Wooshhhhhaaaaaaaaa, the fans had to take a big deep yoga breath just to watch college basketball with the little league officials. Coach getting a tech. Players getting false calls, dunks, 3 pointers; It was an electrifying, intense night of college basketball, Monday Night at the Icardo Center. With their home stretch of wins, the players take pride in playing at home, both teams brought their A game. CSUB don’t allow anybody to come in their gym and leave with a “W” and Monday night was no exception. CSUB fought from beginning to the final buzzer.
I don’t know if I’m writing an article or a blog, but either way I have a lot to get off my chest. After the battle CSUB vs. New Mexico Aggies at Icardo Center, I went straight home to my computer for some therapy. CSUB fans take their basketball very serious. They want a fair game even if that means a lost. Fans don’t come to basketball games to see bad call officials, or off night officials, label them as you may. The community showed up, the coaches showed up, the players showed up, and the referees showed out.
Never in my life have I seen such a bias and unfair game. The officials clearly displayed their ability to dictate the outcome of the game. As the fans walked away from Monday nights game you could hear the chatter of frustration and some angry fans yelled to the officials “the referees are cheaters”. Others expressed how the officials stole the game from CSUB. The way the boys played Monday night is a display of the kind of talent Coach Barnes has recruited and it speak volumes to the character of CSUB team and the fight for home court pride.
Fans expect excitement, entertainment and a good battle with a “W”. Monday night was upsetting, it was more than the fans could stomach, they left the Icardo center sick to their gut by what they witnessed. Old and young were yelling at the officials because of so, so, so, many unfair calls. You didn’t have to be a basketball junkie or a gym rat to see how the officials were false, bad, on purpose calling against CSUB, call after call.
The fans hung in there, they were intense and the players, albeit sent New Mexico to the line a lot, were playing like a beast. Coach Barnes tech came as a surprise to the fans, you could hear the whispers. After twenty years of coaching, 14 as head coach you would think that wouldn’t happen. Coach Barnes said, “I was battling for my boys, we’re not just going to lie down and take this kind of abuse.” Barnes was called for a technical for the first time in his CSUB career and he said only the fourth time in his coaching career.
After the tech call the fans turned it up a notch, they got louder and more involved. The boys even turned the game up another degree. Many of the fans were on their feet for most of the last quarter. I’ve never heard of a proper timed tech, but I think Coach Barnes gets the Oscar for his dramatic outburst and performance. Fans loved that he was willing to battle for his boys. They gave him a standing ovation from my section. It must have been just too hard to watch his boys get cheated play after play, with frivolous calls. We should implement the NBA rules to college basketball and start fining officials who make it a point to predict the outcome of the game?
CSUB Men’s basketball has given us entertainment at its finest in Bakersfield this season. Having not lost a single home game prior to Monday night game, something they could not say last season. Just coming off a 75–41 win against Pomona-Pitzer, a team they had not beaten EVER, since first meeting them. The fans were ready for another BIG WIN; they wanted to keep their home winning momentum going. Was it a high or was it personal? With Coach Brown, CSUB former head coach, who spent 14 years coaching at CSUB, with the last 5 as head coach before getting fired, now New Mexico Aggie assistant coach. I think it was a combination.
That’s why this kind of game is critical so that fans will want to come back and support, especially after they just stop coming after so many seasons of continual losing. A good crowd was in the house like the President of the school, Dr. Horace Mitchell, the Mayor of Bakersfield, Mayor Harvey L. Hall, Major Sponsors like Geoff King, the Athletic Director Jeff Konya, season ticket holders, kiddos, teenagers, parents and grandparents all in support of the game.
You could hear cheering throughout the gym. The energy was stimulating. The entertainment was big. The calls were appalling. I wondered if the officials were just too elderly to stay with the game, or were they so aged they forgot the rules of the game? Either way, a game like this leave a bad taste in the fans memory. Fans show up and pay because they want to watch good fundamentally sound basketball entertainment. They got that, but not fairly.
The officials were blind eye to many calls, like the travels, stepping over the line before the shot, the charge, or the fouls that they created in their heads. But a big one was when New Mexico head coach was on the floor yelling and calling the offical by his first name, being obviously out of order. The official did not call a tech, they act as if they didn’t hear or see it. It was embarrassing to see a D1 Coach be so happy about an unfair win. But I guess in this industry for some, a win is a win.
Who do we need to talk to? Rules need to be challenged. Plays need to be recalled. Referees need to be fined, roll back the film and fix it before it cost the game. Players suppose to dictate the game, not the officials. This game was clearly stolen from CSUB men’s team and their fans. CSUB fans are not happy campers. Jeff Konya said “We are taking the necessary steps to ensure that this kind of officiating never happens at our game again.” The community is glad to see that we have someone to stand up for us, because this is not just CSUB basketball team, it’s the community basketball team. With such a past losing season and the fans just not showing up the last few seasons, it’s important to win and win big. It’s one of the ways to get fans back into the gym to watch the games. I’m sure this kind of unfair called game also robs from the athletic department bottom line.
I can’t accept the final score, New Mexico 73, CSUB 72, but we’ll get over it. I’m a complete fan of Issiah Grayson game. I have opted to adopt him as our player and become a fan of CSUB basketball. Issiah also known as “IG” never disappoint, but tonight one of the fans said we were Carterized, with Stephon Carter leading with 16 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assist and Tyrone White and Donald Johnson holding it down with 15 points each. Its just good family entertainment. Even with this RECORDED loss. I’m showing up Thursday at Rabobank as Bakersfield own basketball team battle against UNLV. Tip off time is at 7pm.
Coach Rod Barnes a seasoned head Coach vs. Dave Rice a first year head coach. CSUB not ranked in the top 25 vs. UNLV who is ranked #17. This is going to be one good battle. We need a house full of fans to cheer. I hope the DJ has some REAL MUSIC Thursday, like some JayZ, Kanye West, some beast music…. Bakersfield community has a message to send to Division 1 teams: We are here and we are good!
Root, root, root for the home team,
Writer for Bakersfield Neighborhood Examiner
Author of ~369 Things A Woman Must Enjoy Before She Dies
California State University, Bakersfield Athletics Department
8 GYM – 9001 Stockdale Highway, Bakersfield, CA 93311-1022
Phone: (661) 654-2188
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