Pac-12 reprimands UCLA coach Jim Mora

October 4, 2016

It always seems that every year a controversy arises over the quality of the Pac-12's officials.  In the latest brouhaha, UCLA Head Coach Jim Mora made comments during his interview on UCLA’s postgame radio show where he questioned the officiating during UCLA’s win over Arizona Saturday night.

As a result of those public comments, Mora has been reprimanded by the Pac-12 Conference's Commissioner, Larry Scott.

The Pac-12 defended their officials, and in fact concluded that in this instance, the refs acted correctly.  According to the Conference's press release:

"One of the plays in question came with 3:13 remaining in the first quarter. Arizona attempted a pass on second and six at their own 22-yard line when an Arizona offensive lineman was initially flagged for being an ineligible receiver downfield. The flag was picked up when it was determined that the Arizona quarterback was out of the pocket and legally threw the ball away out of bounds. Per the CCA Officiating Manual (Page 28: Other Passing Situations - 9), “If the passer is legally throwing the ball away and it lands near or beyond the sideline, do not penalize the offense for having ineligible players downfield.” Similarly, “Offensive pass interference for blocking downfield will not be called if the passer is legally grounding the ball out of bounds, near or beyond the sideline.” (Page 27: Not Offensive Pass Interference - 1). The correct ruling on this play was confirmed by the NCAA."

Respect for the officials is important across all conferences, and especially important to the Pac-12 -- a conference which has endured a reputation for incompetence in recent seasons.

Nevertheless, for all the energy that Scott devotes to officiating, brand expansion into China, and the Pac-12 Network, he should spend an equal if not greater amount of time amending the Conference's ultra-difficult nine-game league schedule, as it virtually ensures the exclusion of the Pac-12 Champion from the College Football Playoff.

No other move would enhance the Conference's national prestige more.

By Staff of and news services

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