Back to the chronicles of Tony Greene when ITGOTT has more time, but an officiating incident must be noted from last night's little-seen Conference USA game in Greenville, NC, between the homestanding East Carolina Pirates and the visiting UTEP Miners, coached by former big-time (Iowa State, Southern Cal, and the NBA) coach Tim Floyd.
Floyd, who, given his previous stops, probably feels like he's slumming it in rural eastern North Carolina, was ejected in what the usually-spot-on blog Ballin Is A Habit called "one of the uglier incidents" of the college basketball season, when he was ejected by Jeb Hartness. The low-quality video, and the commentary of Ballin Is A Habit, is linked here:
Here's why this is significant:
1. While the video doesn't show what Tim Floyd did to earn the first technical from Jeb Hartness, we see veteran official Steven Pyatt working to both reclaim the control that Hartness's call had removed and to calm an irate Tim Floyd. Then, as Floyd voices his frustration to Hartness as the technical free throws are administered, Hartness T's Floyd up again and runs him, clearly inciting more difficulty in a situation where it wasn't necessary. Then to top it off, the incensed UTEP assistant Phil Johnson is ALSO run. The video also shows that Steven Pyatt (working with another veteran, Bryan Kersey) position themselves between the UTEP coaches and Jeb Hartness, in what looks like an unstated message of, "Yeah, we know he messed up, but guys, just let it go..."
2. So who is Jeb Hartness? Well, we know two things.
First, from the video, we know that he appears, at least last night, to be a small man who takes umbrage at petty grievances - especially by coaches who are relatively well-known (Floyd is probably THE most well-known coach in Conference USA) - and then demonstrates that he is in charge by issuing quick, unnecessary technical fouls that do more to incite the ire of a coach than to calm an overheating in-game situation or elicit a higher level of game decorum.
Second, we know that Jeb Hartness is a relatively young official who is working his way up through the ranks to the highest levels of college basketball officiating. He has worked more games in the Ohio Valley Conference than any other conference, the conference where Curtis Shaw had been the game assignor until Shaw took the position of Director of Officials for the Big XII Conference this season. Guess what? Hartness has, for the first time, been working Big XII games. The inimitable Curtis Shaw apparently takes care of his own.
And by demonstrating rabbit ears, a thin skin, a need to visibly demonstrate his control in a game where restraint would have been better served, and issuing unnecessary technical fouls that incite problems rather than restore order, Jeb Hartness has proven that he's not only one of Curtis Shaw's "own," but that he's cut from the same unfortunate mold.