In the interest of such a big story, I am going to post his column here. The Newspress is a great paper, and if you subscribe, you may enjoy Patton gems like this one:
Blemishes on the sport of soccer
November 23, 2010 5:36 AM
The finishing touches are being applied to UCSB's Harder Stadium for soccer's College Cup, which will begin in just 18 days.
The new scoreboard is being hooked up. The final paving stones are being laid at the new Curtis Gate. The remodeled press box and new concession stand are being outfitted.
Everything's getting handled except the extensive rust that corrodes the infrastructure of the 44-year-old stadium.
I say leave it. Embrace it as a symbol. Display it as a monument to the neglect that the NCAA continues to show for the sport of soccer.
It runs a cheap, antiquated championship for the world's most popular sport.
UCSB's Cup won't runneth over for the Gauchos after several questionable decisions by an inexperienced referee cost them dearly in Sunday's 2-1, overtime defeat at California in the second round of the National Championships.
The NCAA should have paid to bring in a top referee. How Mike Kampmeinert of Sacramento ended up with Sunday's officiating assignment has both baffled and infuriated UCSB officials.
Their check of game summaries this season shows that Kampmeinert has served as the center official in just a couple of NCAA women's games. He's worked only the sidelines in two Division 1 men's contests.
That fact shows that the Pac-10 assigner who got Kampmeinert to officiate the match violated this portion of the NCAA's own 2010 handbook:
"Policies and Selection of Officials. For the Division I men's soccer championship, an official is required to work a minimum of six regular-season Division I men's soccer games in order to be eligible to work any round(s) of the championship."
Kampmeinert's game-turning decisions included:
1 — A red-card ejection of UCSB midfielder Luis Silva for allegedly sliding into Cal's Servando Carrasco at midfield with his cleats high with 20:48 still left in the first half, forcing the Gauchos to play shorthanded for more than 78 minutes.
2 — Only a yellow-card warning for Carrasco after he responded to the tackle by striking Silva in the head — a decision which allowed the Bears to maintain a one-player advantage over the Gauchos.
3 — A hand-ball call in the 18-yard box against UCSB's Chris Hunter, giving Carrasco a game-tying penalty kick with just 1:40 left in regulation.
4 — A non-call of an apparent hand-ball violation by Cal on a shot by Michael Tetteh near the end of overtime, just before Davis Paul made the game-winning shot for the Bears with :02 on the clock.
A review of the game tape — something that would prevent these kind of controversies if the NCAA invested in instant replay — showed that Kampmeinert was correct on only one of those four decisions.
1 — Bad call: Silva slid with his cleats down on a 50-50 play, striking the ball before pushing it hard onto Carrasco's leg.
2 — Ball non-call: Carrasco kept his footing despite the collision, and then used an open palm to strike Silva in the side of the Gaucho's head as he tried to stand up. The NCAA handbook's section on fouls and misconduct stipulates that a player should be ejected if he "is guilty of violent behavior."
3 — Good call: Hunter did touch the ball with his hand inside the 18-yard box on a long service by Cal's Demetrius Omphroy.
4 — Bad non-call: A Cal player clearly touched a shot by UCSB's Michael Tetteh with his hand inside the 18-yard box, and the Gauchos should have been awarded a penalty shot in the final minute of overtime.
NCAA officials are reviewing this same tape, although not to give UCSB any chance at a reversal. The result is official.
Yet to be decided are penalties against the Gauchos — most notably, starters Danny Barrera, Machael David and Tetteh — for confronting Kampmeinert after the match.
UCSB coach Tim Vom Steeg, who spent much of his post-game media conference criticizing the NCAA's method of assigning officials, kept mum on the subject on Monday.
Athletic director Mark Massari did release a statement which said:
"As a department we are thoroughly investigating the post-game actions of our student-athletes and staff. Once all video and input is reviewed, I will take the appropriate actions guided by sportsmanship, codes of conduct and general expectations of behavior.
"This match leaves many tough questions to be asked, through the proper system and process, on how officials are assigned and selected to work at this stage in the season when so much is at stake.
"However, although we are driven by championships, emotion and passion at UCSB, our student-athletes, coaches and staff will — at all times — display behavior that represents the university in nothing but a positive light. We have high standards in how we win, how we lose, and how we represent this incredible university. We did not do that post-match."
Hopefully, all those who wield power during this process — the NCAA as well as the UCSB administration — consider the circumstances and unfairness of the situation while passing judgment on these Gauchos and their coaches.
A cold, steely approach will only further taint a situation that is as ugly as the corroded metal of Harder Stadium.
Mark Patton's column appears on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. E-mail: [email protected]
UCSB men's soccer coach Tim Vom Steeg, left, argues with referee Mike Kampmeinert after Gauchos forward Luis Silva was given a red card in the team's NCAA Tournament loss to Cal on Sunday.