Guest post: Fans are getting short changed by officiating

Vaught’s note: Keith Peel is a long-time UK fan and, like many others, was frustrated with how Saturday’s game at Texas A&M ended with the technical foul called on Isaac Humphries.


John Calipari said he felt the end of Saturday's game was "sullied" by a technical foul called on Isaac Humphries. (Vicky Graff Photo)

John Calipari said he felt the end of Saturday’s game was “sullied” by a technical foul called on Isaac Humphries. (Vicky Graff Photo)

I think this game was the last straw. Game after game I watch our players and coaches work their tails off only to have incompetent SEC officials blow call after call game after game.

We consistently have two and three players fouls out while the other team generally has no one foul out. Phantom calls, no calls, misinterpretations of the rules, poor “judgement calls” ; all of these consistently have cost us and other teams games this year.

I have watched other SEC games with the same poor officiating. I saw Joe Lindsey give the game to U of L (against Duke) through poor officiating today. I think UK fans need to stand up and register their displeasure with officiating that has been consistently way below the level of play.

These officials call games five, six and seven nights a week. I think we know if officials are calling over 100 games during the season they are not giving their best every night. I have emailed Mitch Barnhart and asked him to step up and give as much effort as the players and coaches.

Maybe he already is, I don’t know. But if not he needs to be in the ear of the SEC head of officials every single day until the SEC gets this situation corrected. Excellece in play deserves excellence in officiating. Currently the fans and players are get short changed.


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  1. To me its at an all time low. Doug Sirmons SUCKS. UK v. So. Carolina was as pathetic of officiating as I can remember. The Kansas game sucked too. Ulis should hold the record for and 1’s this year as he drives in, he gets hit constantly. No calls. Yet the smallest guy on the floor gets hit as he makes the shot , conversely , a big on UK , sneezes against anyone on the other team , it sure seems like the whistles are endless. I don’t have any faith in getting a fair shake. EVER. Makes me wonder about Vegas and odds and points.

  2. I don’t think I have ever been so frustrated watching games as I have this year. It seems like a big bleak dark cloud is hanging over the court with a stripped shirt on each time Kentucky takes the floor. I don’t understand why you can’t protest without being called for a T…of course, you should do it without yelling and swinging your arms.
    I hate to admit it but I find no joy in some of these games. I have detached myself like I did yesterday so I will not swing my arms and scream. I never thought I would feel this way and it is not a good feeling. Ms. Wildcat has left the building.
    Evil Twin sister has taken to hiding because she knows if she were to write anything or to call into a talk show she would be banned for life.
    I know there are new rules, but I don’t think it is the rules that is causing the problem. It is the lack of respect from the refs that is the problem.
    BTW I think Vegas should keep their fat noses out of it, like that is going to happen.
    I’m done, I feel it coming on and I don’t want to make anyone mad, especially Larry.

  3. Grant, its getting pretty obvious about the betting parlor is involved not just in our games ,but across the country. Don’t know you heard this the NCAA is considering holding championships at Vegas sometime in the future.. Go Cats

  4. When the UK Administration finally gets tired of the biased SEC officiating in basketball and our football team getting their brains beat out every Saturday maybe they will favor a move to the ACC where they could compete for a bowl berth every year and play in the BEST basketball conference in the country!

    1. The ACC and SEC have the same number of NCAA champions in the last decade and the SEC has about double the number of final 4 teams. Don’t let the national media convince you that the ACC is the best and the SEC is the worst. It’s just not true.

      I don’t like the way the SEC has done UK. I really don’t like it in fact. But I’d rather see UK go to a different conference where they might get a fair shake. The Big 10 would be a more natural choice. The ACC refs are very much biased toward Duke and UNC. The 3 step shuffle that Grayson did on that winning shot against Maryland should prove that. The ACC would hate UK for living. The Big 10 would love to see a really good basketball team join their ranks even if it means having to play IU in Bloomington again. With conference refs they might get a fair shake there.

  5. I’ve been calling for the Cats to leave the SEC for years now. They don’t even get a break in Rupp. The SEC refs always give the other team a shot to win. Think about it. Who hires the refes? The SEC which is UK and all the rest. Guess how many votes a ref that goes against UK will get for a position as an SEC ref? It’s sick. I don’t know if you guys saw the video I had up for a short time recently showing how Humphries got called for a foul when he made zero contact of any kind then the player he was guarding grabbed his jersey and pulled him away from the ball. And he gets called for a foul. Ulis often gets fouled 3-4 times on one play. No calls. They figure the other team has to be able to slow him down if they want to have any chance of winning so they let them. USC was the worst teams I’ve seen for fouling since national tv started covering SEC games. It was an absolute disgrace. Ulis bounced the ball off the backboard and Lee slams it home and just as soon as he turns to run down the floor that USC thug slams him so hard he nearly rams into Tony Greene. No call.

    Here’s the video I posted again. Watch it quick because I’ll be taking it down soon.

    1. BTW I could post literally hundreds of these bad calls that go against UK. People think I’m exaggerating sometimes. I’m not. I know what I’m seeing. Maybe I’ll post another one or two later this evening.

  6. The call against Hump yesterday made me sick!!! Referees with an obvious agenda— like Adams — have got to be removed from the SEC period.

  7. There is absolutely no public accountability for the referees. The Conference officials retort that they monitor referee performance, but there are never public reports of the monitoring results. Why not? If the monitoring is done, and if the monitoring confirms that the complaints are really due to fan bias, then it would be in the conference and referee’s interests to get those results out in front of a cynical public.

    However, I suspect that there is no real monitoring and review ever performed.

    For example, Oscar Combs tweeted today that the fee for a game is $2,500. I have no idea if that is right or not, but assume it is. That is a lot of money for a day’s travel and 2 hours of court time, don’t you think? Following every game, the NCAA should review every call, no call, for each official in each NCAA game. The results should be reported to the public on a weekly basis. At the beginning, I am not concerned that this review assign a grade or judgement , but as the data is compiled, and given scrutiny, the meaning of the data will become clear to fans. Eventually, this data will build to support a grading system.

    Official should be compensated based on their grades. The great ones deserve to be paid big bucks, and must maintain their elite status with grades to maintain their high pay grade. Officials with below average grades should get low compensation. Only the highly ranked, highly paid officials should be assigned to any game involving a top 50 team, or a top 25 team. and AD’s should have the authoirity and power to veto any official for any game involving his school if the official’s grade is below average.

    This will weed them out. This will expose the poor ones. This will expose those who display bias in the way they officiate over a game.

    It is time for officials to be accountable to the public, to the fans.

    1. We could try to start a fan based review of refs on our own. The hardware needed to load video onto a computer is available. It’s a bit tricky to get it to work these days but I know how to do it. I would be glad to do my part including teaching others to be able to load video onto the net and I could do my part reviewing the refs also. It would be a LOT of work though. But it should start somewhere. Why not here? There are lot of UK fans around. If we get a bunch of them involved the work load gets spread out a great deal.

  8. What doesn’t brake You….Will make you Stronger ! …. Coach Cal, get thrown out in S. Carolina…Humphries get T’d up and it cost Kentucky the Game. The Players stood Strong for Coach Cal and Coach Cal is now stand strong for Our Players. ” We truly have a Team on a Mission, IMO…Injuries, fouls, technicals, ” Bring It ” The KENTUCKY BASKETBALL TEAM and BBN are swarming…There’s a Storm Coming, and UK will benefit from these blatant bias’s…

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