First rule for officials has to be to protect players

The oath of the sports referee is “First, do no harm.”

OK, that may be for doctors. I’m not sure what the oath of referees is. But it should be something like “don’t prioritize a fast break over a player’s long-term health.”
That should go without saying. But the striped shirts in charge of Friday night’s SEC quarterfinal between Mississippi State and Tennessee did just the opposite.

Mississippi State guard Nick Weatherspoon went to the floor with a pelvic bone injury while attempting a layup. Tennessee got the rebound, went to other end of the court. Mississippi State got the ball back and headed the length of the floor back to where Weatherspoon was lying under the basket.

In a Shakespearean twist, it was Weatherspoon’s own brother Quinndary who stepped on Nick, as did Tennessee’s Kyle Alexander.
Weatherspoon was taken off on a stretcher with his neck in a brace. Thankfully, all reports are he will recover completely. But it should have been handled differently.

Mark Whitehead, SEC coordinator of officials, said, “the officials did not recognize Nick was injured until after the transition that led to the completion of the play where, unfortunately, he remained on the floor.”

Did not recognize he was injured? Come on. These SEC officials need to Tighten Up.
Who do you think needs to Tighten Up? Call in and the best and most entertaining suggestion will win a $25 gift card to Buck’s Pizza on Dauphin Street in downtown Mobile.

For Threaded Fasteners, I’m Randy Kennedy with Tighten Up.