Mike Kitts, who worked yesterday's "On The Take" Alert game with Tony Greene and Doug Sirmons (http://istonygreeneonthetake.blogspot.com/2010/02/game-63-2-kentucky-19-tennessee-feb-27.html), has been suspended, along with Jim Haney, by the Big East and will be unable to work its conference tournament, for officiating errors during a game between West Virginia and Louisville earlier this year. Apparently the third official from that fateful game, Les Jones, wasn't scheduled to work the Big East tournament anyway, so no suspension was possible.
Here is a link from today's New York Post about the suspensions: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/college/basketball/big_east_benches_refs_for_bad_calls_k7melwcXX1VvSWXFub5cuL
There are a few reasons why this is interesting to us at ITGOTT:
1. Mike Kitts worked yesterday's Tony Greene game, which has generated quite a bit of internet chat and even a few really good comments on our site. Although ITGOTT noted several officiating actions by Tony Greene and Doug Sirmons that could fall into the categories of officials being "on the take" that we have described all season, it should be noted that Mike Kitts did NOT appear to be making calls favoring Tennessee against the spread.
2. The New York Post article quotes Rick Pitino, coach at the University of Louisville, and implies that his complaints may have led to the suspensions of Kitts and Haney. It should also be noted that Pitino's Louisville Cardinals were absolutely jobbed by a ridiculous Tony Greene call in a game at Seton Hall back in January... a call that COULD have affected the spread, considering that an overtime period in that game could have flipped the spread. (http://istonygreeneonthetake.blogspot.com/2010/01/game-41-lousville-seton-hall-jan-21.html)
3. One of ITGOTT's biggest complaints about college basketball officiating is the reticence of announcers, commentators, and most importantly, supervisors of officials to openly and publicly criticize officials who are doing a poor job. While the Big East's Art Hyland didn't EXACTLY do this with regards to Kitts and Haney, ITGOTT feels that this suspension being made public accomplishes the same goal. Everyone now knows that there are ramifications for making officiating errors - or at least procedural errors - and everyone now knows that Mike Kitts and Jim Haney have received punishment for poor officiating - or at least failing to follow procedural errors.