NCAA changes ref in game due to conflicting background.

Tommi Paris didn't reveal she went to Chattanooga, one of the teams competing in the game.

March 26th 2024.

NCAA changes ref in game due to conflicting background.
During the halftime break of a thrilling NCAA Tournament first-round game in Charlotte, North Carolina on Saturday, March 23, something unexpected happened. The league had to replace one of their referees due to a background conflict. It was a surprising turn of events that caught everyone off guard.

According to a report by The Associated Press, referee Tommi Paris was unable to continue officiating the Chattanooga-North Carolina State playoff game because it was revealed that she had received a master's degree from Chattanooga. This revelation caused quite a stir and ultimately led to her being replaced by Angelica Suffren, who had previously officiated the first game at the arena.

Officials later stated that if they had known about Paris' college affiliation, they would not have assigned her to work this particular game. It seems like a simple oversight, but it had a major impact on the game. The NCAA released a statement explaining the situation, saying that there was a last-minute switch of game officials because of a background conflict that would have prevented Paris from working the game.

Suffren, who was originally listed as a standby official for the game, stepped in to take over for Paris. The NCAA clarified that the decision was made to ensure that the game had a full officiating crew and a standby official. It was also the most practical solution since Suffren had already officiated a game earlier that day.

Online records show that Paris did indeed receive a master's degree from Chattanooga. The NCAA requires all officials for the tournament to disclose any school affiliations in order to avoid potential conflicts, but unfortunately, it was overlooked in this case.

Chattanooga coach Shawn Poppie was taken aback by the halftime incident, recalling, "They literally just pulled me into the locker room and informed me of the change. I'm not sure what happened exactly. It's only the second time in my career that something like this has happened. The last time was because of an injury, so at least there was a clear reason. But this time, I'm still not quite sure what happened."

In the end, North Carolina State emerged victorious with a score of 64-45. But the unexpected referee switch certainly added a unique twist to the game. It just goes to show that even the most carefully planned events can have unexpected surprises.

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