In case you missed it, Mike DeCourcy of TSN recently wrote that none other than Ed Hightower, along with fellow jank B10 refs Rick Hartzell and Ted Hillary, is among the leading candidates to replace the retiring Rich Falk as head of conference officials after this season. Former Jim O'Brien assistant coach Rick Boyages is also a candidate.
The real story, of course, is how in God's name could anyone of sanity consider placing Hightower in charge of anything other than a high school drama class? In all seriousness, I know he's an intelligent guy who is a superintendent of schools in Illinois but based on his on court skills and demeanor, I find it totally inconceivable that he would be put in charge of fellow whistle blowers.
The Big Ten officiating reputation is as low as it gets for a power conference as even the coaches will freely admit off the record:
"The Big Ten is not in the top three for too many of the best officials," said one league coach.
Understanding this widely known fact, why would anyone put the face plate of the inept in charge of the whole operation? While the conference is at it, maybe they should put Bruce Weber in charge of vocals and Gene Keady in charge of hair and makeup.
To even consider Hightower is another example of the good ole boy network looking to possibly take care of it's own by confusing length of service with outstanding service. I get that some will argue "hey, at least he's off the court", but that's hardly a reason to move him up the ladder. Again, knowing the travesty that is B10 hoops officiating wouldn't it make more sense to go outside the conference entirely?
At this point, I'd rather the players play shirts and skins, call their own fouls and check the ball up top before I'd put Ed in control of the zebras. With input from conference coaches, let's hope Eddie Fogler and company don't screw this up. That means no Hightower, no Hartzell and no Hillary. Period.