Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Technical Foul

I've been coaching for 14 years, and while I have seen and experienced a lot over that time, I have never been tagged with a technical foul. I've screamed, hollered, jumped up and down, waved my arms and stomped around in protest of poor officiating, but not once has an official slapped me with a T.

Apparently, if I want a technical I need to faint. From the AP via ESPN.com...
C-USA criticizes officials for foul against Penders

HOUSTON -- Conference USA said Monday that officials "exercised poor judgment" when they upheld a technical foul called on Houston coach Tom Penders after he collapsed Saturday during a game against UAB.

Penders passed out on the sideline late in the first half of Houston's 82-79 loss and was carried off the floor on a stretcher and given oxygen. He returned to coach the second half.

Penders dropped to his knees and then fell face-down as UAB's Wen Mukubu drove to the basket and was fouled by Oliver Lafayette with 52 seconds left in the half and UAB leading 46-44. Officials called a technical foul on Penders, apparently thinking he was reacting to the foul call. But the game stopped, and the crowd hushed when Penders didn't get up.

Penders, 60, has cardiomyopathy, a congenital heart condition, and had a defibrillator implanted in his chest in 1997. Houston officials attributed the incident to Penders' heart condition and dehydration.

Officials refused to reverse the technical after Penders received medical attention, and UAB's Carldell "Squeaky" Johnson made both free throws.

The guy was carted off the court on a stretcher with an oxygen mask strapped to his face and the officials didn't reconsider the technical foul? Did they think that too was an elaborate way of protesting the call? You'd think that being carted out on a stretcher would be enough to get ejected.

The story reminded me of a similar situation we had at an SLA game back in the early '90s. The boys team was playing a home game against Notre Dame of Fitchburg and early in the game, ND was whistled for many more fouls than the SLA kids were.

About midway through the first quarter--after a lot of complaining from the Notre Dame sidelines--an SLA player was called for a foul. The Notre Dame coach threw his hands in the air, clutched his chest, and fell to the ground in mock shock, lying flat on his back for a few seconds. To make matters worse, this guy was also a certified IAABO referee.

Somehow, he did not receive a technical foul for his dramatics, although he did get chewed out pretty good by the official. I thought he should have been ejected on the spot. In any event, his unprofessional display was enough to ensure that he was on our "do-not-assign" list in perpetuity when we had our officials assigned to do games at SLA or AUC.
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