Ref who had death threats from some UK fans discusses piecing life back together

FILE - In this March 26, 2017, file photo, Kentucky head coach John Calipari argues a call with referee John Higgins in the first half of the South Regional final game against North Carolina in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Memphis, Tenn. Referee John Higgins of Omaha has contacted law enforcement to report he’s received death threats after Kentucky’s loss to North Carolina in the NCAA South Regional final. A person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that Higgins reported threats on his home phone, which has an unlisted number, and on the office phone for his roofing company. The person requested anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - College basketball official John Higgins was the subject of death threats and had his business receiving bogus bad ratings from a lunatic fringe of fans following the University of Kentucky's loss to North Carolina in the Elite Eight, and now Higgins is talking about piecing his life and business back together again.

Higgins, who officiated the Final Four game between Gonzaga and South Carolina, discussed what the threats did to him, his family and business to both the Omaha World-Herald and Omaha television station KMTV.

Among the things Higgins told the Omaha World-Herald:

“My job is to be fair to both teams, be professional and demand sportsmanship,” he said. “That’s what we’re supposed to do as officials. That’s what I try to do every time I get out.”

As for the backlash he received from fans, Higgins simply said:

"You lose a little faith in people."

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off