SBD/Issue 162/Collegiate Sports

NCAA Basketball Refs Plan To Form Association To Lobby For Money

College Basketball Referees Planning To Form
Association To Lobby NCAA For More Money
College basketball referees have "taken steps to organize an association that ... could lobby the NCAA for more money to officiate postseason games," according to sources cited by Josh Peter of YAHOO SPORTS. Referee Ed Corbett, who in April officiated the NCAA men's basketball championship game, said, "Everybody wants a little bit more of the pie. Why not?" Officials noted that compensation for referees who work in the NCAA men's basketball tournament "ranges from $750 for first- and second-round games to $1,500 for games at the Final Four." An NCAA spokesperson said that the organization does not release such information. Corbett said that many officials also would "like an increased per diem, presently $75 per day for all meals, and the ability to book plane tickets and hotel rooms on their own," rather than having to use the NCAA's travel agency. Telephone conference calls yesterday were conducted to "gauge interest from officials across the country," and Corbett said that he has heard the response has "been positive and the association could be formed within a month." Peters noted DC-based Perennial Group, which is "assisting the group of men's officials," also reps the unions for NBA referees and MLB umpires. But Corbett and other officials "adamantly denied they are trying to create a union." Referee Jim Burr, one of 20 officials who met in April with Perennial Group, said, "We're not going to do any labor negotiations. We're strictly looking for a better way to put communication skills together. Right now we don't do a good job of communicating. We're all spread out." Perennial Group VP Lloyd Pierson said that the "primary goal of the association would be 'the advancement of the game' but wouldn't rule out the eventual formation of a union" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/12).

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