Corbetts officiate a Division I game together
NEW YORK (AP) Ed Corbett has officiated hundreds, maybe a thousand, college basketball games. From games that are played in front of hundreds of fans to the sport's biggest stage - the Final Four.
On Thursday night, Ed Corbett worked a game unlike any other for him: His son, Ed Jr., was assigned to officiate with him.
''I was nervous all day and I am not nervous even in a national championship game,'' Ed Corbett said.
Ed Corbett Jr. was honest about the hours leading up to his first all-Division I game as well.
''I usually do get nervous, but today was different,'' he said. ''It's too easy to call this a dream come true.''
There weren't any signs of nervousness from the officiating crew - the non-Corbett to work the game was veteran official John Corso - and there weren't any sideline coaches' tirades or petulant players. It all looked smooth from the outside.
''I was worried the speed of game and the size of the players would have changed on him from Division II and Division III,'' Ed Corbett said after the LIU's 84-79 home victory. ''I didn't want him to call fouls normally not called in a game like this. He was fine.''
Ed Corbett Jr. was a little harsher on himself.
''I thought my first call was a bad one which is tough because you want your first one to be a good one,'' he said. ''After that it became another game.''
Jack Sweeney, a longtime referee and the supervisor of officials for the Northeast Conference, met the three officials in the locker room after the game as usual and discussed any points he felt the crew might have missed or situations that could have been handled differently.
Ed Corbett Jr. is built just like his father and looks a lot like him.
''I thought I was looking back to a long time ago,'' Sweeney said. ''The kid is good.''
The kid was at his father's first Division I game in 1988.
''I took the whole family up to Providence. Princeton at Brown. Pete Carril, a basketball god. Young John Thompson was on Princeton. There were only two (officials) back then. I brought my wife, my daughter and him,'' the father said pointing at the son who was old enough to remember the trip but young enough not to remember the game. ''It was very exciting. I can't tell you how I did. It was a long time ago.''
Corso went for the laugh before getting serious.
''Rough. It was rough,'' he said. ''It was a pleasure working with them. It couldn't have been better.''
LIU coach Jack Perri thought it was all ''very cool.''
''Ed senior is just an awesome official and his son looks like he can be a good one, too,'' he said.
At the 2003 Maui Invitational, John and Tim Clougherty worked the Dayton-San Diego State semifinal. That day nobody could come up with another father-son officiating combination. Now there are the Corbetts.
''After the first 4, 5 minutes I was able to get very comfortable in not having to worry about outside my own zone,'' Ed Corbett said. Then he looked over at his son. ''After that it became just another game. Nah, this will always be a special one for me.''