Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

It's rare that a free throw attempt is delayed for five minutes, but it happened tonight in El Paso as the Conference USA semifinal between Southern Mississippi and Louisiana Tech forced officials to review footage of what was, essentially, a prank.

Midway through the second half as Tech's Jaron Johnson stood at the line shooting two, USM's Michael Craig tapped the back of the Bulldogs' Kenneth "Speedy" Smith's knee. Smith went down like the victim of sniper fire, and as the Golden Eagles headed back with the assumption a lane violation occurred, Smith pled his case to officials.


You can see what they saw above. Yes, Craig taps Smith—but players jostle far more violently during half of the free throws you see. Maybe Smith would have fallen down from the tap, but gravity certainly didn't make him do it so dramatically. Officials should have simply waved the attempt off and reset everybody for Johnson's free throw attempt. Instead they issued Craig a Flagrant 1—his fourth personal foul—and turned what had been one point for Louisiana Tech into five. [CBSSN]

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