Yesterday, NCAA head of basketball officiating John Adams went on the radio and explained why officials failed to overturn an incorrect blown out-of-bounds call late during the NCAA title game: they never saw the crucial replay that showed a Duke player touching the ball last. But today Adams was contradicted by NCAA vice president of the men’s basketball championship Dan Gavitt in an interview with ESPN:
“Unfortunately, John misspoke yesterday,” Gavitt told ESPN.com after his OTL appearance. “The officials did indeed have the camera angle that was shown on the CBS broadcast. It was the last angle they did see. They likely did not stay long enough with a review to see that angle magnified. But they made their determination based on the two-minute review and the camera angle that was shown on CBS and with that determined that there wasn’t indisputable evidence to overturn the call. You need to have indisputable evidence by rule to change the call. The facts are they did have the angle the viewers had.”
It is understandable to wonder “who cares?” at this point, as the NCAA obviously isn’t going to order a replay of the final three minutes of the game or anything like that. But the squabble is interesting in that it reveals a real dispute between the NCAA and its officials. Adams implied yesterday that the replay review system the NCAA implemented was subpar, whereas Gavitt insisted that the NCAA’s system worked properly and that the blown call was a referee error. No matter who is actually right, the relationship between the NCAA and its officials is clearly strained.