Being a referee or judge in any sport can sometimes be a thankless job. Whether you do the job right or wrong, make the correct calls or not, you are going to receive a good dose of ill cheer from fans, no matter at which level you are doing it from. One level, however, that you are most sure to gain criticism for not properly doing your job, is from your butt planted on a folding chair at midcourt of an ongoing game.
Such is the spot that part-time referee Nichole Henry placed herself in when she refereed an afternoon session of the recent Scouts Focus Elite Showcase in Greensboro, N.C.
The event is a major recruiting showcase that attracts college assistant coaches, head coaches and a bevvy of top recruits from across the country looking to get attention and a scholarship for their hard work. What it didn't attract, from the look of things, is a complete set of referee's who are dedicated to properly doing their job.
Nicole Henry, according to a list of referees for the event, was five minutes into the game she was reffing when she just upped and grabbed a folding chair, setting it up at midcourt. Giving no sign of any injury, no grabbing at her calf or hobbling around, Henry just apparently decided that she had enough of the running around and just opted for a couch potato style of reffing. A style where she wouldn't have to run around or do her job accurately.
A part-time referee who freelances on the weekend, it's unlikely that Henry will have this job for much longer due to this unbelievably lazy display of work ethic, and any dismissal would be rightly so. This act is a slap in the face of all the players in the game as well as the parents who paid for their children to get the opportunity to possibly build a future with the right kind of attention. Now, with this one act, the attention was taken away from the teenagers and placed solely on a woman who decided for no apparent reason that running back and forth wasn't what she wanted to do.
Now while her side of the story has yet to be heard, it's hard to find any excuse that would justify this type of action as opposed to stopping the game and getting another referee or just, gasp, actually doing her job. Firing is an extreme action and one that shouldn't be taken lightly, but in this case it's a warranted action for this type of insult to a profession that already has enough naysayers already.