WRITTEN BY ROBERT DEVITA AND JOE PRATASIEWICZ
OPINION: Controversy surrounds Mount St. Mary’s one point playoff victory over the St. Francis Terriers, after it was revealed by Timothy Burke writer for Deadspin.com that Mount St. Mary’s had six players on the court during THE crucial moment in the final seconds of the game.
In the video posted by Burke on Deadspin’s website (link below) it shows the Terriers led by three with 28.7 seconds left to play in last week’s playoff game against the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers and all the Terriers needed to do was inbound the ball and knock down some free-throws.
Inbounding the ball is no easy task in high pressure situations — and it is even harder to do with six players on the floor for the opposing team.
The video provides proof that during this pivotal moment of the game the Mountaineers had six players on the court and would go on to steal the inbound pass and convert to cut the lead down to just one.
They would ultimately go on to win the game as well as the entire NEC tournament, punching their berth into the NCAA tournament.
This should not have been the case because if the right call had been made by the officials, the Terriers would almost certainly gone on to win the game and advanced to the next round of the playoffs.
A call that is so basic and obvious, essentially changed the course of history for St Francis College. Who knows what the Terriers whould have done if they advanced to the next round?
What makes matters worse is that a week went by until the 6th man non-call was made public — and it took a reporter to make it public.
St Francis College should be causing a stink about this and demanding a replay.
Can you imagine Rutgers or Long Island University just meekly accepting that they have been wronged by incompetence or worse?
NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris told SFC Today: “The NEC posted a statement on the NEC website yesterday morning about the situation (northeastconference.org). I will not have anything more to share until after the review.”
Here is the statement that was posted by Commissioner Morris:
“It recently came to my attention that for a span of 2.5 seconds within the last minute of the March 5th quarterfinal game between Mount St. Mary’s and St. Francis Brooklyn there were six players on the court for Mount St. Mary’s. I am in the process of reviewing the incident with the NEC coordinator of officials as well as the administration and coaching staffs of the involved institutions.”
St Francis College should be taking this issue to the highest authorities. Our basketball players desserve their support.
Irma Garcia Director of Athletics at St. Francis College released this statement earlier today:
“It’s an unfortunate situation and we understand a game can be affected by human error from time to time. We know all parties involved feel badly that this occurred and we are certain that it was not done intentionally. We will take this experience and move forward in a positive manner.”
Mount St. Mary’s Director of Athletics Lynne Robinson commented on the situation:
“No, we have not released a statement about the 2.5 seconds when six Mount St. Mary’s players were on the court. Obviously it was an unintentional substitution error; an honest mistake that was not realized by anyone at the time, including the four game officials. St. Francis College is a great school with a top notch athletic department and men’s basketball program. It is unfortunate that this situation occurred during a well-played and very hard fought game between two outstanding teams.”
It is still unkown what the outcome of this debacle is going to be.
What is certain is that Mount St. Mary’s got a clear assist from the officials and probably would not be in the NCAA tournament right now if the game was called correctly.
SFC Today has learned that NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris has released a statement regarding the outcome of their review of the quarterfinal game between Mount St. Mary’s and St. Francis College:
“As noted in a statement released on March 11th, the NEC was in the process of reviewing a quarterfinal men’s basketball game during which six players were on the court for a span of 2.5 seconds. After a complete examination, the NEC has assessed a two-game suspension for the 2014-2015 regular season to the officiating crew that worked the game in question.”
Timothy Burke of Deadspin.com: