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story.lead_photo.caption Joel Berry is playing a role in referee Ted Valentine’s consideration to retire from officiating. Valentine turned his back on the North Carolina guard Wednesday night when the senior tried to discuss a non-call.

NCAA basketball referee Ted Valentine told The Athletic that he is considering retirement amid the reaction to him turning his back on North Carolina's Joel Berry during a game Wednesday night.

"I'm thinking about retiring," Valentine said. "I've had enough of people blowing up stuff. I think I've had a stellar career, and I think it's time to get ready to walk away."

Valentine said he had been removed from two Big Ten games this weekend and then elected not to officiate Saturday's Georgia Tech-Yale contest because of the intense reaction.

Despite contemplating retirement, Valentine told the magazine that he will work ACC games this week to which he was already assigned.

On Wednesday, Valentine turned his back to Berry when the guard tried to a discuss a non-call. Berry felt he had been fouled by Florida State's Terance Mann, but the veteran referee would not engage with the UNC guard.

Valentine told The Athletic that he turned his back to de-escalate the situation, a technique he said he has learned in conflict resolution classes.

Both the NCAA and North Carolina referred any comment to the ACC, and on Thursday, ACC men's basketball communications director Brian Morrison said the issue is being addressed internally.

Big Ten officiating supervisor Rick Boyages declined comment to The Athletic on the league's removal of Valentine from this weekend's games.

Valentine told The Athletic that he thought the Berry incident was being overblown.

"It was just something that happened in the battle of the game. It's not really worth talking about," he said.

Johnny rotten

On Saturday, fans of the Cleveland Browns mockingly commemorated the team's 0-16 regular season with a parade.

A former Cleveland quarterback added his contribution to the joke early Sunday morning.

Johnny Manziel, selected by the Browns in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, apparently trolled the franchise when he shared an Instagram picture of his days with the club with the caption "0-16szn."

That caption has since been deleted, but Manziel, 25, also posted that he's preparing for a comeback to the game.

The Canadian Football League's Hamilton Tiger-Cats have bought themselves more time to negotiate with Manziel. The team issued a statement Sunday confirming that an offer was made to the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. By doing so, the Tiger-Cats maintained his rights and prevented him from becoming a free agent.

The team had 10 days to make an offer to Manziel, who remains on its negotiation list for another year even if he rejects the bid.

He's backkk

O.J. Simpson, one of the all-time great Buffalo Bills players, joined the team's fans for a watch party for Sunday's wild-card playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Simpson, clad in a LeSean McCoy jersey, turned up at Moon Doggies in Las Vegas and found plenty of Bills fans.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame running back played for the Bills from 1969-77. The Bills on Sunday were making their first playoff appearance in 18 years.

Simpson, 70, was released from a Nevada prison last October after serving nine years for armed robbery and kidnapping in connection with an ill-fated attempt to retrieve some of his sports memorabilia in Las Vegas.


How many NCAA national championship games has Ted Valentine officiated?



Ted Valentine

Sports on 01/08/2018

Print Headline: Official mulls retiring after controversy

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