The Mid-American Conference gave its resolution to the Eastern Michigan-Ball State double overtime ending Sunday afternoon by suspending two of the three referees involved for two games and banning them from MAC post-season play.
The play in question came at the end of the second overtime period and the referees clearly missed multiple foul calls and a traveling call that allowed Ball State to steal the ball and pass it out for a game-winning three point shot.
"The final play of the game was not handled appropriately by several officials and unfortunately took away from what was a highly competitive and entertaining game for the competing students and fans," MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said. "I along with our membership have higher expectations and as a result have directed our coordinator of men's basketball officials to take appropriate disciplinary action, including multiple-game suspensions.”
The MAC made its punishment for the referees but the question in play is, does this really solve anything?
Ball State still has the win.
Eastern Michigan still has the loss.
“You don’t blame the game on officials,” Murphy said. “But in my 20 years of coaching, that’s the worst ignored call or sequence I’ve ever seen. Those guys did a bad job throughout the game, but in particularly on that play.”
This isn’t the first time in recent history that collegiate officials have missed calls that might have changed the outcome of a game.
On Oct. 31, the University of Miami and Duke University met in football and on the final play of the game, officials made a total of four errors during the final play according to an ACC press release.
The officials in this case were also handed a two-game suspension.
Earlier this month, in a Division II women’s basketball matchup between the University of Sioux Falls and Winona State University, USF hit a game winning three point shot and fans rushed the court immediately after. Officials determined that there was still .4 second left on the clock and Winona State coach Scott Ballard convinced the officials to call a technical foul on the fans for rushing the court. This gave Winona State two free throws which changed the outcome of the game.
The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference issued a statement that the rule was misapplied to the situation and cost USF the game.
The statement also said that, “it is important to state that overturning the result of the game cannot and will not be considered.”
The referees from this game were suspended four games and are ineligible to officiate in the 2016 NSIC postseason.
In all three of these cases the games results were not overturned.
For Eastern Michigan, it is still early in the MAC season but, at this point, it is hard to know how this loss could affect their season and MAC tournament seeding.
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