I should be writing about the great second half Tennessee had against Georgia last night as the Vols won a "must win" game over the Bulldogs 69-60. However, what has me all worked up is what happened at Mississippi State Tuesday night in the game against Kentucky.
The Wildcats won a tough 81-75 overtime victory against the Bulldogs in Starkville, but it was the fans that got most of the attention.
The officials got under the skin of the fans when down the stretch, Mississippi State was called for ten fouls to zero for Kentucky. Three of those calls were key: a block-charge call that went Patrick Patterson’s way, when virtually every collision had been called a charge all night; a no-call on a John Wall goaltend; and a tickle foul on a Wall jumper. The officiating last night has added to the notion that SEC officials are favoring the national title contenders just like during the football season.
Don't get me wrong, the officiating in the SEC this season has been dreadful, but I do not believe there is some conspiracy going on. However, the officials were terrible in Starkville. Home teams usually do not get jobbed like that.
During the waning moments of the game the fans started throwing full bottles of water on the floor, one nearly missing one of the officials. This really got under my skin. I hate boorish fan behavior. It was that same a few weeks ago in West Virginia when fans threw things on the floor and a Pitt assistant coach got hit with a coin in the neck.
I have been hit in the face by a coin flung from a crowd and it left a mark for a week and stung for a few days.
I know it is just a hand full of fans that make everyone look bad but I think the schools and the NCAA need to come down hard on these idiot fans. Here is what I think needs to happen.
First, fans around the waste of food who threw something on the court need to stop cheering him and point him out to police. If said fan who threw something is a student at the school, he should be expelled immediately. People like that should not represent your university. If the fan is a paying customer, he should be banned from the arena forever.
The school needs to be punished as well for fan behavior. Every time something is thrown onto the court or field the officials have the right to flag the home team 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct in football, and call a technical foul on the home crowd in basketball and award the opposing team two free throws.
For really lousy fan behavior like we saw at Mississippi State and West Virginia, the NCAA needs to take a page from Europe when soccer fans get out of hand. For the next home game, you have to play in an empty arena. No fans means no ticket and concessions revenue. You want to make a school get tough on its fans for bad behavior, hit them in the wallet.