I was watching the Arizona v Arizona State game last night and I got to thinking - I really like the officiating in the college game a lot more than the pro version.
I've been watching college ball a bit more than I used to over the last couple of years. I'm from Australia but moved to Canada a few years ago, so I have a lot more opportunities to see college games now. The games are called much more true to the rules (no one gets away with traveling for example), but the action still flows a lot better.
I'm a pro-ball guy before a college-guy. This isn't a rant about how college-ball is better than the pros or anything like that. It's just an observation.
I think the biggest difference is that there's no "star treatment" - the biggest problem with NBA officiating. As a result there are (or at least seem to be) less whistles. With less interruptions, the game seems to move at a better pace.
I can't stand it that when I see Kobe Bryant or Lebron James drive into the lane, I know they will either score or will go to the foul-line. You just know the refs will bail them out whether it's a foul or not. I never got that feeling when Jordan Hill had the ball during the game last night. I knew he'd have to earn his points like everyone else.
How many times do you hear about a rookie having to "gain respect from the officials"? Why does he have to gain the respect of the officials? He either fouls or he doesn't, he either travels or he doesn't. There's no "well he's a rookie so it's a foul/he's Lebron James so it's not a walk". Or at least there shouldn't be.
People are always complaining about NBA officiating, but you don't hear the same criticism for the college game.
My question is; why can't the pro game be officiated in the same manner as college - true to the rules and the same for everyone? Which begs the other question, why is it different in the first place? It can't just be to improve player marketability can it?