NCAA removes official at halftime due background conflict

Published 7:16 pm Saturday, March 23, 2024

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA changed one of the officials at the half of the Chattanooga-N.C. State game Saturday because of a background conflict.

Tommi Paris was removed from the NCAA Tournament first round game and replaced by Angelica Suffren, who had worked the first contest at the site.

“There was a switch of game officials at halftime of the Chattanooga-N.C. State first-round game because it was learned after the game had started that Umpire 2 Tommi Paris had a background conflict that, if known, would prevent her from working that assigned game,” the NCAA said in a statement after an inquiry from The Associated Press.

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An online profile for Paris says that she received a master’s degree from Chattanooga. The NCAA asks all officials who are being considered for the NCAA Tournament to disclose school affiliations to avoid potential conflicts. In this case, it wasn’t disclosed.

Suffren, who worked the earlier Green Bay-Tennessee game, was on the court for the second half of Chattanooga-N.C. State game.

The decision to send Suffren back out to the court came “because it provided the most on-court experience and allowed the game to maintain a full officiating crew, plus standby,” the NCAA’s statement said.

N.C. State won 64-45.

Suffren assessed a fourth-quarter technical foul on Chattanooga coach Shawn Poppie with the Mocs trailing 50-28.