Tuesday, January 19, 1999

C-USA: Referee screwed up

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Conference USA on Monday publicly criticized the official whose error last Thursday contributed to UC's first loss, but the league office said the loss will not be overturned.

        With 17.5 seconds left in that 62-60 loss at UNC Charlotte, official Tom O'Neill blew his whistle on a missed one-and-one free throw situation. UC had rebounded the miss and Melvin Levett hit a three-pointer at the other end, but officials ruled the play dead.

        On Monday, C-USA commissioner Mike Slive met with Dale Kelley, the league's supervisor of officials, to review the play. Breaking the league's policy of not commenting on officials, Slive issued this statement:

        “It is apparent from the review that the ball was live after the missed one-and-one free throw attempt by UNC Charlotte, and that Cincinnati should have been allowed to continue to play after the rebound. However, an official blew an inadvertant whistle stopping play.

        “The conference has departed from its normal policy of not commenting publicly on officiating matters because of this obvious lapse by the official and the fact that this was not a judgement call. The conference regrets this error.”

        C-USA said any reprimand of O'Neill would be handled internally.


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