Veteran ref Ted Valentine no longer working Big Ten games after 34 seasons

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Veteran official Ted Valentine will not work for the Big Ten during the 2018-19 season.

According to a report from Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune, the ref known by many as “TV Teddy” will not be on Big Ten games for the first time in 34 years. Perhaps the most publicly-known college basketball referee in the country, Valentine will continue to officiate games in the AAC, ACC and SEC this season.

Valentine has drawn his fair share of criticism over the years, as he’s garnered a reputation for delivering dramatic moments while officiating games. Known for technical foul calls and heated arguments with coaches, among many incidents, the veteran official had a famous encounter with former Indiana head coach Bob Knight after ejecting him from an Indiana home game in 1998.

Most recently, Valentine received national headlines when he turned his back on North Carolina senior guard Joel Berry II last season. The respected Tar Heel guard was attempting to make his case to Valentine after a turnover, as Valentine blatantly ignored Berry’s pleas. The incident led Valentine to publicly apologize to Berry, as the Big Ten held Valentine out of two regular season games because of the incident. Valentine was later withheld from 2018 NCAA tournament assignments after previously working the 2017 Final Four. Valentine told ESPN that he believes the Berry incident is the main reason why he was left out of the 2018 NCAA tournament.

Synonymous with many Big Ten coaches and programs, it’ll be strange not seeing Valentine working for the conference this season.

“I’ll miss the (Big Ten) coaches,” Valentine said to Greenstein. “I’ll probably shed a tear when I see a couple of them … Izzo because he’s a funny dude and he has called me his friend. Bo Ryan was zany and cool and I understood him. Thad Matta, Gary Williams, Clem Haskins. I had Lou Henson’s last game. Gene Keady, Dr. Tom Davis.

“I was 26 years old when I started, and the Big Ten made me tough.”

For as much criticism as Valentine has received over the years, he’s also very well respected by many college coaches. Valentine has never been scared to make calls on the road and he generally doesn’t back down against big-name coaches. It’ll be interesting to see if Valentine can keep a lower profile while officiating games this season, or if he’ll end up in more headlines and tweets for his antics.