaching.

  8. I would love to see an article in some large publication about how the current refs are graded, if they continue their education through clinics or workshops, and if college conferences train and recruit young refs.
    I also wonder if the days of the 3 ref rotation is over, seems to me that a 4 ref rotation makes more sence with the speed of the game and the size of its players.

  9. J Pat, I know an orthopaedic surgeon/sports medicine doc who makes a ton (cavorts around in his helicopter). He also officiates a good bit, I think mostly SEC football. I recently learned he’s dropping the medicine gig to officiate ‘full time’ (whatever that means).

  10. Technically, had the officials not given Craft the 3 pointer after the shot clock expired earlier in the game, OSU wouldn’t have made it to overtime for the officials to botch the last few calls. Overall the officials mistakes did not affect the legitimate outcome which would have been UM winning the game in regulation in a mistake free world

  11. All the above. I have vague memories of playing this game way back in the 50’s. If you touched another player you were called on it. (back in the time of under-handed free throws). Called today, would that return BB to scores of 20-18?

    Never coached or ref’ed a game. I do have a compulsive need to watch. First weekend of the NCAA tourney I normally get a motel room to insure I watch as many games as possible without interuption.

    Question for those who have ref’ed. Why are moving screens no longer called. Why is a “touch” called in the backcourt and assault/battery not called in the paint. Why are the games called differently in the second half? Or overtime?

    I guess not to interfer with the flow-of-the-game? Same with excessive use of re-play. Had a friend in Florida who was attempting the use of a suit with sensors to record violations and calibrated to the intensity of the foul. Calls would then come from the sideline ref. He was not able to make the suit cost-effective. And the question of “self inflicted” fouls.

    My brain often goes to the conspiracy therapy as I watch some games. No foul to beat the points line or visa-vers?. Especially after the recent soccer headlines. Game last year. Line was 9 points. Favored team ahead by 8 points. Favored team holding ball with zilch time left than scores at the last second, giving them a win by 10 points.

    But my worse fear is College BB edging closer to NBA caliper.

  12. So where are the replacement refs going to come from every time one’s fired for making a borderline bad call? Or no call? Is the Big Ten going to call some new guy up from the HorizonLeague? And then who does he Horizon League replace that guy with? DIVISION II? High school? And then from what pool do we fill those bottom ranks? With potential refs that have even less knowledge and experience than the guy who was just upgraded– or fired– a few days ago? Who was also just hired a few days before that?

    Or are the high schools and small conference just going to pony up the extra money for full-time, qualified refs? You know, the ones who are guaranteed to catch everything and make all the right calls, every time. And what department’s budget is that money going to come from. Athletic? So which non-money making program will lose out on that money? Tennis? Swimming? Women’s soccer? Or is is coming out of the Math department’s budget? Or hiring less teachers? Who’s going to lose out because some feel that student-athletes need professional-grade referees.

    So many of you seem to think that there’s some simple explanation for everything. But this is yet another situation where the solution is much more complex than a few angry fans are willing to acknowledge. Bad calls were made, sure. And they will be again. But unless you come up with a viable plan to fix the situation, all you’re doing is complaining.

  13. I should’ve said ” all WE’RE doing is complaining.” I’m guilty, too, and not proud of it. But I’m at a loss as to how we fix it. Or just come to accept it.

  14. I see more whining about “moving screens” than everything else combined.

    And yet, when Knight was coach, I saw countless complaints from other schools about OUR moving screens and IU fans just HEAPED praise on Bobby.

    So, why weren’t they called back then or why was it ok when our team did them?

  15. Punjab, I am not complaining at all, I offered the solution. The B1G fires the worst 4 refs today and tonight even the best 4 will perform better. You do not have to fire 1 a day. As far as “supply”, supply comes from need. When was the last time 1 of these underachievers got fired. The blown calls increase every year with the present status quo. Complaining is offering no solution.

  16. I’m a HS baseball/softball umpire and I will tell you that we constantly work on our game. We go to clinics, seminars, and workshops all with the intent on getting better at our craft. If I want to work the sectionals I must take an extra test and I must have a grade from the schools I have worked with high enough to qualify for the tourny.
    I do these things for the young athletes and for the integrity of the game itself. I get paid $60 per game for my services. BUT I have to take of early from work, buy my own gear, pay for the gas to get to and from, and dress in the parking lot. Why? Because I love the game and want make sure the contests are played in a fair and sportsmanlike manner.

    Does the B1G grade their officials?
    Does the B1G have a young pool of officials that are waiting in the wings?
    Do the officials go to workshops or clinics to hone their craft?
    Less experience is not always a bad thing. Do you think that the B1G officials are the best out there? Do you think there could be others that could take their place? I would venture to say that their are 100’s of guys that could and would do a far better job. Do you think the guy flying the jetliner taking you to Florida is the only guy able to do that specific job? Brain surgery this is not!
    Competition breeds a excellence and if a Ted V or Ed H thought they may have to compete every year to keep their job then we might see a better product.


  17. Bart, it’s been a while since I’ve taken statistics, and i’ve never officiated anything besides intramural softball and my daughter’s tee-ball games, so i may be a little out of my league here. But I’m having trouble seeing how those stats prove or disprove anybody’s point. Correct me if I’m wrong, but to me it just speaks to the amount of fouls a ref is calling. Not the quality of the calls they’re making. And where would that chart place the non-call on Craft’s potential flagrant foul? By the rule book it probably should have been called, but when common sense is applied he clearly wasn’t headhunting. How many basketball fans across the nation would be screaming for heads if they’d charged Craft with that flagrant and in effect handed Michigan the win?

  18. And HC, what does “perform better” mean? Does that mean sticking to the rule book hard and fast? Being able to adapt to the style of play? Being consistent with your calls?

    And should refs be crucified if throughout the game they consistently let the players play it out, then they make the same call and it just so happens to be the deciding play of the game? If 4 refs were fired from the OSU-Mich game last night, tonight’s games will surely be called very tightly to compensate for fear of their jobs. Too tightly. That second-to-last foul on craft– where Burke seemed to swat him from behind– could have easily gone either way. Do we want to watch Big Ten games where every one of those ticky-tack fouls are called?

  19. I didn’t put the chart up to prove or disprove anything. I just put it up to show what the B1G has on it’s website about officials. Your point is well taken. The chart proves my point about the limited information given about officials. I would love to know more about the internal process the B1G uses when evaluating and grooming new officials.

  20. All I ask from refs is that they are consistent.

    I’ve seen us called for ticky-tack stuff then watch our guys get literally bowled over and nothing called.

    And it wasn’t “Duke-flopping”, they were knocked on their butts while standing still.

  21. That makes two of us, Bart. Thanks for sharing.

    And Laffy, I prefer the term “Kentucky-flopping.” But I guess they’re interchangeable.

  22. Nice. But I didn’t see any red jersey’s with he name Evans, Berggren, or Dekker on the back. Wrong team?

  23. Punjab, the B1G keeps a report card so they know who the worst 4 are. Since you can’t figure out “performs better” and have no other solutions I see no reason to expand mine beyond repeating the Q, who was the last bad 1 fired? So keep on complaining about the status quo.

  24. Fixing the problem with bad refs:

    1. Allow the broadcasters the right to call it like they see it regarding refs. Nowadays, these broadcasters and color commentators are afraid to criticize the refs because they could lose their job. The refs work for the NFL, NBA, or college conferences. When they’re incompetence is exposed, the league/conference looks very bad. When the broadcasters are allowed to expose bad performance by the refs, the public will begin to demand better quality/consistency. In the current climate, one call from a commissioner to the network execs and and NFL commentator can lose his/her job. That’s just too cozy a relationship for my tastes.

    2. The carrot: These refs should be full-time professionals making an attractive salary, with performance incentives. That way, they’ll be a little more mindful of maintaining standards of performance required to keep the job. Furthermore, the leagues they work for can require them to get more and better training.

    3. The stick: They should be evaluated after every performance. They should be subject to fines, suspensions and termination if their performance is deemed to be sub-standard.

    There’s too much as stake these days, and the refs should be held to a higher standard of performance.

  25. HC, not being able to figure out “perform better” is exactly my point. Everybody has a different opinion. I happen to agree with Laffy, and probably most others. If you’re going to to call a tight game, keepit tight. If you’re going let them bang a little more, let them bang.The three non-calls at the end of last nights game were– if not the correct call per the rule book– at least consistent with how they called the game throughout. Same with the Super Bowl. Was their contact at the end? It seems so. But you can’t all of a sudden make a foul call in the closing, game-defining seconds that you’ve been letting go all the whole rest of the game.

    Some teams are just more physical than others, and I have no problem with adapting and letting two similiarly styled teams play that way. As long as it’s consistent. And transparent. Is that what their report card says? Who missed the most calls? Or who consistently made (or didn’t make) the same calls throughout the game? It’s not easy to judge.

    I would imagine that some refs have lost their job for poor performance, but what was the criteria? We don’t know. We only know that refs like Valentine and Hightower have been around forever, and somebody thinks they’re doing a decent job. Whatever that means.

  26. I have no affliction to knowing what performs better looks like. But it is easy to see why the status quo is going to be around a lot longer.

  27. Agreed. That’s why I try– try– to not complain too much. I usually leave my comments somewhere in the “questionable call” range. Unless they’re egregious, or completely one-sided, I try to be objective, accept that that refs have a lot to deal with and will make mistakes from time to time, and stay off the ref-bagging bandwagon we see too much of. Which is a hard thing to do for a fan when your team is on the wrong end of a bad call.

  28. Dustin, you don’t really mean to suggest that the NFL, NBA, MLB and the various college conference commissioners don’t have any power over the network commentators. You can’t be that naive! The NFL has enormous power to influence who CBS and Fox Sports employ to in broadcasting NFL games. The same with the other leagues. Do you think the Big Ten Commissioner has any power over the Big Ten Network? Do you think a commentator working for the BTN would last long if he offered his honest criticisms about bad calls made by game officials. The proof you require lies in the total lack of criticism directed toward game officials in the face of obvious and egregious mistakes. You have to listen carefully to the rather subdued comments made by the commentators to even discern criticism of an official. At the end of the OSU – Mich game the other night, the ESPN commentator said something to the affect of, “There was a lot of contact there, coach,” followed by the color commentator saying, “the ref has to call a foul on that play. How does he not call a foul?” That was the extent of their “criticism” of the refs in the face of one of the worst non-calls I’ve ever seen. And remember, I had not dog in that fight and could not have cared less who won the game.

  29. I have a much longer response for this that I will give after the game, but I need some time to articulate it. But just to start, there’s a significant leap between saying that the leagues have a lot of influence over the networks and saying that the broadcasters operate under constant fear of unemployment. I’m sure the leagues don’t want the broadcasters to kill the refs. However, I’ve seen enough of the holding non-call at the end of the Super Bowl to say that if the NFL was using that heavy of a hand, either lots of people at ESPN would be fired or they would have lost their contract. To suggest that these guys are afraid of being fired is grossly overstating the case. There’s influence, yes, but if these guys don’t blow up a non-call as much as you would think appropriate, that doesn’t mean they kept their mouths shut out of fear of termination.

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