Ref collapses, exits Gonzaga-USC game on stretcher

NCAA official Bert Smith is rolled off the court on a stretcher after collapsing on the court during a game between Gonzaga and USC in the Elite Eight round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. Mandatory Credit: Kelly Wilkinson/IndyStar via USA TODAY Sports

Veteran referee Bert Smith collapsed and was taken off the court on a stretcher Tuesday night early in the NCAA Tournament game between Gonzaga and Southern California in Indianapolis.

Smith was “stable” a short time later, according to CBS rules analyst Gene Steratore, a former college basketball referee.

“He was feeling lightheaded on the court and fell,” Steratore said. “He’s being attended to by trainers in the locker room.”

Smith, who is in his 27th season as a college basketball official, was near the baseline when the incident happened. A replay showed Smith falling backward and landing hard on his back and head.

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Smith was attended to for several minutes before he was removed via the stretcher. He was alert and talking while being removed.

William Henderson, who was the alternate official, replaced Smith to join Randy McCall and Doug Shows.

–Field Level Media