Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Aug. 2, 2017 — A complete lack of integrity

It’s been said that summer basketball, such as AAU club ball, corporate-sponsored showcases, and even a nationwide high-stakes competition called The Basketball Tournament (TBT) are perhaps the most corrupt cesspool in all of sport.

Given what’s happened with the governance of world soccer and the Tour de France, that’s saying something.

The latest example occurred last week when LaVar Ball, a coach with a Los Angeles-based team The Big Ballers, pulled his team off the court after receiving a technical foul last Friday. The official assessing the technical was a female official, and Ball managed to get Adidas, the corporate sponsor of the tournament, to remove the game official and replace her with a male official.

The reaction has been swift and harsh. Court Club Elite, an organization that prepares basketball referees, is ending is relationship with Adidas over the matter. Everyone from ESPN journalist Jay Bilas to Naismith Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal have weighed in.

Ball is no ordinary basketball coach. His son Lonzo was drafted in the first round by the Los Angeles Lakers, and has not been shy about hyperbolic commentary as to how good he and his other sons LaMelo and LiAngelo are.

As such, his influence as shown in his actions at the Adidas tournament last week is a poor one. It’s a poor lesson in sportsmanship, as well as a failure to recognize that all decisions by game officials are final.

Coaches having a say over game officials is a dangerously slippery slope.

And yet, I know of at least two states where game officials making a state tournament are allowed to submit a list of preferred game officials to the state governing body of the sport. It’s a practice that has somehow survived to this very day.


1 Comment»

  S.P. Derieux wrote @

The state of Va. allows Commissioners and Assigners of the Associations to chose, or in some cases, to blackball.

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