After Notre Dame’s one-point loss to Florida State in Tallahassee this past Saturday, head coach Mike Brey had some choice words for the officiating crew in his post game press conference. Those comments earned him a public reprimanding from the ACC and a $20,000 fine.
Notre Dame men’s basketball coach Mike Brey is not afraid to speak his mind. Some words, however, cost more than other words.
Brey learned that yesterday when the ACC publicly reprimanded him and issued him a $20,000 fine for his post game comments about the officiating following Notre Dame’s 85-84 loss to Florida State.
Brey started his rant about the officiating by asking a rhetorical question, “Did Durham get fouled on that last one? On that steal. Did he get fouled on that?”
The play I believe he was referring to was when Juwan Durham stole an inbounds pass with 18 seconds left on the clock. The steal occurred right underneath the basket, so the 6′ 11” senior immediately went up to lay it in. The inbounder ran to contest the shot and there was definitely contact.
The basket made the score 84-85. A foul call on that play would have given the Irish a chance to tie the game at 85.
Brey continued his airing of grievances by asking another rhetorical question to the room of reporters. “How about the walk on Pflueger at half court?”
The 60-year-old coach then took a pause before dropping a spicy take. He said, “Sometimes we’re treated by the officials like we haven’t brought football as a full member, but yet we get a full share of the ACC Network TV (deal). Are you kidding me?”
That is some Maui Brey fire right there.
While that would have been a nice mic drop moment, Brey did not stop there. Much like Kris Kringle, Mike Brey made a list about things that upset him and checked it twice before his post game press conference.
He then brought up the technical foul that was called immediately following the travel call on Rex Pflueger. Speaking of the official who made the call, Brey said, “He T’s up our bench from across the court because he’s pissed off at us. I’m frustrated, man.”
Then, Brey stood up to leave the room, but he was not done talking. As he was walking out he said, “You gotta be kidding me, man. Come on, man, we’re in the league, too! Come on, John Gaffney!”
John Gaffney was the referee that called the technical foul on Notre Dame’s bench that Brey took exception with.
This outburst was a bit uncharacteristic for Mike Brey. He is definitely not afraid to show his emotions after big wins, but he is usually very levelheaded in defeat.
This rant probably stemmed from the cumulative buildup of frustration after a rough start to Notre Dame’s conference schedule. The Irish have lost five of their last seven games against ACC opponents. Those five losses were by a combined twelve points.
The close losses can hurt more than blowouts, because in those games you can almost taste the victory. It is within reach. It is attainable. However, you fall short.
For Mike Brey, the loss at Florida State was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. With a handful of seconds left on the clock, the Irish had four opportunities to take the lead and potentially win the game. They missed all four of those shots. That is just the type of season it has been for Notre Dame.