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Boilermusings - 3/4/21

Big Ten Officiating, NCAA Tournament, The Cliz

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Purdue Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

When I’m sitting around trying to determine what I want to write about sometimes an idea comes into my head that I’d like to turn into a full fledged article. Then I think about it some more and it just doesn’t seem like there’s enough to it. So I’ve decided to try and put these into a column titled Boilermusings where I’ll tackle a couple things that are on my mind about Purdue athletics or college sports in general.

Big Ten Officiating Mess

As a sports fan it’s natural for us to “hate” the refs. No one wants to see them unless absolutely necessary. In Big Ten basketball it has become the ref show. For instance, in Purdue’s last five conference games the number of fouls called have been:

  • Purdue vs. Wisconsin - 40
  • Purdue vs. Penn State - 33
  • Purdue vs. Nebraska - 28
  • Purdue vs. Michigan State - 45
  • Purdue vs. Minnesota - 28

On average over the last five games that means there has been 34.8 fouls called per game. Now, for those who might not know (many of you I assume /s) college basketball is a 40 minute game. That means that over the last five games there has been a total of 26 minutes of game time where there wasn’t a foul called. Is that oversimplifying? Of course it is but you get my point. 5.2 minutes a game without a foul if you assume one per minute, five games, 26 minutes.

This is all reminding me of back in 2015 I believe it was when the NCAA instituted the “freedom of movement” rules that were intended to jump start offensive output. It worked, because everyone was at the free throw line all the time. Those early season games were unwatchable.

What the Big Ten needs to do is stop with this part-time officials BS. Hire full time officials and in the offseason make them train, learn, and officiate practice games. There needs to be accountability for officials just like there is for everyone else. There’s nowhere to go but up I suppose?

NCAA Tournament Schedule

With the tournament fast approaching I was going to take some time to put in a leave request at work for the first two days so that I could sit around and do nothing but watch basketball. So naturally I pulled up the tournament schedule to see the precise dates I would need to ask off work. Well, turns out this year the tournament is starting on a...Friday? No, that doesn’t include the First Four. The first round will now take place on a Friday and a Saturday with the second round being Sunday and Monday. It feels really strange to not have these games on Monday and Tuesday. I guess that means I’ll have to take one less day off? Maybe.

The Cliz

Purdue fans hearts broke this week when news broke of the passing of Purdue’s legendary radio voice Larry Clisby. It wasn’t a shock given his health struggles of recent years but that didn’t make it hurt any less. Clisby had been the Purdue Boilermaker’s voice for over 40 years, that’s longer than I’ve been alive. It should come as no shock then that I associate his voice with much of my early fandom. My dad would always try to listen to the radio with the TV on mute when Purdue played. Growing up in Connersville the connection wasn’t always great and I recall moving around the wires to get the radio just so.

Perhaps the most indelible mark that Larry Clisby left on me as a Purdue fan is through his voice work on the season end highlight videos. For those that don’t remember in the early to mid nineties Purdue would release end of the year recaps/highlight videos. My dad had a handful of these and my older brother and I watched them constantly. His reviews of the season made me a more knowledgable fan and gave me some expressions I still use to this day.

I mentioned this on twitter but I’ll repeat it here. The most memorable line for me came after a recap of a hard fought Purdue loss. I can’t remember the exact season or the opponent but I’ll always remember Clisby’s cadence when he finished that game by saying. “And so it goes, on the road, in the burly Big Ten.” That’s always stuck with me. I don’t know why but it has. I think there’s something there about never knowing how what we do can impact those around us. I have no doubt the Cliz read the line and never thought of it again. For my brother and I though we quote it quite often. In that way Clisby will live on in our hearts and in our minds forever.