Referee Ted Valentine will not be officiating the NCAA men’s tournament, which he says is retribution for turning his back on UNC’s Joel Berry during a January game in which the point guard wanted to argue a no-call.
The NCAA told Valentine of their decision on Saturday, according to ESPN, who first reported the story. While an NCAA representative would not comment to ESPN about why Valentine was not scheduled for the tournament, Valentine said he was told explicitly that his dickish behavior toward Berry was to blame:
“This is not right, it’s just not fair. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m being punished unjustly... I asked him why? We talked about the Joel Berry situation and how he had a discussion with the Big Ten. But I told him, ‘I fixed the situation.’”
Valentine has traditionally officiated mostly Big Ten games, but he’s done more ACC work in recent years. After the incident with Berry during UNC’s Jan. 3 match-up against Florida State, the Big Ten pulled him off two games that he had originally been scheduled to work. Valentine told ESPN that he’s apologized both to Berry and to UNC coach Roy Williams.
Guess TV Ted will now have to settle for listening on the radio at home.