Objectivity and Fairness

It really isn’t too much to ask. But apparently it isn’t going to be that way in this conference. Yes, BYU plays hard and does the best they can but until there is some consistent objectivity and fairness in the way a game is called, BYU will not win many more games. Honestly, they are lucky to be 2-4 now and tied for next to last in the league. They still have not played either Kansas team, either Oklahoma team, Texas and a decent West Virginia team yet. Thank goodness they get two shots at Oklahoma State… but if the Cowboys take the ball to the basket they will shoot twice as many free throws, regardless of what else happens, and have a better than 50-50 shot at beating BYU. BYU is tied for next to last with Cincinatti and were drilled by them at home.

Once again, the quality of basketball is high and the games are fun to watch, I just would like to see BYU get their fair share of whistles when they get elbowed in the face playing good defense or run into a player that steps in front of them after passing the ball to get their fourth foul early in the second half of a winnable game (Dallin Hall). I’m not expecting to get any calls on drives to the basket, even if BYU gets knocked to the ground, but I would like to see the obvious ones and the ones that are similarly called for their opponents get called for BYU as well. It happened in the Iowa State game and we saw what the result was. BYU was fortunate vs. UCF because the other team missed a lot of easy shots and free throws. Houston was only whistled for 5 fouls in the second half tonite and that spells loss no matter how well you play. When there are a handful of obvious fouls that don’t get called and your opponent spends the most important minutes of a close game (at the end), shooting free throws, you aren’t going to win, plain and simple. In fact your chances, regardless of being tied with a minute and a half to go are slim and none.

BYU has not been on the favorable side of any of the officiating so far in this league and the fact that they don’t drive to the basket and draw fouls is kind of beside the point. Those aren’t the fouls that I am looking for because they don’t get those calls regardless. In fact I am fine with all the marginal drive to the basket calls that opponents get. The ones I want is when BYU plays good defense and still gets called for fouls and other similar calls that their opponents don’t get called for, the off ball stuff, the grabs and holds, etc. Then, if they lose the game, there is no pointing fingers at officials. Until a game is officiated with objectivity and fairness, I will point every time.

Here we go Cougars, NIT final four hopefully… if they even have a NIT tourney…

Lastly, the quality of basketball in the Big 12 is obviously very high. Compare that with the quality of basketball in the WCC and the type of basketball that is played. Do WCC teams play physical, drive to the basket to get calls, etc? No, not really, but if you look at the results in both conferences, is it that much different for BYU? Not really. They are not looked at in a favorable light, regardless of the reasons, by officials. It’s just how it is, agree with me or not, I don’t care.


Why should referees play BYU as a favorite? What’s this favorable stuff and life has to be fair? When you shoot 40 3s to Houston’s 20, you aren’t going to get fouls called on Houston or any other team in any league. You have slim chance of getting a foul called on your behalf when not being aggressive. BYU knows what the refs are looking for (Jim, you don’t) but we are not willing to change our offense to accommodate what the refs are looking for.

Looking at the stats tonight, we took 58 shots. 39 of them 3s. So, we went inside the 3 line only 19 times. Most of our shots were running floaters and not even a decent jump shot. We rarely go straight and hard to the basket and rarely above the other team to get fouls called. Now, Houston shoots 60 shots and only 20 3s. That means they had 40 in the lane and played above us easy to see fouls for the refs. Are you getting the picture?

If we keep playing this soft offense we are rarely in position to get a foul called against the defense. Seems like the other teams are taught how to drive and create a foul. We aren’t. We will live by the 3 and die by the 3. 29% will lose ballgames. Had Knell hit that 3 when the game was tied 65-65, the outcome of the game may have been a win. But between Knell, Robinson and Johnson, they were like 4 for 24. The good shooters have to be at least 10-24 to win in this league.

I will be honest; I do not agree with a lot of what you are saying in past posts.

This post however is different, it actually points to one of the reasons that we have for FT disparity in the BIG12.

I went back and looked at the number of 3 pointers made/Taken each team that BYU played in the BIG-12. Here is the results:

BYU 3pt 13 of 46
Cincy 3pt 6 of 15

BYU 3pt 26 of 53
Baylor 3pt 10 of 23

BYU 3pt 9 of 26
UCF 3pt 3 of 18

BYU 3pt 13 of 35
Iowa State 3pt 4 of 14

BYU 3pt 13 of 39
Texas Tech 3pt 10 of 19

BYU 3pt 11 of 38
Houston 3pt 10 of 23

For a total of 237 attempted 3 pointers of which 85 were made.

They average of 39.5 attempts per game.
They average of 14.16 made per game.

With a shooting percentage of 35.86% for the 6 games played.

It is kind of hard to call fouls when the majority of the shots are beyond the Arch.

So far this season BYU has shown an inability to win close games. Down the stretch in conference games when they are right there with a chance to win they are not hitting the shots and the other team is pulling away at the end. They have a lot of good players but lack that guy you can go to at the end to hit the big shot. Somebody needs to step up if they have anybody who can. Maybe it is Adams if he ever gets healthy enough to play, however, he is a freshman and freshmen rarely play that role unless it is toward the end of a season where they have played regularly all year.

The one close game in conference BYU won against UCF they didn’t really close it out they just held on because UCF couldn’t get over the hump after making a big comeback.

BYU may not be getting the calls they should ar times but even so they are not hitting the clutch shots when they need them.

They don’t get calls because the majority of their shots are beyond the 3-point arch.
They don’t drive to the basket enough to get calls.

But you are right that for whatever reason the "go to " guy who I thought was Johnson, has not stepped up and took over to win these close games.

I know they have had a slew of injuries, could that be the cause of losing close games?

Take a look at Knell’s 3. With the game tied and a minute left. Wide open at the top of the key. His shot went long. Look at his body in motion. Leans way in folding at the waist. He may have heard footsteps behind him. But he did not go up with feet under him and it went long. Saunders follows wide left as shoulders not square. Then, look at Houston shooters. Perfect form down the stretch. How about the floaters. We are out of body control and toss it. They actually guide theirs in. Down the stretch we lose fundamental. Same with passing. While we have outside shooting potential, talent and strength helps staying with your fundamentals. Waterman was having a good game. Set plays up for him to take those shots.

As far as the free throws, the FT at the end of the game were the difference when we had to foul. Not all the other fouls during the game. And, as everyone but one has now pointed out, you aren’t going to get many fouls called when the refs know you are mostly an outside 3 shooting team. By not calling the ticky tack fouls we sometimes don’t get, the refs are allowing BYU to continue their offense of getting 3 point shooters open for the shots. Another thought, if we get all the game stopping fouls called, we would be shooting for 2 points at the line and missing a third of them as well as many front ends of one and ones. The refs are giving us the opportunity to win with the 3s. Just a thought.

I have a question since you refereed a lot more than Jim did. Not sure if you did basketball. But, do referees get together before games and discuss how they are going to call the game? And, do they talk about how teams play and how that will decide on how they call the game?
The reason is, I started to think about this and wonder if the reason refs are not calling some of the contact that BYU gets but not called is because they support BYU’s game by not calling those fouls so that BYU will continue to pass the ball around until they get an open 3. Also, for the other team, do they look at the type of team they are like Houston and support their more aggressive offense going to the basket and call those more often. Get what I’m trying to convey?

Sometime before the start of the season, the NCAA has training sessions for officials that goes over several days. They go over the rules both old and new and talk about case books examples of calls. Each official is required to pass a written test of the rules. They have to pass the test with a 90-95% correct score in order to be qualified for “ANY” NCAA games.

Then each conference will get their officials together for training on these rules and how the conference wants to call the rules. That is why conferences calls things differently with each other. Some conferences require testing of the officials as well.

Before the game, the head official will meet with the other officials and let them know how he likes to run his crew with mechanics. How they make calls is already set by both the NCAA and Conference they are associated with.

After the game, the Head official sends in a report to the conference about the game, what ejections, how the other officials worked, etc.

Sometimes the issue comes into play when officials work multiple conferences. Sometimes they make calls differently and he crew chief is the one that has to control that to a certain extent.

Most ref’s do not care about the schools that they are working the game. For the most part, they travel a lot and go from school to school. after a long season, it all blurs together.

They do these games for two reasons:

  1. $$$$ any official says otherwise they are lying
  2. Love for the game. Most of them are former athletes who want to give back to the game that they love.

The BIG12 in football at least has a pretty strict review of how games are called. That is why for a long time a lot of the NFL officials came from the BIG12. Not sure if that is still the case.

In the past, in order to do college level games, you had to have 5 years of high school experience and a recommendation from the State officials group they belong to (In Utah it is UHSAA). Not sure if that is still the same with the drought of officials most organization are suffering with.

Hope that helps.

Well at least one smart cougarfan poster responded with some common sense and understands what I am talking about. Thank you Aro.

As for the other two that replied so far, they have a long history of not understanding the point of my posts so it is no surprise that neither one of them understood this one. Thank you Floydhopper.

I don’t want to rehash it all again. If you don’t get my point, you probably aren’t going to no matter what I say. The rest of you that get it, respond if you like but it isn’t necessary. You know who you are and I know who you are.

Aro makes an excellent point and it will help me have some perspective. It is true that in spite of BYU not getting similar calls that their opponents get, they have had some opportunities to finish games and have failed to do so. Part of that result is affected by officiating but certainly part of it is on the players and their lack of doing what they need to at the end of games.

I get what you are trying to convey and in so many words you have touched a bit on what I am trying to say. The problem is that I try to read and understand your posts, finding ways to agree with you if I think what you are saying is possible. You don’t give me the same respect so whatever. That is a question I have been trying to answer 6 games into league play. Why don’t the officials call similar type fouls on BYU’s opponents that they are so quick to call on BYU? Yes, BYU does not drive to the basket and create contact with as much frequency as their opponents do, but when they do why aren’t fouls called? When a BYU defender plays good defense (remember they are a good defensive team according to experts and stat guys) and takes an elbow to the face or whatever, why isn’t a foul called?

These are legitimate questions and the answer isn’t because they don’t go to the basket as much. I GET THAT ALREADY, SO STOP SAYING IT and try to focus on the point you brought up and the questions I have asked. Your hypothesis starts out well but goes off track with the notion that officials aren’t calling fouls because they are giving BYU opportunities to keep passing the ball around to get an open shot.

That’s why I asked Floyd if officials get together and talk about the teams strengths and weaknesses and how they can allow the flow of the game help both teams. The way we shoot free throws it seems a blessing not to get all the fouls called and let us pass the ball and get open 3s. Floyd mentioned that each league tries to have their own officials. So, they talk amongst themselves about the teams in the league. And the head officials tell the others how he or she wants the game to be called.

For BYU, Floyd made good points about the fact we don’t put ourselves in positions enough to have nearly as many foul shooting attempts. The number of 3s doesn’t lie. So, points to the number of fouls committed or the number of foul shots attempted isn’t a reason to suspect bigotry against BYU being a specific Church owned program.

So, what about the elbows to the face. Why aren’t some fouls called? Didn’t see it is the best reason. That’s why sometimes a ref not near the area he’s responsible for makes a call because they could see it. Is there another reason? Maybe. But it doesn’t usually make that big of a difference. The last foul on Knell I thought should have been overturned. The Houston player was trapping Knell’s arm causing the contact. Was it it reversed because the head ref doesn’t like BYU? I doubt it.

It seems to me if fouls are committed they should be called regardless of a team’s style of play. I have watched enough basketball over the years and have seen officials swallow their whistles far too often when a team is aggressively pressing a less athletic team and they are hacking the heck out of them and the officials are either ignoring it or don’t see it. I thought if you hack a guy’s wrist it is a foul, if you drive and iniate contact it should be a foul. It seems that the way some officials call games favors aggressive physical play rather than finesse. I am not sure that is a good thing. You don’t want games degenerating into free throw shooting contests but if games were more tightly called to eliminate some of the physical play you would have less injuries, a cleaner game, and a style of play that doesn’t favor physical agressive teams so much. It might bring passing and shooting skills to the forefront.

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Yeah, like the foul called against Saunders in the Iowa State game that was reversed after they watched the replay and resulted in the ejection of the Iowa State guy? Is that the one you are talking about? How about the one last night where Knell was defending and the guy locked onto his arm and they both went to the ground? Knell got called for the foul even after the replay and all the announcers could say is “I guess they called him for having his arm in there to defend because that didn’t look like a foul on Knell even on the replay” Okay… you mentioned it so I said something.

How many calls like that go in BYU’s favor? Zero unless it is so blatantly obvious on the replay that the bias would be exposed. Even then, none of the refs who have been well known BYU haters have ever been called on it so nobody obviously cares.

It wasn’t reversed, Knell got the foul. It happens because refs know that BYU will take the biased bad calls and because they are held to a different, higher standard, won’t give them as much crap about it. The other coaches will and they don’t want to have to deal with those coaches. Pope pounds a water bottle down and gets a technical for it. It takes a lot more for opposing coaches to even get a warning.

You are genius Aro because that is exactly what happens and coaches know it so that is what happened in last nights game and the Houston coach knew that was the sure fire way to come away with a win.

See my response about the officiating in the other thread.

It’s about what brings fans to the stands. People want to see action. They also want to see 3 point shots and higher scoring. That’s why college went to the 30 second game clock. So, refs let a lot go. Too much for me as well. Although, you want to watch games with 60 free throws? I don’t.

BYU simply has to stop reaching as much as they do. It’s like they reach on every time they guard someone. Hall and Knell stopped the reaching with the 3 fouls.

You just said Saunders got the call reversed in his favor. So, if they don’t treat BYU fairly then why was it reversed? Knell’s wasn’t. I seriously doubt they did didn’t because of how nice BYU is :tired_face:

Again, the number of calls won’t be close because of the finesse game we play and the physicality aggressive game the other teams play with more talent hops to them.

On a side note, did you notice that when we drive and try to kiss the ball off the backboard it’s always low on the board. And when we try to kiss it off high, the ball doesn’t even hit the rim. Yet, when other teams with better talent try the same shot, it always goes in.

If the games were called tight to cut down on physical play teams would eventually adapt and the games wouldn’t devolve into foul shooting contests. Teams would have to play a different type of defense because the physical stuff would get called. Shooting and passing skill would be more valued and the game would open open up more. Guys like Robinson and Khalifa would excel.

I remember back in the late seventies the NBA was very physical with lots of rough play and attendance and TV ratings went way down and then Bird and Magic came along and saved the NBA by introducing great passing in Magic’s case and great shooting and passing in Bird’s case. The Celtics and Lakers of the eighties won with passing, shooting, and great ball
movement and the NBA had a golden age.

That’s way back. It’s different now. And, even though attendance and enthusiasm for the NBA is down, the money is still big wanting the aggressive play. I agree about the refs controlling the physical play more. But that’s not where we are. So, BYU plays a 3 point game because we don’t have many players that can play well above the rim. So, we aren’t going to get the calls as much. Floyd has the numbers of 3s we take compared with everyone else. The opportunity to get fouls in other teams is significantly lowered. So, instead of 40 minutes of complaining about fouls, the coaches are interested more in getting the ball moving and increasing the assists. Assists have fallen over the past 6 games.

I will admit the game is different now. The players are bigger and more athletic but I am not sure the game is better from an aesthetic point of view I would like to see it get back to the type of game where skill trumps physicality. Right now I think athleticism and physicality rules. At least it does in the big twelve. UCF was a very physical and athletic team but very ordinary in basketball skills and fundamentals. They are able to steal some games from real good teams on sheer athleticism and physicality. Houston can match them in physicality and athleticism but they
are superior in fundamentals and skill. The result is BYU beat UCF on the road and loses to Houston at home.

Calling a tighter game wouldn’t eliminate the tomahawk dunks and so forth but it would
open up the floor more and make for a better game once players got used to the tighter officiating. Get rid of the hacking, mugging, and body contact that is ignored too often by Big12 officials.