Time for TV Teddy to tone it down

Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin and referee Ted Valentine get up close and personal during Saturday's game against Connecticut.

David Butler II

Maybe this is just personal preference. Maybe I’m a little bit old school, or just plain old.

I’ve seen enough of Ted Valentine.

To clarify, I’ve seen way too much of Ted Valentine.

And that’s a problem.

It’s the time of year that casual college basketball fans are starting to tune in a little more often, and as if Valentine already being a known commodity among many of those casual fans wasn’t already a problem, just about every sports television show in the country last weekend had highlights of Valentine’s confrontation with Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin.

Cronin isn’t afraid to share his feelings or raise his voice. He has been in more than his share of red-faced screaming matches. This one was clearly initiated by Valentine, who first jumped toward Cronin, then jumped in his face.

"I didn’t appreciate it but I want you to know this, we have a relationship, that’s why he felt comfortable doing that," said Cronin after the game of the incident. "That ball was out on them I think. I took it personal. Where I come from you don’t get in somebody’s face."

Valentine doesn’t walk into an arena. He struts. What happens from tip to the final whistle is often done on his own terms, too.

The "look at me" stuff is simply a bad look. Even when it’s not totally over the top it, by now, is simply overdone.

Apparently, Valentine is a top official. He clearly thinks he is, but he’s not the only one. He has been getting big games on big stages for years. He has been doing big NCAA tournament and Final Four games longer than this year’s college basketball players have been alive. He has been doing the big TV games in some of the nation’s best conferences because he’s earned his way.

My issue is that the name "TV Teddy" doesn’t come from his initials. He loves being part of the show, often too big a part.

Enough’s enough. This isn’t about one incident, his long history of highly-viewed arguments — many coaches are hotheads and not exactly camera shy in their own right — or even the way he jumped at Cronin. It’s about too much strutting, too much posturing, too much of making himself a part of the broadcast or the storyline.

It might make for good TV, but it’s way past time for TV Teddy to tone it way, way down.