Refs Sue NCAA Over Alleged Age Discrimination | Athletic Business

Refs Sue NCAA Over Alleged Age Discrimination

A group of three college basketball referees are suing the NCAA, alleging they’ve been discriminated against because of their age. 

Robert Barker, Dennis Allocco and Michael Pilla brought their complaint Friday in Manhattan Supreme Court.

“All three continue to receive highly favorable evaluations of their referring skills,” the 27-page filing states, according a report from Courthouse News Service. “However, despite his continuing exemplary referring performance, the number of game assignments plaintiffs recently have received have declined precipitously.”

Barker said that he reffed 196 games between 2010 and 2016, but saw that number drop to 78 games from 2017 to 2019. While none of the games during the 2018-19 season were Division I assignments, he also notes that his assignments to Division II and Division III games have dropped precipitously.

Barker says that his supervisors have explained the change by saying that he and the older referees need to make way for younger referees. 

Pay has continued to decline for all three as well. Barker says his officiating fees declined from almost $31,000 to approximately $13,000. In the last two years, it’s dropped below $7,000.

“The NCAA have made it clear that they favor young referees and that older experienced referees like Barker will no longer receive the most lucrative assignments to Division I basketball games,” Schwab wrote in the complaint.

Named as defendants to the suit are the NCAA and six conferences: the Atlantic 10, the Northeast Conference, Patriot League, Colonial Athletic Association, Ivy League, and Northeast 10 Conference.

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