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East member institutions — the officials who were assigned to the St. John’s-Rutgers game Wednesday have voluntarily withdrawn for the remainder of the 2011 Big East championship,” Commissioner John Marinatto said in a statement.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…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

pixy 3 Officials Withdraw From Tournament After St. Johns Rutgers Blunder
  • John B. Bertoline

    When it comes down the Final game of the National Championship and I was the coach, I would want Jim Burr, Tim Higgs, and John Cahill as my referees. These are the BEST in the business.

    • lbs30

      Are you SERIOUS????
      I groan if I see Higgins or Burr on the Floor!
      I didn’t even watch this game – tuned in to the last 30 sec, and at the end immediately posted on FB “Was that Burr I just saw blowing another game?”
      I would Love to see Burr and Higgins never ref another game.

  • rob

    The refs got paid and someone has to lose. Quit crying and take your lumps. You are all just a big bunch of crybabies. Get over it. It’s nice to see refs screw up and get it rubbed in their faces every now and then though. Nice video.

  • Jack Zadroga

    It certainly leaves a question.1.7 to 2 seconds in hoops is big. I say St. John’s the only winner.

  • Ken Miller

    The Best the Big East has to offer?!? What a joke!! These guys play favorites and have been doing so for years, especially Higgins and Burr. They are awful. Hope they are voluntarily pulling themselves from the Final Four as well

  • RCB

    Jim Burr has a 30 year history of blown calls, and to be defended by Tim Higgins,? now there is a defence for you.
    And Earl Walton was tired? Give me a break.

  • Jimmy

    Did they miss any other calls during the course of the game that could have made a difference in the outcome? Probably.

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