NFL could take cue from NBA on transparency in officiating

NFL could take cue from NBA on transparency in officiating

NBA referee Tom Washington admitted in a pool report following the Los Angeles Lakers-Oklahoma City Thunder game Thursday night that his crew made an incorrect call.

It is a stark contrast to the pool report issued following the controversial New Orleans Saints-Los Angeles Rams NFC Championship Game in which referee Bill Vinovich told a reporter that he didn’t see the pass interference play and gave no explanation why there was no call on Drew Brees' pass to Tommylee Lewis, defended by Nickell Robey-Coleman.

In the NBA, a vague non-answer is not possible because referees are given written questions regarding the play. Then, they review the play on video and talk with referee operations staffers in the NBA replay center in Secaucus, N.J., before submitting answers. The pool reporter is allowed to ask reasonable follow-up questions.

In the Lakers-Thunder game, Lonzo Ball fouled Russell Westbrook with 2.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the Thunder trailing 122-119. Referee Haywoode Workman called it a shooting foul, awarding Westbrook three free throws. He made all three, tying the score and forcing overtime.

But following the game, which the Lakers won, Washington, the crew chief, said in the pool report, “the official called the foul because at the time he thought Russell had started his shooting motion and he was clearly behind the three-point line and there was illegal contact by Ball. … And upon being able to see the review of the play, we realized that the illegal contact actually happened prior to his upward motion, so it should have been a side-out."

Source: Read Full Article