Guest post: Twitter comment led to UK fan getting a lot of unfavorable responses

Jay Bilas (Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)

Vaught’s Note: Janet Overstreet is a long-time UK basketball fan and grew up playing pick-up basketball with the boys because there was no girls basketball. She went to three UK games this year, including Senior Night, has already checked on 2018 NCAA sites and watched future Cats play in the McDonald’s All-American Game Wednesday. I asked her to share a Twitter experience she had this week — and she agreed.


Many of you are like me and enjoy being on social media to interact with others, especially about our UK sports teams. 

I think we are all in agreement that the last men’s basketball game had some very questionable calls from maybe one specific referee.  Several fans of the BBN were either angry enough or emotional enough after the loss to take matters into their own hands and made calls to this particular referee’s business leaving messages and also left unflattering reviews on his Facebook page. 

It could be said that some fans took it a little too far with their messaging.  Let me just say, if there were threats or inappropriate harassment, then I cannot condone or agree with those type activites. 

So when ESPN sports analyst Jay Bilas made a comment on Twitter (“We can all complain over bad calls, but this is wrong. Threatening behavior toward officials should be condemned.”), naturally I took to Twitter to respond. 

My tweet was “I don’t condone or agree with this type of behavior. However, it was more than ‘bad calls’ that lead to the outrage.” 

His reply back was “Whatever you are talking about, it is no excuse. This type of behavior should be condemned. Period.” 

Since he has a lot more Twitter followers than me, I started getting all kinds of tweets from his followers, especially those who are specifically not UK fans.  Even though I had went further to say, not as an excuse but just to try and explain some of the emotion, that we have a disputable and controversial history with this referee and felt he would not be fair.  His calls in the game followed that same pattern. 

However, most of those on Twitter that chose to comment didn’t care the reason. They just wanted to gloat because they felt I was being put in my place by this sports analyst or they wanted to offer biting comments about the perceived excuse I was offering. 

This was not a pleasant Twitter experience for me. However, I will not let it deter me in the future if I have something to say.  I did learn this — if you are going to comment on a social media site you should choose your words very carefully.


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  1. Good for you, but Bilas and many many other sports journalists have their narrative that controls all they say and write. This is but one recent example of that bias playing out before your eyes.

    You are right that this issue is not even close to being about a handful of officiating calls in this single game, although those events are what triggered this current outrage. The real culprit here is the NCAA, and John Higgins is merely a symptom, are really ugly symptom of the underlying cancer, the NCAA. There is, and has been for decades, an anti UK agenda within the NCAA while at the same time a pro, as in promote and protect, agenda toward certain other programs, notably Duke and North Carolina, neither of which can do no wrong in the eyes of the NCAA. Enough examples exist to make these points, but you will never ever hear these points made by any of the media.

    North Carolina engaged in decades of academic fraud to keep its athletes eligible to compete. The evidence of this is overwhelming. Yet, the NCAA has taken a complete pass on this entire scandal, and will never impose any real penalty on UNC.

  2. No it is not. The culprit is actually anybody who thinks it’s acceptable to harass or threaten anybody about the outcome of a game.

    This has nothing to do with the NCAA and it surely has nothing to do with North Carolina. It has everything to do with the poor behavior of a group of University of Kentucky fans, and it’s time to stop making excuses for them.

    1. It is time to put the UNC on probation for cheating too hoss. That is what this has to do with the NCAA and UNC. If the NCAA would do it’s job on the “fake classes” scandal, UNC wouldn’t even have been in this tournament, more than likely, and we wouldn’t be in this discussion As for this particular ref, check out his record on UK games he has officiated, and you will find there has been a pattern of questionable calls against UK in games they lost. Anybody who watched the game Sunday against the cheating “Tarheelsl” particularly the first half, and knows anything about basketball, can see he made some terrible calls that had four UK starters in foul trouble and on the bench early, our “big gun” too. That had a huge impact of that game. As for threats, there are some rabid UK fans that expressed themselves in the wrong way, no doubt, but much of that was just hot air, everybody knows that. Bilas is a “Dukie” and he merely blows UK fake kisses. He has no real respect for Kentucky basketball truth be known, or UK fans. Has he ever commented on the UNC cheating scandal, maybe so, but I have not heard it.

  3. John Higgins has been, and remains a real problem for college basketball. However, the integrity of the NCAA itself is the big elephant in the room. Their obvious protection of certain favored programs, and their hard line with other unfavored programs and coaches is renowned.Why is it that he appears in so many critical UK games? Why is it that his “work” seems to always have so much questionable incidents? The NCAA should be required to answer these and many other questions.

    Nowhere do I see an indication that Ms. Overstreet threatened, or threatened to threaten anyone. She simply was expressing her displeasure with the way Sunday’s game was officiating, and pointing out some of the issues that have swirled around John Higgins for years. This is not just at UK, ask KU fans about their experience with this guy.

    Finally, I have never threatened Mr. Higgins or anyone else, but I can tell you I have been accused of that and worse over the years. Many of those accusations, without any basis, have come from those who have had close ties to this program, and prominent talking heads. However, something smells rotten here, and there should be a full, independent investigation into Mr. Higgins’ work as a NCAA college basketball referee immediately.

  4. Anyone with any doubt about the veracity of the claims against this jerk should check out the video on this page:

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