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Saturday, March 05, 2005

College Basketball

Posted by: Hammer / 5:44 PM

Hmm. Senior Day -- the last day for seniors to play at home -- sure seems like a bigger deal when it is the last game the seniors play. When there's a Big Ten tournament plus the NCCA tournament yet to be played, it takes some of the luster off the event.

Just when I think I'm the homer of all homers, the Big 10 takes my side:

The Big Ten has communicated its extreme disappointment and concern to ESPN's management relative to statements made by Mr. Doug Gottlieb at the halftime of Thursday's Purdue at Illinois basketball game on ESPN2. ...

In addition Mr. Gottlieb questioned the professionalism of Big Ten Associate Commissioner Rich Falk relative to the administration of the Big Ten's men's basketball officiating program.

Neither statement should have been made, and in our view these statements represent an example of irresponsible sports `reporting'. It is unfortunate that Mr. Gottlieb, whose own reputation for honest dealings has been called into question in the past, has been placed in the position by ESPN to pass judgment on a well-regarded, veteran official working a Big Ten basketball game, and a Big Ten associate commissioner who has rendered valuable service to the Conference and college basketball for decades. ...

TRANSCRIPT OF DOUG GOTTLIEB'S COMMENTS DURING HALFTIME OF ESPN2'S COVERAGE OF THE PURDUE-ILLINOIS GAME MARCH 3, 2005: "As we take you back to Tuesday night Indiana-Wisconsin it's obvious that there may not be a real clear cut, a clear cut bad call made on this particular play.

I didn't see Gottlieb's comments, but I know this. I've never seen a broadcast crew complain more about officiating than the ESPN crew did during the Badger-Hoosier game. I'm astonished that the complaints from ESPN continued during the days after the game ended. Who at ESPN lost money betting on this game?

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