College basketball referee John Higgins received around 800 voicemails after North Carolina beat Kentucky in the Elite Eight of this year’s NCAA Tournament as seven of those calls have been classified as a threat.
According to a report from WOWT in Omaha, Nebraska, Sarpy County Sheriff’s Detective Matt Barrall spent 80 hours reading posts and listening to the messages. Seven of the messages were believed to be excessive towards Higgins.
“There was some sort claim of violence, whether it be they wished him dead or wished him injured,” Barrall said to WOWT.
Here are examples of the threatening messages:
“You should put a gun in your mouth and blow your own fricking brains out.”
“If I ever see you in person I’m going to smack the taste out of your fricking mouth.”
“You’re going to pay, buddy.”
“You enjoy your life before somebody kills you.”
“Hey you hear that garbage truck in the background? Wish you were in it personally you **.”
“I hope the hell John Higgins falls off a roof and spends the rest of his life in a wheelchair.”
“I hope you all get in a plane crash and die.”
Barrall burned copies of the explicit voicemails onto disks to be sent to the jurisdictions where the calls originated.
After Kentucky’s loss, head coach John Calipari criticized the officiating, which included Higgins. After his personal phone number and personal business pages were spread online, Higgins was flooded with angry voicemails and messages from Kentucky fans, as they drove down the star ratings for his business online.