After his team was beaten, 71-69, at Indiana Saturday afternoon, Illinois Coach Lou Henson spent 20 minutes behind closed doors with Bob Wortman, the new supervisor of Big Ten officials.
Anyone within 30 feet of the door could hear Henson insisting that Daryl Thomas, Indiana's 6-foot-6 center who outplayed Henson's huge front line with 30 points, had been allowed to get away with pushing, holding and traveling.
That statement was ironic, since Indiana Coach Bob Knight drew a technical during the game for screaming about Illinois' physical play inside.
Wortman, a former NFL referee, has a tough job. The Big Ten is full of older officials, and Wortman already has privately told people there will be a large turnover in the league's 31-man officiating staff next season.
Meanwhile, Indiana Athletic Director Ralph Floyd would not comment on Knight's latest courtside outburst or on his conversation with Knight in a corridor during Saturday's nationally televised game.
Knight, who was suspended a game by the conference last year for throwing a chair across the court during a game against Purdue, stomped and slammed a chair to the floor Saturday. Further, he kicked a megaphone and chewed out the Indiana cheerleaders for disrupting a free throw by his Steve Alford.
The Colonial Athletic Association (formerly ECAC South) has two excellent teams. Richmond's 67-61 victory over Navy proves that. Richmond is 16-1 (losing only to Georgia Tech) and Navy is 15-4.
Speaking of the CAA, former James Madison Coach Lou Campanelli is wowing them in his new job at California. The always hapless Bears are 5-2 in the Pacific-10 and 13-4 overall. Saturday, they ended a 25-year, 52-game losing streak against UCLA with a 75-67 victory. Campanelli is aided by former ACC assistants Sherman Dillard (Maryland) and Ernie Nestor (Wake Forest).
The hottest coaching vacancy in the country is at Pittsburgh. Because outgoing Coach Roy Chipman has stockpiled talent -- raising questions about his recruiting tactics -- there is major interest in the job. One scenario involves Georgetown's John Thompson. There is some speculation about Hubie Brown, under fire with the New York Knicks, getting the Pitt job and being replaced by Thompson.
Don't laugh. Thompson often has said he would be interested in the right NBA post.
Stat of the week: Nine days ago, after his team lost to Western Kentucky, Alabama-Birmingham Coach Gene Bartow called the game "the most sickening loss I've ever been associated with." Saturday, the Blazers lost to Western Kentucky again. That put Western Kentucky at 15-3 for the season, first (4-1) in the Sun Belt Conference, all of this one year after the Hilltoppers were 14-14 and Coach Clem Haskins was told by the university, "Win or be gone."
The Upset Pick was way out on a limb picking Tennessee to win at Kentucky and the limb snapped when three-year starter Fred Jenkins was hurt Wednesday (out for the season) against Southern Mississippi. The Volunteers got whipped and the record is 4-6. This week: Still unheralded Richmond will travel to Blacksburg Thursday and beat No. 20 Virginia Tech.