3 Officials Withdraw From Tournament After St. John’s-Rutgers Blunder
NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — It’s no consolation to Rutgers fans, but it is a step in the right direction.
After a colossal missed call that cost the Scarlet Knights their chance at beating St. John’s on Wednesday, Jim Burr, Tim Higgins and Earl Walton have voluntarily pulled themselves from the Big East Tournament.
“In the best interests of everyone involved — including coaches, student-athletes, game officials and Big East member institutions — the officials who were assigned to the St. John’s-Rutgers game Wednesday have voluntarily withdrawn for the remainder of the 2011 Big East championship,” Commissioner John Marinatto said in a statement. “With three days of competition remaining, it is our hope that everyone will now focus on our outstanding teams and the exciting games ahead.”
LISTEN: Mike Francesa reacts to the final seconds
The latest win for the Red Storm achieved legendary status within minutes of the game ending.
Marinatto issued a statement about 40 minutes after the controversial ending, admitting there were two errors made by the veteran officiating crew.
A wild last minute that had two lead changes, two turnovers that were called, the two that weren’t and two missed free throws finished with Justin Brownlee of St. John’s taking a couple of extra steps, stepping out of bounds and throwing the ball into the stands while the final 1.7 seconds ticked off the clock.
“The Big East Conference acknowledges that two separate officiating errors occurred at the conclusion of the St. John’s vs. Rutgers game,” he said, referring to the travel and stepping out of bounds. “Both missed violations should have caused the game clock to stop and a change of possession to occur prior to the end of the game. Neither error is reviewable or correctable under NCAA rules.”
“Was there a mistake made? I saw it on YouTube. There was a mistake made,” Rutgers coach Mike Rice told WFAN’s Mike Francesa after the game. “I’m sure they’ll admit it. … Believe me, there’s going to be blood coming through my tongue right now, but it is what it is. We’re going to control how we respond.”
Rutgers fans: Too little, too late? Let us know in the comments below…
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