You may recall Florida volleyball's exit from the 2015 NCAA Tournament on an incontrovertibly blown call that helped host Texas top the Gators in a five-set thriller last December.
Certainly, the NCAA does: That's why the organization's rules committee recommended the institution of a video replay-based challenge system in January, one that would likely make such a blown call far less likely.
But so, too, does Florida coach Mary Wise. Her memory leaves her feeling slightly less objective, and a bit less charitable toward efforts to fix the game.
Oh, the irony: UF has been asked to host a line judging clinic in the Fall. Stop me now.— Mary Wise (@GatorMary) February 17, 2016
That's about a pitch-perfect response to the request from Wise, whose frequent and self-deprecating candor is both of a piece with Florida's fantastic network of head coaches and assistants on Twitter and a refreshing reminder that coaches are human beings who care about things, too.
But it's also revealing that Wise — arguably the most decorated college volleyball coach in history without a national title — and her program would get the insult of being asked to host a line judging clinic after an easy blown call that helped cost Florida a Final Four trip. It would be hard to imagine better-regarded titans of the sport Penn State or Stanford being met with the same insensitivity that Florida, situated in a part of the country that doesn't take to volleyball quite like the Northeast and West Coast do, received.
It's likely that Wise (and every volleyball coach) would simply prefer getting calls right consistently to any other outcome, something that a replay system will assuredly help with. Florida already died so such a replay system could live, though.
Asking the Gators to do more to fix a problem they were victimized by is pouring a container of Morton's in what is still very much an open wound. Wise and her players and coaches might yet host clinics and let refs learn from the mistakes they made that hurt the Gators, but they shouldn't have to do so with smiles on their faces.