Controversial NCAA ref angry about March Madness snub
The NCAA has turned its back on Ted Valentine.
The controversial referee, who twirled away from North Carolina’s Joel Berry and into hot water in January, is not working games this NCAA Tournament, and is not happy about it.
“This is not right, it’s just not fair,” Valentine told ESPN on Monday. “It hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m being punished unjustly.”
Valentine told the site that NCAA coordinator of officiating J.D. Collins informed him Saturday, before he worked the Wichita State-Houston AAC semifinal game, that his ticket would not be punched.
“I asked him why,” Valentine said. “We talked about the Joel Berry situation and how he had a discussion with the Big Ten. But I told him, ‘I fixed the situation.'”
Collins told ESPN: “I do not disclose selections, assignments or advancements. That’s not fair to anyone.”
Valentine, for decades a recognizable college basketball official, had to apologize to Berry and Tar Heels coach Roy Williams after he worked a Jan. 3 UNC-Florida State game. Berry began to argue a call, which Valentine responded to by throwing his hands up and giving Berry his back.
Valentine took a short break from officiating in the aftermath and told The Athletic he was considering retiring. But he chose to return to the officiating ranks — but won’t be allowed at center stage.
“I screwed up,” Valentine told ESPN. “But I went back a week later and apologized, and [Berry] and I were joking and kidding. It was no big deal. I even pulled him out of a situation where he could have gotten a technical foul.”