Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, February 27, 2015

Some call it ?working the officials.? Others call it ?complaining.? No matter how it?s labeled, some coaches are good at getting in the ear of referees during the course of a game. And-who knows?-maybe being able to influence a few calls along the way. I'm just sayin' …

I asked five Big Ten writers to pick which coach they felt ?interacted? with officials the most.

Marcus Jackson, Champaign News-Gazette: Tom Izzo. He's been around longer than anyone else, knows how to work the officials and they seem to be blow a favorable whistle or two his way.

Brian Neubert, Gold & Black Illustrated: Izzo. Definitely Izzo. But they all do it.

Steve Greenberg, Chicago Sun-Times: I'll go with Matt Painter, although Pat Chambers has all kinds of woe-is-me potential. John Groce rides refs a ton, but he keeps it clean and sprinkles in enough compliments to keep up relationships.

Ben Jones, Hmm, well I would say Izzo probably has the longest track record vocally even if Chambers has the most press this year.

Scott Dochterman, Cedar Rapids Gazette: Of the four or so that should tie in this category, I'll say Bo Ryan is first among equals, if only because of his jaw-dropping stare.


About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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