Opinion: Refs steal spotlight

Head sports reporter Arman Kafai shares his frustrations

When you watch a game of basketball, you look for the stars. The LeBron James, the Steph Curry, the true superstars on the court. We all eye their every move, watching them hit jumpers and dunk with ease.

At times, we forget that refs are an important part of the game. They’re not the most important people on the court, but they’re still up there.

Sometimes we’ll even see a ref attempt to be a star of a game. And that’s what we saw on Friday in the 67-64 loss to Frisco.

In a tightly contested game, Carter Brown looked to tie the game at 66 with his bucket, after the team was down by eight points earlier in the 4th quarter. However, in a game that had emotions running high, a referee decided to determine the outcome.

Calling a charge on the drive, the basket was waved off, helping Frisco seal the game. Fan videos showed the defender sliding underneath and not set, which should’ve been called a block.

Instead of us talking about a player’s attempt to salvage anything from a dire situation, we’re talking about a ref who wanted to be the center of attention in the game. It seemed that way throughout the game, from the stare the ref gave the student section, to an overwhelming number of calls on the Redhawks at critical junctures.

We see it in the NBA all the time. Joey Crawford, who’s been in the league for over 39 years, is the most notable. Crawford is notorious for giving technicals out in cases where they weren’t even needed. His famous one was on Tim Duncan, throwing him out when he was laughing from the bench.

It was a call that you could’ve made in a normal situation, in the 1st or early 2nd half. But at that time, you can’t make that call.

But Arman, who says that the way a ref calls a game should be changed in the latter stages?

Well, look at this. The rules of the game change in the last two minutes, allowing for rules for certain fouls and the foul penalty to be altered, changing the foul limits for a team in order for the opponent to shoot free throws.

It also is the time where it’s the player’s time to shine. The stars on the court are players. That’s why people come to games.

A game should not be determined by a call. At best, they shouldn’t have called anything, letting the game go into overtime, and have the players decide the outcome of the game.
But now we’re talking about this poor, poor call. We appreciate you refs, but please know the role you play, and don’t determine the outcome of a game. That’s the player’s job.