NCAA Referee Calls in Police After Death Threats, Harassment From Kentucky Wildcats Fans

AP Photo
The Associated Press

NCAA referee John Higgins was concerned enough over the death threats he received from upset Wildcats fans that he reported it all to the police, according to reports.

Wildcats fans began grousing on social media about the referee’s calls after Kentucky’s 75-73 loss to North Carolina on Sunday, where the Wildcats received no less than 19 fouls. Many felt that some of the calls Higgins made were incorrect.

Kentucky coach John Calipari even remarked about his amazement that his team was nearly “fouled out” of the game, ESPN noted.

But, many Kentucky fans did not leave it at mere grousing. With the mounting fury over Higgins’ officiating, some fans ferreted out the ref’s phone numbers, even the unlisted ones, and flooded his home and business with nasty calls.

That wasn’t all. Higgins’ business was flooded with negative messages on Facebook, and false satisfaction ratings for his company were also posted.

Many of these messages contained death threats, Higgins told police.

The situation grew dire enough for the university to issue a statement saying, “While we were all disappointed to see a memorable season end on Sunday, and we appreciate the support our fans showed our student-athletes all year, we encourage our fans to demonstrate good sportsmanship to everyone and discourage any other kind of behavior.”

Higgins has not responded to requests for comment on the story, but it has been confirmed he will be working the Final Four in Glendale, Arizona.

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