Lessons Learned from Uncalled Fouls During Connell vs. Highland High School Game

| by Alex Groberman

Memo to bad and/or lazy referees: in the digital age, allow players to blatantly flagrant foul one another without a single whistle at your own risk. That’s a lesson the officials who oversaw a high school basketball game between Connell (Wash.) High and Highland High are learning the hard way this week, after film of their shockingly awful incompetence hit the internet.

Unfortunately the clip also did a little more than shine a light on the egregious no-calls by the refs, though, it also made the kids involved unwitting victims of some serious e-scrutiny. As per Yahoo! Sports:

“As it turns out, the clip did more than just spotlight an officiating problem; it also made seniors Cole Vanderbilt and teammate Kennan VanHollebeke look like the dirtiest players on the court.

Someone apparently didn't appreciate the fouls -- the fifth foul is definitely of the flagrant variety -- because before anyone could blink, the video had gone viral, with one website proclaiming Vanderbilt to be "the dirtiest basketball player in America."

While Christenson certainly proved his point with the video, what he didn't expect was the outcry on YouTube from commenters who viewed the clip. The negative and sometimes hurtful responses to the fouls forced Vanderbilt's coaches and family to go into damage-control mode.”

Far more significant than the specific details of this case, though, is what a great example it is of the positives and negatives associated with the digital age we currently live in. On one hand, continued awful officiating that could have led to injury gets called out in public and will no doubt be taken care of before these schools play anyone else. On the other hand, a young teenager now has to live with non-stop and at times viciously cruel criticism about the way he plays ball.  

Check out the clip below and make your own conclusions on who deserves what share of the guilt.

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