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MAC Suspends 2 Refs After Controversial Ball State vs. Eastern Michigan Ending

LAWRENCE, KS - MARCH 02:  A detail of a referee's whistle during the game between the Texas A&M Aggies and the Kansas Jayhawks on March 2, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Mike NorrisFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2016

On Sunday, the Mid-American Conference announced the suspension of two officials who refereed Saturday's men's basketball game between the Ball State Cardinals and Eastern Michigan Eagles. The two-game suspension stemmed from a myriad of missed calls during a bizarre sequence at the end of double overtime, per Matt Norlander of CBS Sports.

The Cardinals provided video footage of the contest's waning moments, which ended with Ball State hitting a game-winning shot in the final second:

There were clearly uncalled traveling violations during the possession and a few scrums that should have ended with a jump ball. However, Ball State isn't going to question the outcome after leaving with an 88-87 road victory.

The conference agreed that the crew, which consisted of Todd Williams, John Gaston and Rob Kruger, missed some calls, but did not identify the two officials it suspended, per Norlander.

"The Mid-American Conference holds its officiating staff to the highest standards," the statement read. "To that end, multiple errors in judgment on one play, as in this case, must be met with swift and firm disciplinary action."

MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher also commented on the situation, per Norlander:

The final play of the game was not handled appropriately by several officials and unfortunately took away from what was a highly competitive and entertaining game for the competing students and fans. I along with our membership have higher expectations and as a result have directed our coordinator of men's basketball officials to take appropriate disciplinary action, including multiple-game suspensions.

While officiating mistakes happen, they are rarely this egregious. It's almost as though the refs froze and were caught watching the game during the hectic scene. The ending was a topic of conversation on Twitter, as Rob Dauster of NBC Sports called it a "total embarrassment to officiating."

The league felt the same way and, in addition to the suspensions, will not consider the two suspended officials for the MAC postseason tournament, per Norlander.

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