Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pac 10 gets it right

Note to Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany: Pay attention! For those of you that missed the Oklahoma – Oregon game; the outcome was directly affected by two ridiculous calls by Pac 10 officials. The first was an onside kick erroneously awarded to Oregon even though a Ducks player touched it before the required 10 yards and even though video replay showed that an Oklahoma player actually recovered the ball. The second call in question came later when a Pass Interference call against Oklahoma set up the Oregon winning score. Sooner coaches argued the ball was tipped at the line of scrimmage thereby abolishing the Interference call. Again video replay showed the call to be incorrect but the replay officials saw otherwise claiming a lack of “indisputable evidence.”

It took Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen one day to review and make reparations. Hansen wasted no time in his attempt to right wrongs and suspended the officiating crew and the instant replay officials that worked Saturday's game for one game.
"The fact that the errors on the onside kick altered the outcome of the game is most unfortunate and unsettling," Hansen said in a statement. "We had a solid veteran crew assigned, and the instant replay official had a fine career as a referee in the Pac-10. We believe in the ability and integrity of each individual involved. It should be noted that not all of the seven officials were directly involved in the play in question, but the entire crew bears responsibility for every play. [emphasis mine] Game officials and replay officials have positions of great responsibility and must be accountable for their actions.”

"Errors clearly were made and not corrected, and for that we apologize to the University of Oklahoma, coach Bob Stoops and his players. They played an outstanding college football game, as did Oregon, and it is regrettable that the outcome of the contest was affected by the officiating."
Bravo! Brav-F’in-o!!!

It takes a very big man to stand up, admit mistakes and try to rectify them, especially in such a short time period. Hansen could have drug this out hoping people would forget, ignored it because there is nothing anyone can really do anyway, or taken the Big Ten approach and come out with some blanket bullshit response claiming their officials are “on par” with other conferences (that’s why the Big Ten was the first to institute replay, because they were “on par”). But Hansen should be given the thumbs up for swift, decisive action involving the entire crew. A clearer message could not have been sent. This kind of accountability will never be seen in the Big Ten until the current regime is gone and we get people with some backbone. I’m sure none of this makes Oklahoma feel any better, but it’s a step in the right direction. Make lousy officials pay for obvious mistakes, intentional or otherwise.


Cool Hand Mike said...

I always took the Bob Knight approach to officiating.

"Who's checking to see if the refs are gambling on games?"

Galen said...

I always wondered about that, are Refs restricted like players? If not, they should be. There should be a zero tolerance policy on gambling for refs, but is that the case, I plead ignorance.