June 20, 2005
At this time of the year, it's interesting to check out the transactions in the sports section of the newspaper (or online, if you prefer that method). You might wonder, how much can happen in college basketball at this time of year?
Well, coaches look at transactions because so many are held hostage as they wait to see if their underclassmen pull out of the NBA draft to return to college. The deadline for that decision is Tuesday. That's a nightmare for a college coach.
Clougherty has worked 12 Final Fours (including four NCAA championship games).
Recently, another transaction caught my eye: John Clougherty was named coordinator of men's basketball officials for the ACC. He takes over for the highly respected and popular Fred Barakat.
Clougherty has officiated 26 straight NCAA Tournaments and has worked 12 Final Fours (including four NCAA championship games). Clougherty has received the James Naismith Official of the Year award and the NIT Officials Award. He's also in the Hall of Fame of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.
It won't be easy to follow a guy like Barakat, who will have many other duties within the ACC as he dedicates his time to the league tournament, scheduling and television matters.
Barakat did a great job communicating with his officials and coaches. He had a total command of the ACC officiating situation. Barakat tells it like it is he expects everybody to perform in a classy way.
As for Clougherty, in addition to the ACC, he has also officiated games in the Big East, Big 12, Conference USA and SEC.
Now Clougherty moves into the administration level as the ACC officials' supervisor. It's a different ballgame assigning contests instead of working them. His peers might grumble at times over their assignments and wonder why they didn't get the big game. But Clougherty has so much experience, and ACC commissioner John Swofford is in his corner.
Clougherty is overseeing the officials for one of college basketball's premier conferences. It will be interesting to see how it works out, baby!
Dick Vitale coached the Detroit Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979. Send a question to Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.