The commissioner of the Eastern College Athletic Conference said yesterday that, according to reports he has received, both referee John Bonder and Georgetown University Coach John Thompson were at fault wednesday night regarding a noncall near the end of the Hoyas' basketball game with Oral Roberts.
Commissioner Robert M. (Scotty) Whitelaw said no formal reprimands would be issued by his office, but "appropriate action" against Thompson and Bonder would be taken by their immediate supervisors.
What set off the brouhaha, in which Thompson stormed into the officials' locker room after the 75-74 loss and cursed Bonder, was Bonder's explanation of why he refused to call a technical foul on a dead-ball dunk by Oral Roberts' Robert Rriffin with 17 seconds to play and the Titans ahead, 74-72.
According to Thompson, Georgetown Athletic Director Frank Rienzo and ECAC Southern Division officiating supervisor Lou Bonder, the referee's uncle, John Bonder did not call the technical because he did not want to spoil an outstanding game by Griffin.
Whitelaw said referee Bonder would not have any games taken away because of the incident. Whitelaw said supervisor Bonder "will talk to referee Bonder and bring to his attention he made an error."
The commissioner said if referee Bonder continues to make errors because of poor interpretation of the rules, he would not be assigned to Division I games in the future.
Thompson said his actions were unsportsmanlike but that he would not apologize.
Rienzo said he has talked to his coach twice since the incident.
"As John's immediate supervisor, I have discussed it with him and it's obvious to him that what he did was wrong," Rienzo said.
"I made it clear he should not have been in the locker room in the way he was. We have dealt with the matter here to make sure it will not happen again.
"The story, as related, indicates the referee changed the rules of the game with 17 seconds to play... It caused an extreme reaction on the part of an individual who's used to playing by the rules.
"One must look at the entire environment in which all human experiences occur. It must be taken over the total context. And that is not to say we condone what he (Thompson) did."
Thompson said he was under control at all times in his confrontation with the officials.
"If I wanted to do bodily harm to them, there is nobldy that could have stopped me." the 6-foot-10 coach said.
"When you get refs who are going to call your games again, you can't leave something like that unsaid," Thompson continued. "I have no other form of protest other than to confront them.
"Both of us (Thompson and Bonder) committed actions that were unsportsmanlike. I was vocal, but he was just as unsportsmanlike.
"I'm not in the business of playing 'hear nothing, see nothing, do nothing.' I'm not one of those three little monkeys. I have to react emotionally to what happens."
Thompson said his only concern now is that both he and Bonder are dealt with similarly because they were both in error. According to Whitelaw, that will be the case.