Kentucky fans were apoplectic after the Wildcats' NCAA Tournament loss to North Carolina. Some took things to an inexcusable level, threatening referee John Higgins.
After the game, which featured some controversial calls down the stretch, Higgins reportedly received multiple death threats from angry UK fans. Others began to leave negative reviews for his roofing company on Facebook.
Now, seven individuals have been identified and referred to the FBI after making threats against the NCAA basketball referee. Two media companies have also been identified for publicly posting Higgins' personal information online.
From the Associated Press:
Seven people who threatened basketball referee John Higgins after an NCAA Tournament game in March have been identified. Information on them will be referred to authorities in their jurisdictions and to the FBI’s Omaha field office, a Nebraska prosecutor said Friday.
“Based on the investigation’s findings, our office has determined that no local charges will be filed and that pursuit of any criminal charges would be best served by deferring to authorities in the appropriate jurisdictions,” Polikov said in a statement to The Associated Press. “The length of the investigation was drawn out due in part to the large volume of potential evidence requiring analysis, and the multi-jurisdictional issues arising from the multiple states in which the communications originated.”
According to the report, 75-percent of the flood of phone calls Higgins received after the game were from Kentucky area codes. He was also forced to pull his company Facebook page down due to the overwhelmingly negative reviews.
Hopefully this is dealt with quickly and effectively. Referees are far from infallible and it's not fun when they make mistakes on the biggest stages, but there is no excuse for what happened to Higgins after this Kentucky loss.