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Referee attempts to justify horrid flag against K-State, fails miserably


If you haven’t heard about the inane unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at the end of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, you can read about it HERE.  Go ahead, we’ll wait.

(Lips moving… lips moving… done reading…)

In the aftermath of the absurdity that cost Kansas State any realistic shot at tying Syracuse and sending the game into overtime, the referee of the Big Ten officiating crew, Todd Geerlings, was asked about the decision to throw a flag for an innocuous salute.  Here are the questions, and Greeley’s answers, with no commentary from us:

Excessive celebration is rule 9-2-1d, which states a penalty is called for:
“Any delayed, excessive, prolonged or choreographed act by which a player attempts to focus attention on himself (or themselves).”

What exactly caused the penalty?
“It was the salute, which was the judgment of the calling officials, which were the head linesman and the back judge. Two officials threw the flag, both judged it to be drawing attention to themselves, and that’s what the flag was for.”

Were you watching for any celebrations?
“These kinds of excessive celebrations have been a priority in the rulebook for the last several years. There’s a whole page in the rulebook pertaining to sportsmanship.”

OK, maybe just one comment: perhaps there should be a whole chapter pertaining to common sense as well.

(Special thanks to the KSU sports information folks for forwarding the email containing the quotes.)

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20 Responses to “Referee attempts to justify horrid flag against K-State, fails miserably”
  1. jaggedmark says: Dec 30, 2010 8:53 PM

    The call looks especially bad since there have already been 4 non-flagged celebrations in this Teen/UNC game that are more excessive than the K St call.

  2. brooklynninerfan19 says: Dec 30, 2010 9:08 PM

    because of the Rodney rule. LOL 😉

  3. srbrake34 says: Dec 30, 2010 9:15 PM

    What the hell is going on with the Big Ten refs. They did this against Ohio State when they wore the gloves with the O on them and penalized them multiple times. Alabama does the same thing and Oregon will have the O on their gloves for National Championship. Just another thing to make the Big Ten ridiculous

  4. upstatemaroons says: Dec 30, 2010 9:24 PM

    I’m a big Syracuse fan but that was one of the worst calls I’ve seen at the end of a game.

  5. 8man says: Dec 30, 2010 10:24 PM

    I’m a Michigan fan.

    The Big Ten just continues to get worse and worse. Ever since they got in bed with the BCS, it’s just gotten slimier and slimier….


  6. 8dollarbeer says: Dec 30, 2010 10:40 PM

    If anyone is watching this Tenn UNC game, do you agree that the Big Ten refs shouldnt be allowed any more bowl games?? This has been the worst officiated game I’ve ever seen, and thats saying something. The Tenn QB has slashed at his neck towards the UNC bench twice, no penalty. The kid from K State salutes, and 15 yrds?? Whats the Big Ten’s bs response to that??

  7. 8man says: Dec 30, 2010 10:53 PM

    This Todd Geerlings guy is done.

    The fallout from this debacle and tonite is going to haunt him forever…or at least until he quits.

    “Oh yeah. You were the d-bag that penalized some kid for saluting after a touchdown and ruined his team’s honest chance to tie a bowl game which, of course, caused the viewing public to doubt the integrity of the game. So are your kids out of therapy yet?”

    Sad. And lame. And just wrong.

  8. 1990tiger says: Dec 30, 2010 11:49 PM

    8dollarbeer says: Dec 30, 2010 10:40 PM

    If anyone is watching this Tenn UNC game, do you agree that the Big Ten refs shouldnt be allowed any more bowl games?? This has been the worst officiated game I’ve ever seen, and thats saying something. The Tenn QB has slashed at his neck towards the UNC bench twice, no penalty. The kid from K State salutes, and 15 yrds?? Whats the Big Ten’s bs response to that??
    I agree. Bray’s gesture probably should have been called as a “slashing gesture” the first time. I can’t believe that (you pick): (a) he did it again, (b) he did it again and didn’t get flagged for it, and/or (c) the UT coaches didn’t tell him not to do it again (or maybe he ignored them). Don’t forget about the late hit (committed by UT) late in the game. I don’t see how the refs missed that. UT’s defense gave that game away in the last 40 seconds. That launch hit by UT was ridiculous as well as the roughing the kicker penalty during the last play of regulation.

  9. joephan says: Dec 31, 2010 12:52 AM

    Great bowl game! Both teams played their hearts out and did their schools proud. Regarding the controversy: when was the last time you saw you a college player score a touchdown and give a “military” salute to the opposing team’s fans in the stands? We’re not talking service academy stuff here. It was a pretty weird thing to do and I’m sure the Syracuse fans didn’t take it as a complement. It was a great game though and both teams should stand tall.

  10. nothimagain says: Dec 31, 2010 1:48 AM

    Once again Pac 10 officials blow it. What’s that you say? Big 10? Get outta here.

  11. randyray82 says: Dec 31, 2010 2:23 AM

    Forever the refs they will never admit to being wrong
    it’s the front office I want to hear from,flagged for saluting is this what we are teaching our kids, that Its wrong to salut, you alredy can’t drop to your knee to thank God for giving you the ability to make a touchdown

  12. randyray82 says: Dec 31, 2010 2:25 AM

    Sorry it’s soppose to say forget the refs*

  13. gamecockinfl says: Dec 31, 2010 8:27 AM

    What do you expect from the pompous “Legends and Leaders” league officials.

  14. mitifinenoles says: Dec 31, 2010 8:39 AM

    Least we forget the call in fact was a killer but there is no guarnetee the 2 point conversion would have been succesful with out the penalty. Subjective rules always cause controversy but of course that is whay makes colleg football so compelling.

  15. xli2006 says: Dec 31, 2010 1:28 PM

    This Ref should be FIRED. To tarnish a game, to disrespect a young athlete and a Bowl Team for a harmless action, he should be held accountable for his dogsh** call.

    The Big Ten Refs have made a number of absolutely insane calls over the past few years and it’s about time they begin to have some sort of retribution for when they make over-the-top terrible calls.

    FIRE THIS REF! As a Big Ten Fan/Alum, I don’t want him anywhere near a field where my Alma Mater is playing.

  16. edgy says: Dec 31, 2010 2:14 PM

    I can’t help but laugh at how much attention that the Big 10 crews are getting because I can remember people roasting the SEC officials because of some of their calls in the past couple of years. Bad officiating happens in every conference and in every level.

    BTW, I would like to say that it’s funny that several years ago, the WAC became the first conference to announce the numbers of the kids that committed infractions and other conferences said that they didn’t think it was a good idea because they thought it would be harmful to the kids to being pointed out (Never mind that they’ve been doing this forever in basketball, apparently football players were much more fragile). It’s now common practice and the kids seem to have survived this scrutiny. This isn’t related to anything but I was thinking about this and I thought it would be an interesting thing to talk about. :)

  17. flyby4702 says: Dec 31, 2010 4:14 PM

    @joephan- not to belittle your comment, however I live in Manhattan, Ks. and this at best was an arguable ref call. To make the comment that the salute was a weird thing to do is a little weird itself, if you know Manhattan at all. We are a little less than 15 miles from “The Big Red 1”, aka Fort Riley/Marshall AFB. Their artillery firing at night shakes my windows. We are a very patriotic community and it would be strange NOT to salute. To go down to the local bar district (Aggieville) or onto K-State Campus and not see a student in BDU’s would be a strange day indeed. If anything, the student was just being patriotic, and quite honestly I think we had a real good chance of sending that game to OT. I’m still proud to say that K-State even after a mediocre season came out with one of the best bowl games of the year. It would have been nice to win one. Congrats to Syracuse.

  18. antiherogoodkind says: Dec 31, 2010 5:14 PM

    For some perspective:

  19. nofunleague says: Dec 31, 2010 7:52 PM

    It’s all about not being able to handle the pressure of the moment. Part time employees have a habit of doing this. One salute is not excessive, delaying, or drawing attention to ones self. Many happy sleepless nights to these fools in stripes.

  20. melikefootball says: Dec 31, 2010 9:29 PM

    The Big ten officials believe as the Big Ten itself that they are above all. Ohio State proved it with allowing there players to play after promising they would come back to Columbus next year. All fluff and no substance. Lost a whole lot of respect for that conference. These refs were over officating in a bowl game, the crew should not be invited to do another bowl game EVER! Totally uncalled for ESPECIALLY after watching other game s and what is allowed after a score or tackle or catch. Stupid call.

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