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    Super Moderator TommyL's Avatar
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    Default College Basketball Officiating

    Posted this on a PSU forum today, but thought some might find it interesting...

    Over the weekend, after DJ Carstensen's no-call at the end of PSU-Wisconsin, I read some comments on some of the PSU forums complaining about the fact that DJ had just done a game 500 miles away the night before. It wasn't surprising to me, since watching college hoops, you see the same guys popping up night after night on TV in different conferences. However, they usually at least seem to be in the same region (ie, guy might do some Big Ten, A10, Big East, etc).

    Last night, I was watching the Utah State-Colorado State game and saw Kelly Pfeifer doing the game. Kelly does a lot of Big Ten games (he's had PSU twice this season), but this game was out at Colorado State. This got me to check and see what other conferences he's doing, and wowzers.

    This basketball season is now 118 days old. In those 118 days, Kelly has worked 86 of them (note that KenPom shows 87 games, but he's got some bad data for one of them which I let Ken know about this morning). In those 86 games, he's done game in the following conferences (conference games only): Big Ten, Big Sky, Horizon, MAAC, Mountain West, MAC, Pac 12, Summit, and WCC. In 118 days, he's worked games in 25 different states from coast to coast.

    Just looking at the past two weeks, he's gone: Ohio to Michigan to Kentucky to New Jersey to Maryland to Illinois to Indiana to California to Michigan to Indiana to Illinois to Montana to Colorado, working 12 games in 14 days.

    I don't know what the solution is, but when people complain about the quality of officiating in college basketball, I think one of the symptoms is pretty obvious.

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    Tommy,
    I remember reading something about alleged thief Donaghy rising in the ranks. All college refs were non-union and independent workers. This Pfeifer guy is quite hungry. I get your point.

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    Senior Member BuckyBadger's Avatar
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    Tommy--I believe your observation is a complaint voiced often by coaches to their league offices. I know at least, it is from the Wisconsin program. The problem is: Is it better to have experienced, veteran, quality officials who might be slightly overworked, or less experienced, perhaps lower quality officials who are fresh? Most league "heads of officials" seem to believe there just are not enough quality officials to go around and just being able to find competent officials to referee all the games is a monumental task.

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    Senior Member BuckyBadger's Avatar
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    On another note, I always thought Steve Wellmer, who retired due to injury a few years ago, was one of the best, and he purportedly worked as many games as anyone.

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    Super Moderator TommyL's Avatar
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    All of these guys are working too much. A follow-up post I made...
    Looking at the guys that I think of off the top of my head that do a lot of Big Ten/PSU games, we've got:
    Wymer - 75
    Oglesby - 72
    Boroski - 81
    Szelc - 74
    Dorsey - 81
    Carstensen - 76
    Scirotto - 84
    Simpson - 34
    Green - 62
    McJunkins - 69

    Looks like Lamont Simpson didn't do a game from 12/9 until 1/15, so I'm guessing he might have been injured or something.

    Too many games to be sharp night after night, IMO.

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    Senior Member BuckyBadger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TommyL View Post
    All of these guys are working too much. A follow-up post I made...
    Looking at the guys that I think of off the top of my head that do a lot of Big Ten/PSU games, we've got:
    Wymer - 75
    Oglesby - 72
    Boroski - 81
    Szelc - 74
    Dorsey - 81
    Carstensen - 76
    Scirotto - 84
    Simpson - 34
    Green - 62
    McJunkins - 69

    Looks like Lamont Simpson didn't do a game from 12/9 until 1/15, so I'm guessing he might have been injured or something.

    Too many games to be sharp night after night, IMO.
    I agree that these officials are working too many games, on the other hand, I believe that the officials you have listed are some of the more highly "regarded" referees available. Maybe, that's why they get the opportunity to do so many games.

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    Super Moderator TommyL's Avatar
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    Best part is that after those posts yesterday, I got to see Pfeifer in person last night at Rutgers. Didn't have a chance to run down to him though and ask him which game he actually did on Sunday (Pomeroy had him listed in two different places, but Ken and I agreed yesterday that he was probably at Purdue and Oakland had some bad data in their box score).

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckyBadger View Post
    I agree that these officials are working too many games, on the other hand, I believe that the officials you have listed are some of the more highly "regarded" referees available. Maybe, that's why they get the opportunity to do so many games.
    Absolutely. The question is, should these top guys also be doing MAAC and Summit games between their major assignments? You don't see top NCAA football refs covering a Pac 12 game on Thursday night, then flying to do a MAC game on Friday night, then heading to the Midwest for their Big Ten assignment on Saturday.

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    Tommy--I know the B1G has agreements with 4 or 5 (or at least some) other conferences where officials can and do work those games, thus creating a kind of "feeder" program to use as a resource to train and develop new officials, somewhat similar to a CBB minor league affiliation for referees