Watching college basketball in recent history can be a lesson in frustration. Officials call some transgressions fouls, but not others. They can go minutes of play without calling a single foul, then suddenly call five in a row. There’s an astonishing lack of consistency.
Corn Nation’s top-notch award-winning team has found some answers.
Ted Glastine, a Big Ten basketball official, admitted to CornNation this past week that sometimes he doesn’t pay much attention to the first half of the Big Ten basketball games he’s officiating.
Glastine says he knows he’s supposed to be calling fouls or watching for the ball to go out of bounds, but, “It gets to be monotonous this time of year. I mean, what are there, sixty gazillion basketball games that have been played by the time March rolls around? You can’t seriously expect us to pay attention to every single minute of every single game. I bet you’re not paying attention to your work every single moment, Mr. Guy who spends eight hours a day on Reddit.”
CN asked Glastine what he is thinking about when he is supposed to be officiating.
“Probably the same thing anyone else is thinking about. Sex. A hot ham and cheese sandwich. Why the hell they put the Big Ten tournament in Manhattan this year. If two mind readers read each other’s minds, who’s mind are they reading? That sort of thing.”
Glastine went on to explain why there are bursts of foul calls during most basketball games.
“I have a timer set on my phone, and I keep my phone on vibrate. When it goes off, it reminds me that I need to start calling fouls, so it looks like I’m paying attention. Sometimes I feel it, and sometimes I don’t. That’s why it looks so sporadic, but there’s an actual science to it.”
That settles the question of why foul calling is so inconsistent. Glastine was forthcoming on how officials determine whether a foul is a charge or a block. It isn’t about the rulebook. It’s all about judgment.
“Look, you’re asking an older human being with the reaction time of a sloth to make a split-second decision on whether one young man was in perfect position while another quick, agile young man runs into him. You realize how stupid it is to think we’d get that right more than 50% of the time? We’re just looking for some balance on those fouls, maybe tilted a little bit in favor of the home team.”
“Unless it’s YOUR home team. Then you’re screwed.”