John O'Neil should be banned from officiating B1G games

Submitted by Diagonal Blue on November 19th, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Re: The John O'Neill crew. This isn't a one-game issue. This isn't a three-game issue. This is years of consistent, game-defining malpractice. This isn't just bad calls; their inability to manage personal fouls is the reason these games get out of control and players get hurt.

— Seth M. Fisher (@Misopogon) November 18, 2018

Off the top of my head

2018 IU
2018 Nebraska
2017 MSU
2016 Iowa
2016 Oregon State
2016 UCF
2014 IU, ND and OSU
2013 Nebraksa
2012 OSU, Illinois
2011 Illinois

And that infamous 2014 OSU-PSU game

— Seth M. Fisher (@Misopogon) November 18, 2018


Hemlock Philosopher

November 19th, 2018 at 12:22 PM ^

I cannot upvote this/ second, third, fourth it enough. Our "local" Chuck E Cheese is located just north of Raymond James Stadium (for those of you unfamiliar with that hell hole, it's commonly called "the red light district"). This Chuck's is adorned with a sign prohibiting the carrying of firearms and banning of red and blue clothing and certain hand signals. Best of all the mascot has at least 500 children running around and is a real live rat. 

B1GGY smalls

November 19th, 2018 at 11:05 AM ^

Can't a Ref be requested to "not" officiate certain games? Like, all the games UofM is involved? He can have the rest of the slate, there's plenty left. People can request different providers from all walks of life....why can't we do this?


November 19th, 2018 at 11:47 AM ^

Teams should be able to exercise a certain number of peremptory strikes of refs from a potential list of them (or for cause if it can be shown) before each game.  

I have no idea why this isn't done to ensure that the fairest refs get the most work and the conference can ultimately weed out the shitty refs.


November 19th, 2018 at 11:56 AM ^

The Big Ten used to allow "redlining," as they called it, but ended it in the 1980s.  Gil Marchman was redlined by Bo after the 1979 Rose Bowl, but started working games after 1989.

I understand that the decision whether or not to allow it was controversial, and was not considered "best practice."  I get the point--the conference is saying "we have hired this guy, therefore he's qualified to do your games."  


November 19th, 2018 at 12:06 PM ^

These kinds of rules are pretty common in various legal procedures, such as administrative hearings, arbitrations, mediations, etc.  I used to practice in Washington State, and their state court system even allows a party to "affidavit" a judge--meaning if you don't like the judge you drew, you get one chance to have the case reassigned without cause.  So, I'm not sure I get why this type of rule would be viewed as less than a best practice.  If you have the ability to minimize even the perception of bias, that seems like a good thing.  I suspect it has more to do with the administrative burdens this could impose on the league (e.g., if you only have seven crews and teams start vetoing certain officials, then you may wind up in a situation where you can't match each of your crews to a game).

Perkis-Size Me

November 19th, 2018 at 12:27 PM ^

I can see where that would lead to problems, because then you could theoretically have schools continuously reject certain refs from their games until they land on a set of guys they like or think that will favor them in games. Then you're just winding up with the same overall problem, at another team's expense. 

That being said, I like the idea of a formal process for holding refs accountable for poor calls or missed calls, because right now there doesn't appear to be one. You're telling guys like John O'Neill that they can essentially call the game however they want without any real consequence, and if you're not docking their pay for obviously missed calls, or suspending them for a game, or re-assigning them to another game, then what's going to stop him from doing what he's been doing? I mean, the guy doesn't even have to issue a damn apology. All he's got to do is say "the call is the call" and that's the end of the conversation. 

This would be a benefit to all teams. Not just Michigan. I understand completely that refs have to make split second decisions and on occasion, calls are going to be missed. It happens. They're human. But when its a repeated pattern like what O'Neill has demonstrated, why is there not an independent governing body put in place to review the calls in question and take proper action against that set of refs? Anywhere else in the work world, you get reprimanded for bad decisions or bad judgment. Why shouldn't that be the same for football referees? 


November 19th, 2018 at 12:40 PM ^

I was surprised Harbaugh didn’t say something to their head coach after the game. I would’ve if I had been him. I was shocked at how cheap of a team they were and their is no place for that in college football. 

I understand a cheap shot can incur during a game but once it gets to 4-5 that is a trend and it needs to be addressed preferable by the B1G


November 19th, 2018 at 11:09 AM ^

I think BronxBlue put it best in today's Best and Worst-

"He perpetually looks aggrieved at being out on the field, his general understanding of the rulebook seems to be 'it exists'"


November 19th, 2018 at 11:12 AM ^

There is virtually no other work environment (outside of the US Supreme Court) where one's actual performance on the job has no bearing on future employment.  Officials have zero accountability and hence, zero reason to get better at what they do.

You want to see officials "get better"?  Not that hard IMO:

1. Pay them more.  Make the job lucrative and worth having.

2. Train them more.  Whatever training they are currently receiving clearly isnt enough

3. Keep "score" of their performance and publish the results.  If teams are getting assaigned a garbage crew they have a right to know that going in.

4. Terminate the bottom performers and dont make the job a lifetime employment gig.

The problem though is that the powers that be arent negatively impacted by their incompetence and therefore dont give two shits about fixing it.


November 19th, 2018 at 11:28 AM ^

Therein lies the rub- how do we, the football loving masses, convince the powers that be that there needs to be a change made? I was hoping the player safety issue would start pressing this issue but that doesn't seem to be happening.

I feel like something has to be done, but what and how? I compare this to when fans ban together to convince network executives to bring a tv show back from cancellation. I.e. the fake bananas sent in for a 3rd season of "Arrested Development", 9 tons of nuts sent in for "Jericho", Subway Sandwiches for "Chuck". With social media we should be able to spearhead a campaign of some sort to have our voices heard. It just seems to me that rather than bitching online we should actually start making our voices heard by those in power, other than Dear Leader Brian of course! 


November 19th, 2018 at 11:33 AM ^

Even just one of these reforms could make a significant difference.

I do believe there is a process for grading the officials' performance, though.  I have to wonder if there is any way to access records of those evaluations through a public disclosure law, even if in a redacted form.  Probably not, but at least seems possible since most of the Big Ten schools are public and their coaches and administrators serve on various Big Ten committees where they may have access to that material.


November 19th, 2018 at 12:58 PM ^

I suppose that's true depending on how you choose to measure performance.  If the promotion of a judge was based on the number of times he or she was overturned by a higher court, then it would matter.

If promotion is based on whether the outcome favors the views of the party of president who appointed the judge, then I guess that is a sort of performance, but not necessarily whether the judge did a good job in the eyes of other judges.

The latter is much more important for promotion than the former.