Much has been made about the Big 12 statement that was issued on Tuesday regarding the Kansas-Iowa State game. I made a pretty big deal out of it in this story.
I wanted to provide the statement and then provide what I think the Big 12 should have said. Then I promise I’ll move on. I’m sure we’re all ready to move on.
Before you read it, put yourself in shoes of the Big 12. What are your goals in issuing this? Do you want to address the game because of media pressure? Do you want to make Iowa State feel better? Do you want to talk about officiating? Personally, I’m not sure this statement accomplished any of these goals.
Here is the actual statement in all its glory:
“The Big 12 Conference acknowledges that officiating errors were made at the end of regulation during last night’s Kansas at Iowa State men’s basketball game. The plays have been reviewed and appropriate measures will be taken by the Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Officials to adjust the number of future assignments for the two officials involved in conjunction with Conference policies.”
As you can see, the Big 12 acknowledges errors made at the end of regulation, but does not make mention of any other errors potentially made by the officials which may have also impacted the game. All this statement does is acknowledge what everyone knows — the last call wasn’t a very good one. What it doesn’t do is also acknowledge that there were 39+ other minutes of basketball that happened in that game too.
Whether it meant to or not, the Big 12 put a big, fat asterisk on an otherwise amazing basketball game. It downplays Iowa State’s amazing shooting performance. It downplays Elijah Johnson’s ice-in-the-veins heroics. It gives every Big 12 coach a silver bullet the next time one of these officials works his game. It demeans a basketball game where up to the time of that one tiny possession was considered one of the best games of the year and must-see television.
Here is what I think the Big 12 should have said:
“The Big 12 Conference is committed to reviewing and improving officiating in our league games. As a result, we are constantly reviewing game tape and providing feedback to officials that work our games. From time to time, we will privately reprimand or suspend an individual official or team of officials as a result of our internal review. Consistent with our normal procedures, we have reviewed the entire tape of Monday’s Kansas-Iowa State game and will handle all potential officiating errors discovered by this review internally.”
It gets the same point across. It doesn’t incite a riot. And it doesn’t put an asterisk on the game.
Alright, I’m done. No more blog posts on this. I promise!