We’ve all seen referees throw basketball players out of games before. In fact, just the other day, we saw an NBA official toss Isaiah Thomas and Rajon Rondo from a game in the first quarter after they got into it on the court. But have you ever seen a ref give the heave-ho to… a cheerleader?
That’s exactly what took place during the Arizona/Arizona State rivalry game on Thursday night. Arizona State guard Remy Martin (sidebar: best name in college basketball?!) was at the free-throw line preparing to take a shot in the second half when an Arizona cheerleader yelled, "Not today, Remy," in his direction through a megaphone.
It didn’t really seem like that big of a deal when you consider that plenty of other people in the crowd were likely yelling the same thing. But apparently, longtime Pac-12 official Randy McCall had warned the cheerleader to stop using the megaphone to yell at opposing players earlier in the game. So when McCall heard him doing it again, he stopped the game, walked over to the scorer’s table, and said, "This guy needs to get out of here." The cheerleader was then escorted off the court and into the back to watch the remainder of the game.
"He was yelling, using the [megaphone] to call out people by name, which is not acceptable," McCall told the Arizona Republic later. "And he was asked to please stop, and he chose not to."
In fairness to McCall, he was well within his rights to throw the cheerleader out. Cheerleaders are not technically supposed to use musical instruments, artificial noisemakers, or megaphones to "commit an unsportsmanlike act," according to the NCAA’s official referee handbook.
But did the guy really deserve to get tossed for this? Check out the video above to make the call for yourself. Even without his services, Arizona still went on to win 77-70.