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For years the college basketball world has heard the same, tired rhetorical question posed by Pac-10/12 sports fans: “Why aren’t we taken seriously?”
Some of the beef contains merit; some of it doesn’t.
But what there is no doubt about is how seriously some in the national media do take Pac-12 basketball and that was never in clearer display than last night’s game between number 4 ranked Arizona against Washington State
It pains me to write this because I grew up listening to Barry Tompkins and was always pumped when he was on the call for an Arizona at Stanford or UCLA game etc.
He used to be great.
But what Arizona fans saw last night on a national FS1 Broadcast was extreme commentator malfeasance by Barry Tompkins and his partner Dan Belluomini.
Whether it was ineptitude or laziness this duo for much of the game butchered and mispronounced the names of many of the players on the Arizona roster.
Forget the mangling of names for a second, furthering the insult was the continued incorrect identification of players passing the ball and receiving the pass.
Thompkins has been in this business along time.
He knows the drill and it isn’t difficult.
One of the first orders of business is getting one of the university-issued pronunciation guides, which are generally provided, and to make sure the athletes names are pronounced right.
This clearly did not occur. And if it did, something was clearly lost on Tompkins’ end.
The highlight of many of these athlete’s lives will be performing on the grand stage on national media for family and friends alike. These athletes deserve more than a mail-in performance.
To be clear, this has nothing to do with age. Hubie Brown is 88 and one of the best commentators going.
But what Arizona fans and it’s athletes had to sit through last night was a college radio, and that’s being kind, approach to a game.
This wasn’t Mercer vs. Austin Peay. This was arguably the best team in college basketball playing last night.
And it was capped off by a beyond curious quote about the Bronx which at best was inappropriate and could be construed as worse.
By all accounts, Tompkins and Belluomini are good people. But what they did last night was make a mockery of a nationally relevant broadcast.
Would ESPN or FS1 stand for a national broadcast of Duke or Kansas or Kentucky where the commentators spent the game butchering names and misidentifying players?
Of course not. Why should Arizona get that treatment?
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