On Tuesday, the Big East announced that they were entering into a refereeing alliance with the ACC, the Atlantic 10, and the CAA.
This is great, great news for you, the Marquette fan.
Here’s what the press release says about the alliance:
The alliance, which begins immediately, enables the four conferences to work together on all officiating matters and will serve to enhance training, development, recruitment, retention and feedback for its basketball officials.
That all sounds very nice, but it doesn't hit the high point that I was looking for here. Let’s go to ACC commissioner John Swofford:
All of our member institutions and the sport of college basketball stand to benefit from this collaboration in scheduling, travel, training, and evaluation.
The emphasis in that quote is all mine. The point here is this: The Big East will now be sharing referees with three other conferences, or, to put it another way, Big East games will now be called by referees that we haven't identified as absolute garbage.
You may remember when we found the list of hoops referees that the Big East planning to use after The Reformation. It included such luminaries as a walking technical foul machine, the king of double technical fouls (who had his picture included at the top of the Big East press release), the guy who once sent teams going the wrong way in overtime, and the guy who quit doing his job with two seconds left in a Big East Tournament game.
Now we’ll see referees that have traditionally been exclusive to the ACC, A-10, and CAA filtering in for MU’s 18 league games and the Big East Tournament. I'm not saying that the CAA employs paragons of virtue at every turn, and I'm not saying that the A-10’s referees have been without flaw. But this means that we proceed towards a future of not knowing the names of the referees more often than not, and that’s usually the best case scenario. Unknown referees are always going to trump infamously terrible referees.
Besides, the worst case scenario is that we get to write all new articles about all new misdeeds by all new referees. It might be frustrating, but it’ll at least be lively and entertaining.