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Wednesday, March 27, 2013
In watching the ESPN Films "30 for 30" documentary on the 1983 NCAA championship game, Roanoke basketball fans are advised to look closely at the final play, which found N.C. State's Lorenzo Charles catching a heave by Dereck Whittenburg and dunking it for a 54-52 Wolfpack victory.
Standing under the basket, making sure there weren't any fouls on the play, was Roanoke-based official Paul Housman.
"It was absolutely unforgettable," said Housman, who was officiating an NCAA title game for the first time in his career. "I was underneath the basket and I thought the ball was going to hit me on the toes. That was not a shot, in my opinion. It was a throw.
"[Hakeem] Olajuwon stayed at the foul line. He didn't hardly move. I wasn't supposed to be looking up. That wasn't my call, Lorenzo Charles grabbed that sucker and all I could think was, 'Don't goaltend that one.' And he didn't. It was outside the cylinder."
Housman, an ACC official from 1971-1990, later made a second trip to the Final Four in 1988, when he called the Oklahoma-Arizona semifinals.
One year earlier, he had officiated the Midwest Region final between Indiana and LSU, famous for an exchange in which Hoosiers coach Bobby Knight sent a telephone flying when he slapped a table in front of NCAA representative Gene Corrigan.
The 1983 game was called by the threesome of Housman, Hank Nichols and Joe Forte. Nichols, who went on to become a national supervisor, recently was named to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Housman's recollection is that his crew also had the semifinal between Louisville and Houston and that he had called a Kentucky-Louisville matchup earlier in the 1983 tournament, "the first time they'd played in something like 40 years," he said.
Housman has not seen the documentary, produced by Whittenburg, "but I think my daughter taped it," he said. "I'll have to check it out."
Whittenburg did commentary Sunday for Virginia's NIT game with St. John's and stood off to the side as UVa coach Tony Bennett addressed the media after a 68-50 victory over the Red Storm. When Bennett was finished, Whittenburg introduced himself.
Whittenburg told Bennett that, in 13 seasons as an ACC player or assistant coach, he had never once experienced victory in Charlottesville. He was 0-4 at University Hall as a State player, 0-4 as a State assistant and 0-5 as a Georgia Tech assistant.
"Then, you know what, I come in here [as head coach] with Fordham and we beat Dave Leitao in his first year here," said Whittenburg, whose 1-6 Rams team prevailed 62-60 in December 2005.
Kevin Rogers, the offensive coordinator at Virginia Tech from 2002-2005 and a mentor for the likes of Donovan McNabb (at Syracuse) and Bryan Randall, has accepted a position as the offensive coordinator at William and Mary.
Rogers was a linebacker at William and Mary from 1972-75 and later served as a running backs coach from 1980-82 under Jimmye Laycock, still the Tribe's head coach.
Rogers left Tech for an NFL job with Minnesota, where he spent five years, and later served as the offensive coordinator at Boston College in 2011 and the associate head coach at Temple in 2012.
Rogers replaces 29-year William and Mary assistant Zbig Kepa, who was not retained after successive 5-6 and 2-9 seasons.
Former football coach and school administrator John Walker points out that Carl Tacy's connections to Timesland weren't limited to Pulaski High School and Ferrum Junior College.
Walker notes that Tacy, recognized as Wake Forest's legend at the ACC men's basketball tournament, also was the basketball coach at Bedford High School, forerunner to the current Liberty High School. The current dean of ACC football coaches, Wake's Jim Grobe, also was a head coach at Liberty.
Tacy said Wednesday that he was at Bedford, where he also helped coach football, for two years.
The forecast of heavy snow last weekend in New England resulted in Boston College moving a scheduled three-game homestand with North Carolina from Chestnut Hill, Mass., to Chapel Hill, N.C.
The Eagles and Tar Heels played a doubleheader Saturday, only to have Sunday's game canceled as the result of heavy rain in Chapel Hill. Boston College (3-18) had not played a single home game heading into a Wednesday date with visiting Bryant.
The Radford men's basketball program took an oral commitment this past weekend from 6-foot-7, 230-pound Hulian Terrell, a power forward from North Cobb Christian in Kennesaw, Ga. Rivals.com lists the Highlanders with a commitment from Terrell for 2013 and from 6-6 Corbyn Jackson from the Blue Ridge School for 2014.
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