So he let Calhoun come unchained, possibly as penance. Kitts, who is one of the game's best officials, probably didn’t hear the UConn coach anyway. The Hartford Civic Center was roaring with boos.
But what is the excuse for the stream of f-bombs from other coaches in other games, some of them so aware of their misbehavior they cover their mouths so viewers can’t read their lips?
Is officiating so bad that everyone should be allowed to storm up and down the sideline, hurl a coat, pound a table and spew vile?
And what is with Syracuse fans pelting Georgetown fans with debris from the upper deck of the Carrier Dome? Security had to rush in and escort the visiting fans out of the building.
College basketball decorum and sportsmanship are a joke. Coaches, players, and institutions are to blame. If it's not elbows swinging into the face of competitors, or student sections screaming obscenities at opposing players, it is coaches ratcheting up the anger by verbally abusing referees.
It's time for solutions.
If you can’t fine the coaches; suspend them. And get the students out of those sections closest to floor.
Know why NBA coaches don’t come unglued? They get stiff fines. A referee will make a call and he will stand beside the coach, who may communicate his disagreement in a reasonable manner. If the coach launches into a tirade, the technical is not far behind, and then the coach is writing a big check to the NBA.
College officials are not handing out enough technical fouls. There are instances, like with Florida Atlantic coach Mike Jarvis was ejected for too many technicals. Texas Tech coach Pat Knight was suspended by the Big 12 for complaining about the officials after a loss. But these aren't enough.
I don’t think college basketball coaches should be held to the same standard as the history professor. Games are intense, blood boils, it is impossible to stay calm.
But the coach should not be allowed a stream of f-bombs, either. They shouldn't be nose-to-nose with a player while their parents are watching and scream at the kid for a mistake.
“I don’t think there is any question that a great many of our coaches could be better sideline role models than what we are seeing,” said John Adams, the NCAA coordinator of officiating. “And our referees could do a more consistent job, night in and night out, managing sideline behavior by coaches in college basketball.”
The NCAA adopted a bench decorum policy in 2007, but the millionaire coaches have slowly eroded the policy. It’s a shame because the game is only a snapshot of their work; the rest of the week they are teaching how to play the game. Away from the court-side cauldron they're different, something closer to the mild-mannered professor.
Not all coaches belong in the same pot, but when Adams, a high-ranking NCAA official, can be seated courtside and a coach still drops f-bomb after f-bomb, it shows no shame.
Part of the coaches’ problem is that their behavior is caught on television. Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford apologized after a game in which he was overheard on the television feed for swearing at a player. This is not the NBA where the camera stays fixed on LeBron and Kobe, and where the name on the back of jersey means more than the name on the front.
This is college basketball, where stars jump to the NBA or graduate, placing the spotlight squarely on the coaches. And they should behave better in the spotlight.
Jay Bilas, the outspoken ESPN analyst, thinks coaches incite the crowds in some games. If a coach goes berserk, the students feel like they have duty to get right behind their coach.
A few moments later, “You suck ref” fills the arena.
“The coaches do not need to be chirping at the officials for the entire game,” Bilas said. “The NBA has gotten rid of that. The NBA coaches are allowed to blow off a little steam here and there, but there is a line.”
“It doesn’t work,” Bilas said of the yell-factor getting favorable calls.
“And if we acknowledge it doesn’t work, why allow it? And, it looks silly.”
Referees should not be baby-sitting million-dollar coaches, when they can simply use their whistle to set the tone. If coaches push a league office to blackball a ref who uses his whistle too often, conference offices must be sturdy defenders of the referee
Pushing the students off the floor also would help. When the lucrative television contract from CBS expires soon, schools will have to sell those seats to wealthy boosters anyway. May as well start now for the good of the game.
Whatever it takes, decorum in college basketball needs another booster shot.
CBT: Kansas commit Andrew Wiggins impressed in his first workout with the Jayhawks.
Former Rutgers staffer Erik Murdock is still seeking compensation for his termination and says he confronted his co-workers about Mike Rice's behavior.
Latest from CollegeBasketballTalk
Auburn announces addition of JUCO guard Malcolm Canada7 hr 17 min ago
2015 forward Tim Delaney verbally commits to Villanova9 hr 56 min ago
6-11 big man Billy Magarity commits to Boston College11 hr 23 min ago
College basketball videos
Rutgers AD has no recollection of abuse
DPS: Craig Wolff of the Newark Star Ledger discusses the details of the allegations against Rutgers AD Julie Hermann with the DPS crew. She says she does not remember the abuse, even an incident in which she was caught on videotape.
Three cheers for college hoops
Take a look at cheerleaders in action from around the country.
Calhoun calls out reporter
Feb. 22: Jim Calhoun got into a major clash with reporter Ken Krayeske