NCAA Replaces Referee From Game Due To Background Conflict

NCAA Replaces Referee From Game Due To Background Conflict

During halftime of a recent NCAA Tournament first-round game over the weekend on Saturday, March 23 in Charlotte, N.C., a referee had to be replaced by the league due to a background conflict.

According to The Associated Press, referee Tommi Paris was not allowed to resume her officiating duties at the Chattanooga-North Carolina State playoff game after the revelation that she received a master’s degree from Chattanooga. After discovering that Paris once attended the school, she was removed and replaced by Angelica Suffren, who had previously officiated the first game that took place at the arena.

Officials stated that had they known Paris had gone to Chattanooga for her collegiate duties, she would not have been assigned to work that game.

“There was a switch of game officials at halftime of the Chattanooga-N.C. State first-round game because it was learned after the game had started that Umpire 2 Tommi Paris had a background conflict that, if known, would prevent her from working that assigned game,” the NCAA said in a written statement provided to The Associated Press.

Paris’ replacement, Suffren worked the contest before the Chattanooga-N.C. State, the Green Bay versus Tennessee game. Although Danielle Jackson had been listed as a standby official for the game, the NCAA said in a statement that the decision to send Suffren back instead of using Jackson was “because it provided the most on-court experience and allowed the game to maintain a full officiating crew, plus standby.”

An online profile for Paris states that she received a master’s degree from Chattanooga. The association asks all officials for the NCAA Tournament to reveal if they have any school affiliations to avoid potential conflicts. It was not done in this instance.

“They literally just … got me in the locker room and said they were making a change,” Chattanooga coach Shawn Poppie said of the halftime occurrence. “I don’t know what happened. I didn’t see anything specific. Maybe the second time in my career that’s happened. But the other one there was an injury, so you knew. But this one, I’m not really sure.”

N.C. State won the game by a score of 64-45.

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