Florida basketball coach Mike White shares lesson learned from official years ago

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida basketball coach Mike White said he communicated with the SEC regarding the technical foul assessed to sophomore guard KeVaughn Allen on Saturday at Kentucky.

Allen and Wildcats guard Isaiah Briscoe were called for double technical fouls after Allen gave a shove in response to Briscoe’s initial contact with 3:36 left to go in Kentucky’s 76-66 win in Lexington, Ky .

Acknowledging communication with the conference was about all White was willing to say on the matter.

“I’ve just got to be careful. I don’t want to dodge your question at all. I’ve had communication,” White said. “I don’t want to be fined in any way. I’m still buying diapers and if my (sons) don’t get in the driveway and get more shots up I’m going to be paying college tuitions as well. You know, KeVaughn unfortunately was called for a technical foul. You all saw it. I don’t want to go any further than that.” White also was asked about his approach with officials in general, how much he talks to them or voices his disagreement over calls during a game.

“Sometimes I talk to them too much. Sometimes you get consumed with them. Sometimes in retrospect you wish maybe you would have said this, or seen that or argued about this or that,” he said. “But I know as a young head coach, my first couple years at Louisiana Tech I was consumed with the officials and being disrespected and so on and so forth as a young head coach.”

White shared a story about being counseled on that by referee Mark Whitehead, who was officiating games at the time and is now the SEC’s coordinator of men’s basketball officials.

“He actually gave me some advice, put me under his arm at one point when he was doing one of our games,” White said. Whitehead “just talked about how I’m actually taking away from the focus on my guys and how to get them better and what we should be looking at offensively and defensively. And he made some great points. That’s why he’s great at what he does. But for the most part, that’s what I try to do. If you’re watching everything the officials are doing, you’re not watching the five guys you’re responsible for.”

White will lead the Gators in their final home game of the season on Wednesday. Arkansas is 22-7, 11-5 in the SEC. Florida is 23-6, 13-3 in conference play. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville. TV: ESPN2.