Look What He's Up To Now (and Other Ref Talk)

A sad continuation of the Tim Donaghy story...  ESPN.com is reporting that his wife is seeking a restraining order, accusing her husband of hitting the children and threatening her.  Of course it's alleged at this point, but still I think we can say that it's a good reminder that not every ref walks in lily fields and sings songs from "Annie".  I believe most of these guys really do try to do their job well, just like any of us would.  Some of them, though, just do not belong anywhere near a position of authority.  There's an old maxim that two types of people get into positions of authority:  those who merit it and those who seek it.  They're not always--maybe even not usually--the same thing.

On a semi-tangent: It disturbs me sometimes how refs are able to interact with the players and coaches.  I believe officials should be able to talk to people and interact with them right up and until the point where that interaction involves anger or argument.  At that point there should be two options:  the ref calls a technical which is traceable and recordable or the ref shuts up.  Any baiting, arguing, or yelling at a player or coach should be grounds for discipline.  At that point the only way to exercise authority and/or bias in a negative way would be with the whistle.  I assume the league already traces fouls and technicals for each official and graphs them on a year-to-year basis.  Deviation from the norm should be easy to ascertain.  Also the controlling nut-jobs wouldn't be able to get the same satisfaction from the job.  I propose calling this the "Blow It or Stow It" rule.  Technically some version of this is probably already in place but I think it needs to be enforced pretty strictly.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)

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