Take on Pirate Sports
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, February 25, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9
C-USA referees are the Real Maniacs
I was sitting no more then 15 feet away from Erroyl Bing
when he was called for an unbelievable fifth foul. Even the zany antics of
the Minges Maniacs seemed discreet compared to some of the bizarre calls of
this officiating crew.
Five on five is hard enough in Conference USA. Add in a
zebra or two, and the odds of success dwindle to almost nothing.
The funny thing about Saturday night’s East
Carolina-Charlotte game was that both coaches were on the officials from the
opening tip. Bill Herrion and Bobby Lutz barked like a pack of dogs on a
Sunday ham. The more they complained, the more curious the calls became.
It can’t be that difficult. All coaches are looking for in
officiating is consistency. If you make a call on one end, then make it on
Herrion may hear from the league office after this comment
that he made after the game on the Pirate Sports Network.
"The referees were absurd," Herrion said. “They can report
me to the commissioner and I'll sit out a game ... but it's unfair to the
It’s also unfair to the coaches, unfair to the fans, unfair
for everyone involved.
At least Herrion and Lutz weren’t called for technical
fouls. Louisville’s Rick Pitino wasn’t as fortunate in his game this past
weekend against Cincinnati.
The Bearcats shot a school record 58 free throws against
Pitino picked up what was described by the wire story as
rapid-fire technicals and an automatic ejection in the Card’s 101-80 loss to
"We got a directive two weeks ago out of the blue saying
hand-checking would be called," Pitino said. "There was no mention of people
being thrown out of bounds and assaulted.
"Guys just have to ref the game. I haven't been happy with
it all season. It's got to be a two-way street. They just evened it up at
Since winning 17 straight games, Louisville has lost three
of four. The Cardinals lost their poise as well Saturday — Reece Gaines and
Joshua Tinch also got technicals.
The Pirates are now on the outside looking in as far as the
Conference USA tournament is concerned. East Carolina will be double-digit
underdogs when they visit both Cincinnati and Louisville. The Pirates will
probably be a slight underdog against St. Louis at home to close out the
I feel badly for Bill Herrion and the coaching staff.
I sincerely think they are doing everything in their power
to make this team competitive. Perhaps all of our expectations were too high
after last season, after this year’s start, and especially after the
conference-opening win over nationally ranked Marquette.
These are the growing pains of playing in a major conference
like Conference USA. This is a league that will probably get more teams in
the NCAA tournament then the ACC gets in.
It’s very difficult, but the Pirates will trudge on.
Think about this. How many teams in the nation would have
success playing back-to-back games at Cincinnati and at Louisville?
How would Duke fair? How would Kentucky handle the pair?
Now slot in East Carolina. That’s life in Conference USA.
It’s a tough pill to swallow, but this Pirate program still has growing
pains to get through.
The Pirates and the officials do have one thing in common.
Both are desperate for consistency!
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02/23/2007 01:25:37 AM