Category: Sideline Slants

You get what you pay for in basketball

Universities spend millions of dollars to succeed in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. But according to an American City Busi­ness Journals report, spending can vary widely from one team to another. For example, the school with the highest men’s basketball expenses for the 2013-14 season was the University of Louisville, this year a No. 4 seed, which spent about $16.4 […]

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Court-storming a tricky debate

When I officiated basketball, I can recall being caught in a court-storming situation by fans at high school games. I don’t recall it as being particularly scary, although I had to weave my way off the court to the safety of the dressing room. By and large, the students rushing the court were oblivious to my presence. They ran onto […]

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The sun still shines in Lawrence

When Wichita State beat Kansas in the NCAA Basketball Tournament, I was happy. After working at WSU for more than 28 years in news and media relations, it was nice to get to play KU and win. But don’t expect me to gloat. It’s one game. Granted, it was a big game because it came during March Mad­ness, but it’s […]

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Odd bracket strategies you might consider

Filling out a March Madness bracket is easy. But making all correct picks is as likely as basketball officials calling a perfect game and teams making every free throw. According to Smithson­ian.com, the odds of filling out a perfect NCAA basketball bracket are one in 9.2 quintillion. You’re more likely to die an excruciating death by vending machine, become president, […]

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Things I wish I had done as an official

If I had a mulligan on my basketball officiating avocation, here are some things I’d like to do differently. The most obvious do-over would be making all the right calls. But I never had a perfect game and it was becoming more and more obvious, even to me, that it was never going to happen in my lifetime. Consider that […]

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Insanity here, there, everywhere

Let me apologize in advance to any sane coaches who may be reading this column. But then, if you are as sane as you claim, why are you reading this column? When I officiated basketball, officials often joked that coaches are temporarily insane during games. Of course, most coaches are reasonable, rational and all-around good people before and after games, […]

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When a catch is not really a catch

Whenever there’s a play in a major sporting event that is controversial, it’s inevitable that rule makers will be asked to consider changes. It happened again recently in the NFL playoff game won by Green Bay against Dallas. Dez Bryant apparently caught a long fourth-down pass, which would have given Dallas a first-and-goal from inside the Green Bay one-yard line. […]

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Football, football and more football

The college football season has finally ended and the Super Bowl is just around the corner. Here are some tidbits that you may find interesting about football. • Watching college football on TV became virtually impossible by mid-December without access to ESPN. Out of 39 bowl games, I counted only four that were on network TV. Is that a good […]

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Every important game needs its own trophy, right?

College football provides an endless supply of entertainment, and I’m not just talking about the games. No, I’m referring to some of the bizarre trophies attached to games played in the regular season. The University of Minnesota may have the best stories associated with its three, now four, trophy games. I only know this because I have a cousin who […]

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Tabor football season good, but falls short of expectations

Let’s be clear. The final record for Tabor College football was disappointing. Expecta­tions were high, with many picking them to win the KCAC. Let’s also be very clear that while the Bluejays fell short of expectations, it wasn’t completely unexpected. Injuries always play an important role in how successful a team will be. Injuries to key positions such as quarterback […]

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