Pac-12 reprimands officials for fiasco in Arizona State-Wisconsin game

September 16, 2013

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott today reprimanded and took additional sanctions against officials in Saturday night's Wisconsin-Arizona State game for their incompetent failure to properly handle the end of game situation, and for their failure to act with appropriate urgency on the game's final play.

"This was an unusual situation to end the game," said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “After a thorough review, we have determined that the officials fell short of the high standard in which Pac-12 games should be managed. We will continue to work with all our officials to ensure this type of situation never occurs again."

In the final minute of the game, the Badgers trailed 32-30 and were driving for a game-winning field goal. With 18 seconds remaining in the game, Wisconsin's quarterback ran toward the middle of the field to position the ball for a kick, touched his knee to the ground, and then placed the ball on the ground.

However, there appeared to be some uncertainty over whether the quarterback had taken a knee because he did not demonstratively drop to his knee as most quarterbacks typically do when kneeling to the ground. Instead, he quickly bent and then rose. As a result, several Arizona State players considered the ball to be a live fumble, and attempted to recover the ball.

Not only did the officials exhibit a lack of urgency in communicating that the runner was down and that the ball was to be spotted, but they also appeared to stall Wisconsin's ability to snap and spike the ball by giving a "wait" hand signal to the offense.

When the Badgers finally attempted to spike the ball, time had expired and Arizona State walked away with a narrow win.

This has been the second football officiating mistake that the Pac-12 has had to crack down on this season. The first involved an unjust ejection of a defensive player during the Cal-Northwestern game in Week One.

The Pac-12 also just recently dealt with another officiating scandal in Men's basketball when inappropriate comments were made by Ed Rush, the Pac-12 Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Officiating, about calls that were made on Arizona coach Sean Miller. The scandal caused Rush to resign soon thereafter.

By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and news services

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