Ted Valentine has been a referee for nearly 30 seasons but the backlash he's faced from turning his back to Joel Berry II might push him away.
Referee Ted Valentine told Seth Davis of The Athletic that he is thinking about retiring after getting so many negative reactions on social media after he turned his back on North Carolina's Joel Berry II Jan. 3.
"I am thinking about walking away from the whole thing because of all the social media,” Valentine told Davis. “First you're guilty, then you have to prove yourself innocent. I'm just tired of it. I'm a better person, I'm a better referee, I'm tired of being cut on. I really am. So I'm taking this weekend to evaluate, what is it that I want to do? Do I want to go back? Can I put up with this? I'm going to take it one day at a time and see how it goes."
Late in the second half of a contest between the Tar Heels and Florida State, Berry appeared to get his arm held as he was trying to go after an outlet pass. The ball went out of bounds and was given to Florida State. When Berry collected the ball and tried to give it to Valentine while also asking about why a foul was not called, Valentine turned his back on Berry and folded his arms, before taking the ball from Berry and continuing play.
The move sparked outrage on social media, and Valentine said those responses are pushing him closer to the end of his officiating career.
"It was just something that happened in the battle of the game," Valentine told Davis. "It’s not really worth talking about. Everybody reacted to what Jay Bilas wrote on Twitter. He made a comment about something and he didn't see the whole thing. This is the world we live in. Everybody wants to make you guilty before you're innocent."
Valentine told Davis that the Big Ten pulled him from the two games he was supposed to work this weekend in response to the incident. He added that the ACC offered him another game to work but he declined.