I’m sure many of the readers of SFN have jobs that require them to travel. If you are one of those people (or even if you’re not), imagine this is your travel schedule after the Christmas break.
Starting on December 27th through January 29th your travel itinerary reads like this:
St Louis MO
Bowling Green KY
Chapel Hill NC
Baton Rouge LA
Chestnut Hill MA
Coral Gables FL
College Park MD
Chapel Hill NC
That’s a total of 29 assignments in 34 days with no more than 1 day off. If your job required you to do that, even if your actual time on the clock was 2 to 4 hours a day, wouldn’t your brain be mush at this point?
That was the schedule of ACC basketball referee Roger Ayers.
To be honest, I’m piggybacking off a CBS Sports article that looked at the work schedule of Karl Hess using information from statsheet.com. Karl Hess being the ACC and Big East official that was part of a crew that failed to call a blatantly obvious goaltend that would have sent the West Virginia vs Syracuse game to overtime. Hess has worked 22 games in 29 days in January (and 26 in 33 days if you go back to late December). Gene Steratore was another of the officials in the WVU/Cuse game and had worked 17 games in the last 29 days. Actually 19 games if you count the 2 NFL games Steratore refereed.
According to the referee statistics on statsheet.com, of the top 12 officials that have worked the most games in the 2011-12 season, 9 of them have called an ACC conference game this season (Brian Dorsey, Roger Ayers, Jamie Luckie, Mike Eades, Bryan Kersey, Michael Stephens, Ted Valentine, Karl Hess and Mike Kitts).
There are 9 officials that have called at least 5 ACC conference games between 2 ACC teams. How many total games have they reffed in the 29 days so far in January of 2012?
The refs are listed in order of the number of ACC conference games between 2 ACC teams they worked. The numbers listed are the total number of games worked that includes those ACC matchups plus other conference games and non-conference matchups.
Bryan Kersey – 23 games in 29 days
Les Jones – 20 games in 29 days
Roger Ayers – 24 games in 29 days
Karl Hess – 22 games in 29 days
Brian Dorsey – 25 games in 29 days
Jamie Luckie – 24 games in 29 days
Ray Natili – 20 games in 29 days
Mike Eades – 20 games in 29 days
Bernard Clinton – 12 games in 29 days
Bryan Kersey has called the most ACC conference games and has worked 23 total games in 29 days. How does that compare to the leaders in conference games (between 2 conference teams) worked from other major conferences?
SEC – Anthony Jordan has worked 15 total games in 29 days
Big 12 – John Higgins has worked 22 total games in 29 days and Joe DeRosa has worked 15 total games in 29 days
Big East – John Cahill has worked 20 total games in 29 days.
Big Ten – Mike Kitts has worked 21 total games in 29 days
Pac-12 – Michael Irving has worked 14 total games in 29 days
Nobody wants to deprive college refs of their livelihood as I’m sure they get paid more the more games they work. How about the conferences taking some of those bowl payouts or TV revenue money from ESPN or CBS and paying the refs a little bit more while putting some limits on how many games these refs can work. Refs being overworked probably isn’t the only factor in bad calls but I have to think it doesn’t help. Shouldn’t John Swofford and John Clougherty be sitting down in the ACC offices and addressing these sort of things?
I’ve never refereed a basketball game but it seems like with 10 players, 3-point lines, out of bounds, coaches to deal with, etc, that there’s an awful lot to keep an eye on. Maybe the schedules for refs have always been this full but it seems awfully hard for me to believe that a ref can be on top of his game when he’s worked so many games (or even multiple sports for some refs) all over the country with only a few days off. If you’ve slept in a different bed almost every night for a month, you’re jetlagged or you’ve been driving around a crappy rental car, you’ve been running up and down a basketball court and Coach K is dropping F-bombs on you, aren’t you going to call a foul just to shut him up?