1983 | Referee: 'For God's sake, don’t goal tend'

Paul Housman had the best view of Lorenzo Charles' championship-winning dunk

calexander@newsobserver.comNovember 21, 2012 

Paul Housman might have been closer to Lorenzo Charles than Houston’s Akeem Olajuwon, a fact that’s not lost on Housman.

“Olajuwon was out near the foul line somewhere. I’m not sure what he was doing,” Housman said last week.

Housman was the referee under the basket in the final seconds of the N.C. State-Houston game at the Pit. When the Pack’s Dereck Whittenburg launched a last-gasp 30-footer, the Cougars’ Olajuwon was caught in no-man’s land in the lane, and the Pack’s Charles was alone under the basket.

Housman said his eyes drifted to Charles and that he likely had the same thought as thousands of Wolfpack fans.

“I was like, ‘For God sake, don’t goal tend,’ ” Housman said.

Charles didn’t, slamming through the dunk that made the Pack a 54-52 winner.

“Houston was supposed to beat State but they played right into State’s hands,” Housman said. “But State had played a bunch of tough games.”

Housman was chosen to work the title game with Hank Nichols and Joe Forte. All three had called ACC games, but there was no tension over the assignment, Housman said.

“We were loose and relaxed before the game, singing ’rail tracks two miles long,’ ” Housman said. “We were just hoping we had a good game and the kids had a good game.”

Housman, 77, lives in Salem, Va. He retired as a ref in 1990 after 30 years in stripes.

Where does the 1983 national championship game rank among all his games?

“It has to be No. 1,” he said.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service