Tuesday night’s Elite Eight game between Gonzaga and USC came to a screeching halt when Bert Smith, an official working the game, collapsed on the court. The NCAA has since offered a health update on the veteran referee.
Smith is “alert and stable” and will not have to be transferred to a hospital. This is as positive news the entire college basketball community could’ve hoped for.
“Bert Smith, an official assigned to work the Gonzaga-Southern California regional final, left tonight’s game after a medial issue,” the NCAA’s statement reads. “Bert is alert and stable and will not be transported to a hospital. He has been in contact with his family.”
NCAA statement on official Bert Smith pic.twitter.com/Ub1kPnb33W
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 31, 2021
Andy Katz echoed the NCAA’s report during the Gonzaga-USC halftime show. He also revealed Smith will not be taken to a hospital.
“He is still alert and stable, will not be transferred to a hospital,” Katz said Tuesday night.
TBS' @TheAndyKatz reports that official Bert Smith, who collapsed, is still alert and stable and will not need hospitalization.
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) March 31, 2021
This is obviously great news. Smith’s collapse is one of the most terrifying on-court incidents there’s been in years.
Smith fell to the court right near Gonzaga’s bench with 15:44 left to play in the first half of Tuesday night’s Elite Eight game. The game came to an immediate pause and medical trainers rushed to his side. He was carried off the court on a gurney, where he was seen sitting up and talking with those nearby.
We’re thrilled to hear Smith is alert, stable and doing well at the moment. Tony Henderson, an alternate official, has stepped into Smith’s spot for the remainder of the game.
As to the game, Gonzaga is dominating the USC Trojans. The Bulldogs hold a 49-30 lead at the half. Tune into TBS to catch the rest of the action.