Monday, February 18, 2013

NCAA: Discipline After Correct Call, Incorrect Administration

Following Sunday night's Wichita St-Illinois State NCAA men's basketball game, officials David Hall, Gerry Pollard and Paul Janssen were disciplined by the Missouri Valley Conference for what the MVC has determined was an incorrect penalty administration.

With 49 seconds remaining in the 2nd half of the contest, Illinois State forward Jackie Carmichael attempted to claim a defensive rebound, jumping to secure the basketball before a Wichita State foul at 41.2 seconds (0:40 per play-by-play score sheet) stopped play.

Following the officiating crew's use of instant replay review, Carmichael was assessed a flagrant 1 foul after it was determined that Carmichael's kick to Shockers guard Tekele Cotton's upper torso, head and/or neck area while Cotton stood in front of the end line was excessive and/or unnecessary (restricted area does not apply).

NCAA Rule 4-29-c specifies a flagrant 1 foul includes "a personal foul that is deemed excessive in nature and/or unnecessary, but not based solely on the severity of the act." Included under the flagrant 1 category are provisions (1) excessive contact with an opponent while playing the ball and (6) illegal contact with an elbow that occurs above the shoulders of an opponent when the elbows are not swung excessively.

Rule 2-3 ("Elastic Power") grants the referee the authority to make decisions on any points not specifically covered in the rules. Pursuant to this Rule, referee Hall was well within his right to deem Carmichael's foot-based contact a flagrant 1 personal foul pursuant to the terms of 4-29-c-1 or 4-29-c-6 or under any other provision of 4-29-c, as a kick to and through (be it the chest area or upward) may be properly interpreted as excessive and/or unnecessary.

Rule 2-13-2-d authorizes officials to initiate instant replay review in order to determine whether a flagrant 2 personal or contact technical foul has occurred if (a) there is a foul called for contact [did not occur] or (b) a coach requests the official to review whether such a foul occurred [basis for present case].

This procedure shall be used during the first dead ball after the clock was stopped, which did occur.

Rule 2-13-d-3 was then correctly applied, "The infraction(s) should be penalized and play shall be resumed...[at] stoppage of play." In other words, officials should have awarded Wichita State (offended team) two free throws and continued by awarding the ball to Wichita State at the stoppage of play (following Illinois State's bonus free throws). Under no circumstance was Wichita State to receive the ball in lieu of Illinois State's bonus free throws and officials correctly effected this procedure.

Illinois State's Johnny Hill was accordingly awarded his bonus first and successfully converted both attempts.

Following Hill's free throws with the lane cleared and perhaps as a result of the confusion in enforcing a retroactively reviewed and assessed flagrant foul which chronologically took place before a foul which produced free throws (both teams were in the bonus), free throw shooter Cotton became lost in the shuffle.

This is where the crew erred and instead, free throws were inaccurately awarded to Cotton's teammate Cleanthony Early, who successfully converted both free throws, a correctable error pursuant to Rule 2-12-1-c (permitting a wrong player to attempt a free throw). Unfortunately, this error was not recognized nor rectified.

Wichita State was then improperly awarded possessesion of the basketball on their end line (the proper in bounds location should have been "where the stoppage of play occurred to review the flagrant act"; 2-13-d-3). Regardless, Wichita State inbounded the ball into their backcourt, making this placement error moot.

Following Early's two scores, Illinois State led, 67-62. Wichita State ultimately won the contest, 68-67.

Lastly for those pondering possible nefarious conduct on the part of Wichita State in Early's free throw attempts, Rule 10-6-1-c specifies a Class B technical foul shall be called when a player "knowingly attempts a free throw to which he is not entitled." It is not clear whether Early possessed this definitive knowledge when he accepted the free throws.

In sanctioning the officiating crew (undisclosed punishment), the MVC confirmed its penalties were for allowing an improper player to attempt free throws and not because of a judgment call.

Wrap: Wichita State Shockers vs. Illinois State Redbirds, 2/17/13
Video: Video replay used to rule a flagrant 1 foul while ESPNU broadcaster declares, "there's no 'size 16' rule"
News: Refs Disciplined Following Carmichael Kick (WIBW)


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