Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Stanford-Cal Fight: NCAA Rule Restricts Bench Personnel

Officials Mike Scyphers (crew chief; referee), Tony Padilla (umpire 1) and Tommy Nunez (umpire 2) ejected Stanford guard Gabriel Harris, Cal forward Richard Solomon, Stanford assistant coaches Charles Payne and Mark Madsen and Cal assistant coach Gregg Gottlieb for leaving the bench area and entering the playing court during a fight in the second half of the Stanford-Cal game. With 5:04 remaining in the second period, a loose ball on the ground led to a held ball situation and skirmish, resulting in the declaration of a fighting situation. Stanford's Chasson Randle, Dwight Powell and Aaron Bright, and Cal's Allen Crabbe, Justin Cobbs and Tyrone Wallace were all charged with personal fouls for their roles during the play. At the time of the ejections, Stanford was leading, 72-53. Stanford ultimately won the contest, 83-70.

With broadcasters and fans alike wondering why assistant coaches—who were presumably on the court to separate combatants—officials Mike Scyphers, Tony Padilla and Tommy Nunez correctly assessed the fabled "leaving the bench" penalties, not withstanding actions of players on the court at the time of the brawl.

Pursuant to NCAA Rule 10-6-2-j and 10-6-2-EJECTION, "any individual who leaves the bench area and enters the playing court but does not participate in a fight (Art. 2.j.) ... shall be ejected but is not subject to suspension." The exception to EJECTION is embodied within 10-6-2-j, and states, "the head coach may leave the bench area in this case to prevent the situation from escalating." Bench personnel—including assistants, substitutes and trainers—are not authorized to leave the bench for any reason during a fight.

Accordingly, head coaches Johnny Dawkins (Stanford) and Mike Montgomery (Cal) were not penalized.

Complicating matters, the UC Berkeley public address erroneously made the announcement, "the entire Stanford assistant coaching staff has been ejected" (instead, only Payne and Madsen were penalized).

Trivia: Several personnel involved have NBA connections. Stanford AC Mark Madsen is a former Laker & Timberwolf while Tommy Nunez is a former NBA referee. Gottlieb is CBS personality Doug Gottlieb's brother.

Wrap: Stanford Cardinal at California (Berkeley) Golden Bears (Pac-12 Conference Game), 3/6/13
Video: Held ball with 5:04 left to play turns into shoving match and a "handful" of ejections (ESPN)


Lindsay said...

I don't know if it's time for a rule change or anything, but I'd hope for the sake of NCAA ball, the powers that be use some common sense when it comes to peacemaker assistant coaches who probably just saved a bunch of kids from nasty multiple game suspensions had the fight escalated even further.

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