ISU's Jackie Carmichael worked for a shot. (WJBC photo/B Corbin)
By Bryan Bloodworth
An impromptu survey of Missouri Valley Conference basketball coaches indicated the majority of them view the use of video replay as a necessary evil.
They favor replays if they help officials make the right call, but they also think they disrupt the flow of the game too often.
“Anything that helps officials get (a call) 100 percent right, then I’m all for it,” said Indiana State coach Greg Lansing during the league’s teleconference call Monday.
“The most important thing is that the officials get the call right,” echoed Creighton’s Greg McDermott. “And if replay allows them to get the call right, then I like it.”
Replays have become more and more prevalent in all sports - and in some cases, like Illinois State’s 68-67 loss Sunday to Wichita State - an issue.
ISU’s Jackie Carmichael was whistled for a flagrant foul, which carries an automatic technical foul with it, when he crashed the boards for a rebound and, in the process, inadvertently kicked Wichita State’s Tekele Cotton in the chest while coming down with the ball.
Video clearly shows official Paul Janssen watching the play and making no call. He watched as Carmichael passed the ball to Johnny Hill, who was fouled at mid-court with 40 seconds to play.
It was then that Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall asked Janssen to look at the play on the TV monitor. At that point, the officials huddled and ruled Carmichael had kicked Cotton and was given the flagrant foul.
“I didn’t know really what it was, but I knew there was a kick,” Marshall was quoted in the Wichita Eagle newspaper. “He’s coming out of the air, and Cotton’s there, and the foot goes to the face area. I’m glad they made the call.”
ISU coach Dan Muller was told by the officials it was a judgment call and “basically made because they determined Jackie looked and kicked Cotton in the chest while coming down with the rebound and they determined that it was an intentional act that was a flagrant one.”
Muller was not surprised officials reviewed the replay after Marshall’s request because coaches are allowed that opportunity, but he admitted he was surprised they did “because I didn’t think anything happened.”
Muller said he will seek clarification regarding the rule from the league office “because I want to make sure I know exactly what’s going on going forward, so I’m ready in those situations as much as anyone.”
The first-year ISU coach isn’t alone. All the Valley coaches admitted they don’t really understand all the rules in terms of when officials can use replays and when they can’t. They trust the officials to get things right.
“It’s unfortunate that there are certain things the rule book does not allow for in replays,” said McDermott. “I don’t understand the rule book enough to know when they are allowed to go to the rule book and not.
“But that was a veteran officiating crew on that game so you would assume, at least I’m confident, that they would know what they were doing. Some of the rules that have been put into place – certainly the flagrant fouls – have changed the game.
“They’ve had an impact on a lot of games throughout college basketball during the course of the season and replays are part of that. It takes a judgment call out of the referee’s hands. They can go to the monitor and see what actually happened.
“I’m not saying I like that rule because I don’t, And we as coaches have to get that changed because the intent was to make sure there are not intentional, flagrant sweeping of the elbows where it’s clear that someone is intentionally trying to size somebody up and let them have it.”
Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson watched the game on TV and his take was that Carmichael went up to get the rebound, then kicked his legs out.
“But I don’t think he kicked them out intentionally or to hurt anybody,” said Hinson. “But the way it happened and the result of what happened, then it becomes a judgment call and a ruling.
“You had three great officials. They had a judgment call and they made it. It happened to be a very, very big call, but all of this is part of the game. I’m a believer in the video replays because the game has gotten so much faster and the players are so much bigger and more physical.”
Drake coach Mark Phelps agreed saying, “You like to get it right and if the replay helps the officials get it right, then it’s good,” said Phelps. ‘But stopping the game certainly disrupts the rhythm.”
Northern Iowa coach Ben Jacobson thinks replays have taken away from the game.
“Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of the replay whether it’s college basketball or any sport,” he added. “I understand the day and age we live in and the availability of it and why we use it, but I think we end up going to it so often that it interrupts the flow of the game.”
Bradley coach Geno Ford isn’t a fan either.
“It breaks the flow of the game,” said Ford. “I think the officials, a vast majority of the amount, get the calls correct. There is part of the game that is human error by the players, coaches and officials.”
Bryan Bloodworth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org