As expected, the Pac-12 has responded to the utter debacle at the end of Wisconsin-Arizona State game Saturday night/Sunday morning.
In a press release Monday, commissioner Larry Scott announced that the officiating crew that worked the game has been reprimanded by the conference. Additionally, other sanctions were levied against the crew, although those weren’t detailed; Bryan Fischer of the Pac-12 Networks, though, speculates that could mean the crew being sidelined and not working a game this weekend.
“This was an unusual situation to end the game,” said Scott in a statement. “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.”
The end to the non-conference matchup was as wild as anyone has seen at this level of college football.
With :18 seconds left and trailing by two, the Badgers moved into range for what would have potentially been a game-winning field goal. All hell proceeded to break loose as quarterback Joel Stave appeared to at least attempt to kneel at the 13-yard line to center the ball for the FG attempt. That never happened thanks to a combination of a Sun Devil player laying on the ball — a penalty that wasn’t called — and the officiating crew seemingly oblivious to urgency of the situation as the seconds ticked off the clock.
In its released, the Pac-12 acknowledged that Stave “touched his knee to the ground and then placed the ball on the ground,” adding that “[t]here was initial uncertainty [among the officials] over whether the quarterback had taken a knee, given himself up or fumbled the ball.”
In the most damning portion of the release, the conference stated that “[n]either the referee nor anyone on his crew moved with appropriate urgency to clearly communicate that the ball was to be spotted so play could resume promptly.”
Of course, a reprimand and public acknowledgement does nothing for a UW football team that suffered its first loss of the 2013 season. Badgers head coach Gary Andersen, though, seemed appreciative of the development.
“It’s accountability, which at the end of the day is what we asked for,” Andersen said when asked about the Pac-12′s statement.