| Referee Notes By William Correro
"And they’re off!" Week one is in the books as you read this. As I write this, it’s still a few days away. That’s the one thing I hate about a weekly piece: the time lag from when I write to when you all see it.
As always, I’m hoping the SEC will win all the non-conference match ups and for Ole Miss at Vanderbilt, I hope it’s great game for your team and TV.
Speaking of TV, the SEC opens strong with six of the 11 games of week one on TV, five of those six are national TV too. We have one on CBS, one on Jefferson Pilot, another on ESPN and three on ESPN2. Name another league with that kind of coverage.
CBS and I get to see what Trojans look like up close down on the Plains of Auburn. We’ll talk more about that one when I get back. It never fails whenever Auburn is on CBS and I’m in the game, Coach T always gripes at me about the TV breaks.
CBS has more structured breaks than anyone else so he’ll be in good form. If possible, I’ll tell what he says but don’t count on a direct quote. This is a family paper.
I usually try to listen in on some of the sports talk radio around our area when I’m driving and after a few consecutive days of listening, I guess it’s time for the season’s first ascent of the soapbox.
I listen just to see what might be said about the SEC and the game I’ll be in. But then after just a few minutes it doesn’t take long to realize the bulk of their show is specifically directed to those who bet on sports. I could care less if you go over to the boats and have a good time; that is not what I’m going off on here.
I get sick of hearing these commercials for these "Sports Services" by the same people doing the show. "Check out our success rate" or "Are you just going to throw your money away again this season?" and on and on.
What they are saying is simply: "If you’ll pay us several hundred dollars to subscribe to our tip service, you’ll win your bets 70 percent of the time."
And no matter how it is said, betting on any sport is illegal except in Vegas. A few years ago they were advertising these "off shore" betting services where from the comfort of your own home you call in your bet. Well, it never was and still is illegal.
I haven’t heard any of those "off shore" ads lately, by the way. But these "tip services" they push on the listener promising to be "in the know" about who will win a particular game all for a hefty fee is worse than bad simply because they promote illegal sports betting.
It’s like these places that sell cigarette-rolling papers. How many people have you seen these days roll their own with legal tobacco?
The reason I go off on this from time to time is I do realize, as should any intelligent person and true sports fan, how this illegal activity could do nothing but harm college athletics and the pros as well.
Don’t believe me? Ask any baseball fan in Chicago. The FBI has told us all of this first hand at our meetings and the NCAA has a video that all players are required to see every year. It demonstrates how easy it would be for organized crime to "hook" a player and then have him alter the outcome of a game.
And it has happened in the past. Couple that with what has happened lately with some coaches and players of prominence such as Rick Neuheisel and Pete Rose. So just think about all of that the next time you make that phone call and place your bet on a football game.
When you do, remember you just made a bunch of FBI guys real mad. These guys take their job seriously. This I know because one of our official’s day job is a FBI agent. And I sure wouldn’t want him after me.
I heard that the Big 10 Conference is going to experiment with instant replay this season. It will be a test to see how it could work in real games. They won’t overturn any calls this season; rather they will look at calls during some TV games to evaluate and see how it would work in real game use.
They will use network TV shots for the replay officials. To me, that is reason enough not to even try to kick over that anthill. What about a game that is not on TV? I can guarantee you that there are NCAA Division 1AA and Division II games that are equally important as Michigan and Ohio State.
And probably more interesting too. But these smaller school programs (A) Aren’t on TV with any regularity and (B) can’t afford to have cameras and replay equipment of their own.
The NFL has their own equipment which is very, very expensive state of the art stuff that only they can afford. Besides, just look at the SEC TV line up and you’ll see that not too many of those "other" games will be televised anyway. Sure is good to be back at it……See you next week.