Refs get suspended for buzzer-beater technical debacle

Remember the Division-II game between Sioux Falls and Winona State that ended with a bizarre technical because of court storming? Well, it looks like the officials from that game have been suspended by the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference for four games. They issued a technical for fans rushing the court because it looked like time had expired and their team won on a buzzer-beater three.

The NSIC has issued a statement about the officiating of the game and what else is to become of the referees for the rest of the season:

As many of you are aware, we experienced an unfortunate situation Friday, January 8th during the Winona State University and the University of Sioux Falls women's basketball game where the outcome was, in part, affected by a misapplication of a rule. The NSIC Women's Basketball officials are expected to have knowledge of all NCAA Women's Basketball Rules and properly adjudicate them during a game. In this instance, it has been determined that this expectation was not met by the crew in charge of officiating.

It is important to state that overturning the result of the game cannot and will not be considered. However, in addition to receiving a letter of reprimand, each of the game officials involved have been suspended from four NSIC contests along with becoming ineligible to officiate the post season in the NSIC this year.

"To my knowledge, this is the first time we have ever publicly discussed the suspension of an official or officials. Typically, when we have instances such as this, we handle it internally and deal directly with the institutions involved. To publicly discuss this unfortunate situation is not something we wanted to do, but in this instance, we felt this course of action was warranted in the spirit of transparency.

We want to assure you that the conference takes all officiating matters seriously and we appreciate your cooperation as we work to address issues as they arise. Although officiating is an extraordinarily difficult and often thankless job, our student athletes, coaches, and administrators deserve proper and consistent officiating.

Sounds like a pretty harsh penalty, but the officials definitely pulled the trigger too quick on the court storm. It wasn't such a huge arena that they couldn't have just asked the fans to go back to their seats and figure out if there was actually time left on the clock. There really should be a standard set of rules to handling situations like this in the future.


[h/t DeadSpin]