Stansbury unhappy rule not enforced

Mississippi State Rick Stansbury charged referees with missing a critical call at the end of regulation that helped Kentucky win the Southeastern Conference Tournament championship on Sunday.
When Eric Bledsoe intentionally missed a free throw with 4.6 seconds to go in regulation, two UK teammates violated the rule that requires all players not lined up along the lane to remain behind the three-point and free throw lines extended until the foul shot hits the rim.
Still photography and a video appeared on the Internet clearly showing John Wall well inside those lines while Bledsoe’s shot is several feet from the basket.
No call was made. Wall chased down Bledsoe’s intentional miss in the right corner, dribbled and took a three-point air ball that teammate DeMarcus Cousins laid at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
UK won 75-74 in overtime to win the championship and dash Mississippi State’s hopes of receiving a NCAA Tournament bid.
“It’s not a judgment call,” Stansbury said. “And I do think there’s a little bit at stake if the correct call is made.”
Gerald Boudreaux, the supervisor of SEC officials, and the NCAA rulebook support Stansbury’s contention that referees Tom Eades, Joe Lindsay and Ted Valentine did not correctly call the violation.
On Page 115 of the NCAA rulebook, Rule 9 of Section 1G states that “Players not in legally marked lane spaces shall remain behind the free throw line extended and behind the three-point line till the ball strikes the rim. . . .”
The video also shows State’s Dee Bost and UK’s Darius Miller improperly crossing the three-point and free-throw lines.
If the referees had called a double violation, the play would have been whistled dead and the ball awarded according to the possession arrow.
Besides no judgment required to call a clear violation, what irked Stansbury was that the mistake came in a free-throw situation, not in the chaotic swirl of game action.
When it was suggested that calling the violation would have been a gutsy move for a referee, Stansbury said, “What’s their job? Their job is to get it right.”
In the regular season, Mississippi State to Kentucky in overtime that that saw 10 calls made against the Bulldogs and none against UK in the game’s final eight minutes. Stansbury said his anger over the non-call in the SEC Tournament was unrelated to the game in Starkville last month.
“The first game, I put behind me,” he said. “I’m not a guy who cries over spilled milk very often. I never said one thing about (the game in Starkville). I moved on. We took the loss and moved on.
“This was a hard pill to swallow because this was not a judgment call.”
Stansbury, a native of Battletown, Ky., said he did not meant to detract from Kentucky.
“Hey, congratulations to Kentucky,” he said. “This isn’t about Kentucky. They had a great season. This is about doing the right thing. Doing the right thing.”
Losing two overtime games to the SEC’s flagship program in which controversial officiating played a part both times led Stansbury to suggest a double standard exists that favors Kentucky.
“I’ve been at this a long time,” the State coach said, “and one thing I’ve learned: At Mississippi State, you’re supposed to take it and be quiet I had a hard time swallowing this pill because so much was at stake and my players were affected.
“When does the truth matter?”


#1 Wheatgerm on 03.16.10 at 12:31 am

What did he do, go over the game film to find something to complain about? No game is called perfectly. No one noticed this arcane point, not the refs, not the announcers, not the sportswriters, not Stansbury himself. The lack of a whistle had no impact on the outcome, as Wall missed his shot badly. No, that’s not why MSU lost, but maybe it makes him feel better to blame something. In the first meeting, the refs called only 1 foul in the final 3+ minutes of regulation, a charging foul on MSU that did not result in free throws for UK. The refs weren’t to blame for MSU blowing that lead either, as DeVoe and Wimp stated after the game. In OT, MSU was forced to foul repeatedly in the final two minutes because they were behind and couldn’t let UK run clock. Happens in every close game. Every one. It’s certainly no evidence the refs were favoring the team that was ahead. Stop taking the stat out of context! But no, sportswriters and fans love a controversy, even if they have to manufacture one.

#2 Jack on 03.16.10 at 2:25 pm

If the shoes were reversed, I’d be ticked off. This isn’t a manufacturered controversy. UK fans still complaint about Laetner being left in the game following the stomp. So let the guy vent. His team lost – and had this call been correctly made they would have won and be in the tourney. I’d complain too.

#3 Jim Braun on 03.16.10 at 5:32 pm

Stansbury has a right to be angry about Miss State not getting a bid while Florida did. They should be dancing. Other than that – when you have to wait two days after looking over film to discover an improper call was made and then rationalize that call as a game changer, even though one of the Missippi State player also was envolved in the no call, then you are a simply a complainer.

#4 Sarah on 03.16.10 at 9:49 pm

I want to know why he wasn’t assessed a technical for being way out of the coaches box and on the floor. He was warned more than once. I understand it is a technical if he continues.