Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Saban tired of the bashing of officials

The title of this story alone is pretty rich. Chris Low has the full story, but do you really need to read it knowing that a great amount of SEC observers believe that there could actually be a "conspiracy" to see Alabama and/or Florida in the title game? And that coaches can't voice their displeasure with calls anyway. Here's an excerpt of Low's story:

The embattled SEC officials finally have somebody coming to their defense.

Alabama coach Nick Saban.
At his news conference Monday, Saban said the media need to get off the officials' backs and quit questioning every call that's made or isn't made.

"I mean, can somebody stand up and fight for these guys and what they do for the game?" Saban said.

Given how little officials make for the amount of criticism they've been receiving, Saban said there's no way he'd put himself through that torture.

"I'd step back and say, 'I think I'll go to the lake this weekend, you can have this,' " Saban said.

For the record, Alabama was on the receiving end of the key call in question last week in its 24-15 win over LSU.

Asked about the call during his SEC conference call, LSU's Les Miles had this to say:

"I know these officials are trying," he said during his weekly news conference in Baton Rouge, La. "They are doing everything they can to get it right. The final score is the final score. The officials are working hard to get it right. If I felt differently, I would say so."

But would he? Only if he is willing to write a $30,000 check.

And how much do SEC officials make? Steve Russell of WRUF's Sports Scene estimated on his show yesterday that the head official makes $1500 - $2000 a game and then the other officials less, on a three tiered pay scale.

Is it time for the SEC to consider making officiating a permanent job, or increase pay and make officiating more competitive for better results?

Also, guess how much the "tv time out" ref makes (the guy in the red hat that stands on the field until it is time to resume play after tv commercial breaks) - $500.

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