Officials such as Joe Forte and Nolan Fine, considered among the top in the college ranks, have decided to join the NBA next season, and others are still mulling the league's offer. After nine seasons of two-man crews, the league is returning to the three-man rotation that it employed during the 1978-79 season.
The NBA will take five officials out of the college ranks to fill full-time positions next season, said Atlantic Coast Conference supervisor of officials Fred Barakat. The NBA also will use a number of other referees in a split schedule between the NBA and the Continental Basketball Association. As many as 12 current CBA officials might be hired by the NBA, Barakat said, creating a need to fill those spots as well with college officials.
Forte, who worked the Final Four this season and five overall during his college career, said he had been offered a chance to work NBA playoff games when NBA officials went out on strike during the 1978 season, but decided against crossing the picket line.
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