If there’s a name in college hoops that’s been bandied about more this season than probable POY Anthony Davis, it’s Karl Hess.
He’s a ref.
He’s the reason Syracuse only has one loss because he failed to call an obvious goal tend at the end of the Orange’s game with West Virginia. He’s the guy with rabbit ears who teed up Rick Pitino, when the coach was yelling at Kyle Kuric. (Buy some Q-Tips, Karl. Clean out the wax.)
He’s the guy who tossed Tom Gugliotta and Chris Corchiani at an NC State game last week.
There might be a reason for Hess’s short fuse and bad judgement.
He’s called 81 games in 20 states so far this season. He’s a Top Twenty T Caller this season with 22.
For comparison purposes, the most games any Top 25 school has played this season as of today is 30. Which means that Hess has been involved in almost 3 times as many games as Syracuse, Wichita State, UNLV or Creighton.
And Hess isn’t even the most overworked zebra in the land. Seven other officials have called as many or more games already, a list headed by ACC ref Brian Dorsey, who has called 86.
And we wonder why so many obvious calls are missed? Like the assault and battery committed by Kansas’ Thomas Robinson the other night against Missouri. It wasn’t called. The Jayhawks won in OT.
This, my fellow Hoopsylvanians, is a tragedy, an abomination, a degradation of the game we love so much.
In case you’re wondering, here are the numbers from some of the favorite local whipping boys. Ted Valentine has worked 80 tilts, Jim Burr, a relatively modest 57 though all seem to be national TV contests. The heretofore ubiquitous Tim Higgins 30 games called is downright modest and appropriate.
You can see the numbers for your favorite zebra at statsheet.com.
Anyhow, add my name to the list of pundits calling for a national administrator and a reasonable game limit for these guys.
The game will be better for it.
– Seedy K