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Pac-12 reprimands UW-ASU officiating crew

Wisconsin v Arizona State Getty Images

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.

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41 Responses to “Pac-12 reprimands UW-ASU officiating crew”
  1. Deb says: Sep 16, 2013 2:20 PM

    You have to admire Andersen’s graciousness, given the circumstances.

  2. mvp43 says: Sep 16, 2013 2:30 PM

    Well, Stave didn’t help with the sort of awkward kneel he did, but fact is……… the knee was down and its ultimatley up to the ref to get that call right.

    If anything review the play? that’s why we have replay. Only thing on those refs mind was getting the heck out there I think. Its really a shame because although Wisconsin didn’t really play a great game, they were still in a position to win it…… and that was taken away.

  3. 8to80texansblog says: Sep 16, 2013 2:32 PM

    Yeah I would foolishly still be livid even though there is absolutely nothing more than that that could have been done.

    Bravo to the Pac12 for biting the bullet and admitting the mistake.

  4. jvinton52 says: Sep 16, 2013 2:36 PM

    Reblogged this on VinTheDay.

  5. johngaltwho says: Sep 16, 2013 2:42 PM

    Went beyond incompetence well into the realm of cheating.

    The acknowledgment is insufficient.

    The PAC12 has been caught up in a cheating scandal before and here they go again. Ed Rush!

  6. sdemp says: Sep 16, 2013 2:57 PM

    Everyone can clearly see the mistakes made by the officiating crew. . . but my concern is with the idiotic decision made by the UW coaches/players to be so concerned about centering the “chip shot” field goal that they put themselves in that position.

    Hence why I believe coach Anderson is taking the high road, knowing how stupid that decision was.

  7. mrsmell says: Sep 16, 2013 3:02 PM

    The Refs werent that bad. Cmon, I had to watch the TCU vs TTU game and those Refs are going to work next weekend.

  8. hoggette says: Sep 16, 2013 3:14 PM

    Like the Arkansas/Florida game where they were reprimanded a few years ago. Tebow was going too win that game no matter what at Gainesville. Doesn’t help the win column.

  9. gorilladunk says: Sep 16, 2013 3:17 PM

    Commissioner Scott says…”the crew fell short of the high standards Pac-12 games should be managed.” My question…when has ANY Pac-12 crew met the middle standard of how a game should be managed?
    It seems like there is at least one of these type clusterf%#ks each year with a Pac-12 crew.

  10. ajarkoski says: Sep 16, 2013 3:23 PM

    Next time they will be more focused on score management instead of clock mnmgt and trying to score with as little or no time left.

    Just score and leave the mistakes or miracle plays on the other team.

  11. rayburns says: Sep 16, 2013 3:48 PM

    Good rule of thumb: Never put yourself or your team in a position where an official’s call can decide the game for you.

  12. muskyhunter2542 says: Sep 16, 2013 4:08 PM

    Im very bitter still!!!

  13. ddjesus says: Sep 16, 2013 4:11 PM

    Teams center up game winning kicks all the time, all the time, it wasn’t arrogance or stupidity on Andersen’s part, it was good strategy, considering that the Badgers were on the far right hash, making a supposed chip shot much harder for an average kicker.

    Plus, I’m pretty sure that kneel or no kneel, it was pretty clear that Stave was giving himself up, which is just as good as a kneel. No excuse for the ASU players snuggling with the football, absolutely no excuse for referee inaction and hasty exit.

    And do not give me that “they deserved to lose” garbage, they were in a position to win. As poorly as they played, you could argue that ASU played just as poorly, to be up only by 2 points. So who arbitrarily “deserved to lose” in that scenario?

  14. phipfwe76 says: Sep 16, 2013 4:14 PM

    Wait, his knee actually was down? I’ve seen the replay a few times, and every time it looks to me like he was still up. Thus meaning it should have been ASU ball when they fell on it. Hmm, I need to find better angles.

  15. peopletrains says: Sep 16, 2013 4:17 PM

    A quarterback kneels with less than a minute to play. HOW UNUSUAL.

  16. peopletrains says: Sep 16, 2013 4:21 PM

    “Good rule of thumb: Never put yourself or your team in a position where an official’s call can decide the game for you.”

    What a ridiculous assertion. How is this even possible?

  17. padraighansen says: Sep 16, 2013 4:25 PM


    Check twitter. There are plenty of stills that show the knee clearly on the ground.

    One additional note: NCAA rules state then a ballcarrier even simulates taking a knee, the play is blown dead. Now, the intent of that rule was probably not designed with the ending of the UW-ASU game in mind, but regardless – the play was correctly blown dead.

    The error, as the Pac 12 pointed out – was the utter lack of urgency and awareness by the officiating crew.

  18. footballfan13 says: Sep 16, 2013 4:48 PM

    Bruce Arians said it best 3 weeks ago in SI:

    “We don’t want to kick with 16 seconds left, do we?” Arians says, laser-eyed at a rookie back. “Young guy, we want to kick with four seconds left, right? So what do we do here?

    No answer.

    Hand the ball to the umpire! Where is the umpire? Remember, rookies—the umpire’s behind the defense in the two-minute drill. He switches sides. Don’t drop the ball! You know why?”

    No answer. Tough room.

    “The defense will kick the ball around! You think any umpire’s going into that scrum to get the ball? Hell no! So you hang onto the ball and hand it to the umpire. You got it? So find the umpire. Don’t go back to the huddle till you find the umpire and hand him the ball. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve see defensive guys kick it around, and there goes eight, 10 seconds that you can’t afford to lose.”

  19. footballfan13 says: Sep 16, 2013 4:58 PM

    Dear Wisconsin QB, don’t do this…hand the ball to the ref.

  20. mogogo1 says: Sep 16, 2013 5:12 PM

    Not sure whether to praise Taylor for his honesty or slap my head over his linking to the original CFT article that totally missed the fact that the QB was down.

  21. deiong says: Sep 16, 2013 5:25 PM

    i backtracked it a few times on the recorder, and never saw his knew down just seems like he set the ball on the ground, id think that would be a fumble… they should have got inrouble for that.. not for letting the tiem click off, the qb was sow to the fact as well. its the qbs fault bad play.. couldn’t help but laugh..

    however said that… UW deserved the lose, they played very dirty. its sad that its come down to the college level.

  22. hatesycophants says: Sep 16, 2013 5:35 PM

    Utterly ridiculous.

    Agree with you, Deb. Although, I was always highly agitated by Bielema’s laissez faire attitude in similar situations. My head would have exploded. I would have lined my kicking team up where Stave downed the ball and kicked the field goal regardless of the officials sprinting off the field. I would have been jailed for accosting the head official. At least three reasons I couldn’t be a HC at any level. We got robbed!

  23. glestonsimmons says: Sep 16, 2013 6:08 PM

    This one was as ridiculous as the TCU-Texas Tech and Michigan-Akron games. 3 teams got ripped off.

  24. barkleyblows says: Sep 16, 2013 6:24 PM

    Deal with it already. My lord, what a bunch of effin cry babies. You lost, your team isn’t very good, now shut up. Nobody cares anymore!!

  25. rasta028 says: Sep 16, 2013 7:13 PM

    Tough break for the Badgers, guess they shouldn’t of let ASU take the lead…..HAHA

  26. rasta028 says: Sep 16, 2013 7:15 PM


    Check twitter. There are plenty of stills that show the knee clearly on the ground.

    One additional note: NCAA rules state then a ballcarrier even simulates taking a knee, the play is blown dead. Now, the intent of that rule was probably not designed with the ending of the UW-ASU game in mind, but regardless – the play was correctly blown dead.

    The error, as the Pac 12 pointed out – was the utter lack of urgency and awareness by the officiating crew.

    I taped the game so I guess I’ll have to go back and look…

  27. thegamecocker says: Sep 16, 2013 7:34 PM

    The QB should have just throw the ball down to stop the clock! Period end of report!

  28. thekatman says: Sep 16, 2013 8:08 PM

    As a USC alum, I am very well aware of how the ineffectiveness and inattentioto detail the Pac-12 refs can be, so much to the point that they call penalties when there wasn’t one to be called, against USC, and they didn’t call penalties when there were plenty to be called, against USC opponents. Let’s see… Last year Marquis Lee was consistenly being held by Stanford, Oregon, Notre Dame, UCLA, and this year every game so far… And not every hold is called.

    If the Pac-12 refs were as consisten about calling a game as the SEC refs are, then at least teams would know what to do, but it’s their inconsist approach that makes them responsible for the outcomes of certain games. Yes, teams should not put themselves in aposition where they lose a game due to poor referreeing, but sometimes it happens.

  29. beedubyatoo says: Sep 16, 2013 9:35 PM

    One way or the other, the clock should have stopped. If the officials thought it was a fumble, clock stops on change of possession. Or the clock should have been blown dead and ASU penalized for Delay of Game.

    Badgers got screwed.

  30. footballfan13 says: Sep 16, 2013 11:24 PM

    No one in sports loses games because of the officiating! There has been and will be poor officiating/umpiring forever. Get over it. Does Wisconsin fan really think they are the first team to be frustrated by Pac-12 officiating? Wisconsin lost because they gave up 350 yards passing. Wisconsin lost because they continually left their cornerbacks on an island and never figured out that back-shoulder fades and 9-routes were torching their defense. Wisconsin lost because they had a clear advantage against ASU’s front seven but wanted to play the “out-think the room” card and come out throwing. Wisconsin lost this game because their coaches did not practice the fundamentals of running the hurry-up. Stave choked with his weird slam of the ball into the ground and standing there. Hand the ball to the umpire! That’s coaching.

    If you want to talk about officiating, let’s do it. It was atrocious. Interestingly enough, I don’t hear Wisconsin fans talking about the number of holding calls most officials would have called against the Wisconsin O-line. Did you not see the completely healed and re-energized Michael Caputo grab D.J. Foster over the middle with 12:18 to go in the fourth quarter? Bad calls happen all over place. Winners win anyway. Losers whine.

  31. johngaltwho says: Sep 17, 2013 12:05 AM

    It cracks me up when people try to rationalize away a game ending debacle by laying the blame on the victimized team by talking about earlier calls or opportunities. In this case, it is actually not relevant whether his knee was down or not (it was by the way). The QB centered the ball, went down, placed the ball, communicated with the referee who acknowledged the dead ball and Blew His Whistle!!! Thats it. Play is over. ASU player laying on a dead ball, even if he did it out of confusion constitutes a penalty Delay of Game. The result of the play is a flag, move the ball 5 yards closer stop the clock until the ball is reset at which time Wisconsin has more than 10 seconds to spike the ball and then kick the chip shot winning field goal with a clock that starts on the snap.

    Imagine a soccer game tied 1-1 with 30 seconds on the clock. A player then picks up the ball with his hands, runs down the field and throws the ball into the opposing goal. The ref raises his arms, the players celebrate, the scoreboard reads 2-1, the clock expires and the refs run off the field. Thats how inane and egregious this was.

  32. footballfan13 says: Sep 17, 2013 12:31 AM

    When did the state of Wisconsin stop raising men? The amount of whining coming from Wisconsin is embarrassing. Anyone who blames officials for a loss can only be described by one word: “loser.”

    Andersen couldn’t handle the ASU offense, so he instructed his kids to cheat (fake injuries) in order to win. I love the hypocrisy of fans and administrators who call faking injuries part of the game but then want to question the character of the officiating crew. If Wisconsin fans and administrators care so much about doing the right thing, we’ll wait for the announcement of reprimand and fine coming Andersen’s way. The officials proved incapable of handling major college football games, but at least they didn’t compromise their integrity.

  33. wolftalkblog says: Sep 17, 2013 1:24 AM

    Footballfan13, you are an idiot.

  34. dnet28 says: Sep 17, 2013 1:35 AM

    Clearly footballfan13 is the end all be all of this comment board. If anyone needs any insight on the right way to play football, or how to “be a man” just ask him.

    One (of the numerous) things that I have to question though, is how the officials didn’t compromise their integrity, by sprinting off of the field. They didn’t seem to be in any kind of hurry in the previous 15 seconds.

    I realize its futile to try and argue about this, but the big-headedness and inability to see how this brutal error is upsetting to a fan base is just absurd. Everyone knows that holding calls will be missed, officiating can be inconsistent, but the lack of competence in the last 15 seconds was unthinkable.

    And they still may have lost the game as they don’t have a kicker who is automatic. But they were robbed of the opportunity to settle it themselves. The biggest play of the game was not made by the winning team or the losing team, but by the officials, and therein lies the outrage.

  35. tendigitpoet says: Sep 17, 2013 7:30 AM

    When the clock is stopped, how do you not go for the score if you can get it? For that matter, with 18 seconds left, why settle for what would have been a 48-yeard attempt when you can get closer?

    Sorry, my friend; the refs made their own mistake, but this clusterfuck is on Stave and the Badgers.

  36. vincemarotta says: Sep 17, 2013 11:20 AM

    Hey @footballfan13, it’s lame to take somebody else’s words and post them as your own.

  37. boomer1451 says: Sep 17, 2013 1:22 PM

    Die hard Sun Devil fan here & I’ve watched this play over & over…

    It does not matter if his knee touches or not, he clearly gave himself up but to appease, it touched… But that was the only thing Stave did correct. Stave/Wisc screwed up by making the easiest football play confusing.

    Who places the ball immediately on the ground like that? … To unsuspecting D, when you see a ball on the ground that isnt set by the refs, jump on it!
    Why was the OL showing no sense of urgency? … Its like Stave was the only one on the field who knew what they were trying to do. Stave could have even told the officials before the snap what their intentions were. And most importantly HAND THE BALL TO THE REF FOR AN OFFICIAL SPOT!

    ASU player got up from “apparent fumble” with 5+ seconds left & only then did Wisconsin players start showing urgency. The refs were clearly slow with the spot & shouldn’t have delayed anymore. 5 seconds is more than enough time to snap & spike. Hence why they were reprimanded.

    My humble (slightly biased) opinion was the refs screwed up an already disastrous play by the Wisconsin team. The whole offensive teams lack of urgency after taking the knee triggered confusion for all & the refs exasperated it.

    Blame goes to Wisconsin…. Plus, they probably would have missed the field goal anyways

  38. Deb says: Sep 17, 2013 2:25 PM

    @hatesycophants …

    I’m right there with you. Still believe officiating in the NCAA is, on the whole, superior to officiating in the NFL. But when the NCAA officials screw up, they do it in a BIG way. Andersen set a wonderful example for his players that you have to walk away from what you can’t change and set your eyes on the next game. Doubt I could have done the same.

  39. wolftalkblog says: Sep 17, 2013 5:26 PM

    boomer1451, you are an idiot.

  40. johngaltwho says: Sep 18, 2013 12:11 AM

    Its only been a few months since the PAC 12 fined Arizona Wildcats basketball coach Sean Miller for stating publicly that the PAC 12 “is a cheating conference”. How right he was!

  41. ricardosanchez02 says: Sep 19, 2013 5:28 AM

    There must be a bunch of Wisconsin fans on this site because the the bottom line which I agree will is don’t put yourself in a position to let the referees determine the outcome of a game! Did the referees make a mistake yes! But with time winding down and no timeout remaining why even make such a call? Yea you want to put the ball in the center of the field for a better chance but to want to win too! And I just think they also had a lack of urgency to get back on the ball it wasn’t til 4 sec left that they realized the clock was still running! Either way when it’s all said and done it was mistakes all around! Umpires N Wisconsin coaching staff as well as Stave for his lack of time management with seconds to go!!

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