“TV” Teddy Valentine is the worst referee in sports. He’s everything wrong with officiating, and specifically, college basketball officiating. He thinks every block/charge call is an Oscar winning performance, he antagonizes players and coaches, and he officiates a game like everyone in the building bought a ticket to watch him. This mindset throughout college basketball is perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the sport (aside from the 9,000 TV timeouts).
On Saturday Valentine got in the face of Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin like he was going to fight him on the court in an astonishing display of bravado and theatrics. It’s incomprehensible behavior for an official who is tasked with making sure those things don’t happen.
Later in the day on ESPN, analyst Dan Dakich lit into Valentine (who he knows very well from his Big Ten days) during the Illinois-Michigan State broadcast and spoke for everyone fed up with TV Teddy’s antics…
“The issue is Valentine, he’s lucky he didn’t get punched right there.”
“Valentine’s always been antagonistic, he’s always talked trash to players, he’s always acted like the game is above him… he’s not even close to being a great official. A great official doesn’t do that. But all these guys hire him and I don’t understand it. I’ve never understood it quite frankly. That’s totally on him. He’s lucky he didn’t get hit.”
This clip is why Dakich is so refreshingly blunt and honest as a college basketball analyst. The wide majority of people in college basketball are reticent in calling out anybody – coach, official, player, or anyone in between. But being outspoken and unafraid to criticize, Dakich can call a spade a spade and tell the truth about TV Teddy. Maybe if more people in college basketball were willing to speak out in the same way, the entire sport would be better served.
[Video H/T Guyism]