GW: 'Accused Of Mellowing'
Just got through with Gary Williams's segment on the weekly ACC coaches' teleconference, and as usual, the content did not produce much hard news. Williams was asked at one point, though, about his thoughts on which coaches he's noticed do the best job of "working the officials." Williams's response was somewhat insightful.
"In my experience, you know, I don't want to get into any coaches in the ACC, but when I was in the Big East at Boston College, (Georgetown Coach) John Thompson (II) was tremendous; he was really good at working the officials," Williams said. Villanova Coach Rollie Massimino "was great at that time. And then in the Big Ten, Bobby Knight had no peers. He wasn't always demonstrative. Obviously, some of the things he did became famous, but his ability just with a look to kind of change a game a little bit sometimes was good.
"Back then, the officials were more regional and you saw them more. There weren't as many games on television, there weren't as many replays, and so that's all changed officiating. A referee knows now that no matter where he referees, highlights of the game can be on television. It doesn't have to be a national television game or whatever. So I think officials are much more uniform in the way they call games now. Because it has become a national platform, rather than ACC officials or Big Ten officials or whatever."
Williams then was asked whether his approach to dealing with officials during games has evolved over his 31 years as a head coach.
"Yeah, I've been accused of mellowing, so I guess I have changed," Williams said. "You know, you realize, as you're in the business longer, that those guys are working hard, too. In other words, I think that when you start coaching, you think that nobody outworks you. You want to be the toughest guy and all those things.
"But as you go along, you realize that it's a tough game to officiate because of the quickness of the game, the athletic ability of every team now -- it's not just one team that has all the athletes -- and, you know, when the referees walk out there, they have to make decisions. Now a lot of the decisions are: Did the contact affect the play? Not whether there's contact or not, like it used to be. Now it's did the contact affect the play, and they're really tough decisions. You know, you get to know officials and you realize they're trying to do their best jobs, just like you're trying to do your best job coaching, and obviously as a coach or as an official, nobody's perfect, so you realize not every call's going to go your way."
Posted by: JB44 | February 17, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse
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