Yes, it's true. The bane of the existence of IsTonyGreeneOnTheTake, Mr. Tony Greene himself, was named the 2010-2011 Naismith Men's College Official of the Year by the Atlanta TipOff Club.
Supposedly, this award is given to officials display "character, integrity, and dignity, and who have contributed mightily to the growth, success, and viability of college basketball." Yeah, right. Since the award was first given in 1988, it has gone to a different official EVERY SINGLE YEAR and no one has won it twice. Thus, this is much more an award of longevity and "who hasn't won it yet" than it is anything to do with officiating, dignity, character, or any other nebulus characteristic that can be used to describe anyone who hasn't been indicted.
In reality, it is likely that the awarding of the Naismith Official of the Year title, much like the game assignments for NCAA Division 1 officials, is mysterious and left to a cadre of fuzzy folks who enjoy basketball and are part of the Atlanta Tipoff Club.. Further, it is likely that this award is as much (or more) about politics than it is about actual officiating ability, just like game assignments. As such, it can't be too much of a surprise that the Atlanta Tip-Off Club named Tony Greene its Official of the Year for 2009-2010, considering that Tony Greene lives in the Atlanta area, does 60+ games a year, many of them on TV, and has been around for many years... and has never won the award before.
But what is the history of this award? Well, there is really only one thing that needs to be explained.
The 2008-2009 winner of this award, Mike Kitts, was the reigining award winner when he was suspended by his primary conference, the Big East, for poor officiating during February of this year: http://istonygreeneonthetake.blogspot.com/2010/02/mike-kitts-suspended-by-big-east-for.html
Clearly, the Atlanta Tip-Off Club doesn't know the first thing about quality officiating, since its most recent winner was ACTUALLY SUSPENDED for POOR OFFICIATING !!! Perhaps the Atlanta Tip-Off Club names winners based on on-court preening and multiple high-profile assignments rather than effective officiating and quality game management. Could Ted Valentine follow Tony Greene as the club's absurd award winner, if this is the criteria?
Oh wait. TV Teddy already WON this award, apparently, in 2005. Notably, Larry Rose won the award in 2002, just a few years before he was DEMOTED from ACC assignments by new ACC Supervisor of Officials John Clougherty, himself a 1989 Award Winner.
Since the award apparently goes to a visible official who has never won it before, ITGOTT nominates David Hall for the 2010-2011 award. But since it apparently ALSO goes to an official who works primiarly in the south or east, we predict the 2010-2011 award winner will be one of these three folks: Karl Hess, Tom O'Neill, or Mike Stuart.
Additionally, if history is any guide, look for Tony Greene to be suspended this season due to his officiating. As we are sure you know, this wouldn't surprise us.