Teddy Valentine, arguably the most-prominent referee in college basketball, will not be doing the NCAA Tournament this year. And he’s not happy about it.
The referee told ESPN that he’s not being allowed to officiate in this year’s tournament because of the Joel Berry incident. Valentine turned his back on North Carolina’s star player during a game in early January.
The incident went viral. Valentine ended up getting taken off games from the Big Ten.
Joel Berry gets held, which leads to a turnover (easy call to miss in transition, BUT) Ted Valentine then refuses to engage Berry in conversation, literally turning his back to him. pic.twitter.com/q8jxDtVhFC
— Hayes Permar (@DHPIV) January 4, 2018
Valentine told ESPN the NCAA’s decision to keep him off the tournament is “not right, it’s just not fair.”
The referee, who officiated the Final Four last season, says he was informed of the decision by the NCAA’s head of officiating.
“I asked him why?” Valentine said, per ESPN. “We talked about the Joel Berry situation and how he had a discussion with the Big Ten. But I told him, ‘I fixed the situation.’”
The head of officiating told ESPN that he does “not disclose selections, assignments or advancements.”
You can view ESPN’s full report here.
The NCAA Tournament’s play-in games start on Tuesday night.