Ted Valentine won’t be dancing this year and he has no one to blame but himself.
The college basketball referee made headlines in January when he literally turned his back on UNC senior guard Joel Berry II, who attempted to dispute a non-call during a game with Florida State. And because of that incident, which Jay Bilas was quite unhappy about, Valentine won’t officiate in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported Monday.
And to say the veteran official is disappointed with the decision would be a huge understatement.
“This is not right, it’s just not fair,” Valentine told Goodman. “It hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m being punished unjustly.”
Valentine pleaded his case to NCAA coordinator of officials J.D. Collins, who reportedly informed the 59-year-old ref of the decision.
“I asked him why,” Valentine said, via Goodman. “We talked about the Joel Berry situation and how he had a discussion with the Big Ten. But I told him, ‘I fixed the situation.'”
It’s easy to see why Valentine is upset, considering what he told ESPN about the situation in January.
“I screwed up,” Valentine told ESPN. “But I went back a week later and apologized, and (Berry) and I were joking and kidding. It was no big deal. I even pulled him out of a situation where he could have gotten a technical foul.”
We can’t help but wonder what Berry thinks of the NCAA’s decision. Although, he likely is focused on leading the Tarheels to their seventh national championship.
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