Officials sanctioned for handling of Badger game

Pac-12 statement released Monday
Officials sanctioned for handling of Badger game

Pac-12 Conference Commissioner Larry Scott has reprimanded and taken sanctions against the officials in Saturday night’s Wisconsin at Arizona State game, according to the conference website.

Scott is reprimanding the referees for “failing to properly administer the end of game and act with appropriate urgency on the game’s final play,” according to the statement.

According to the conference, “With 18 seconds remaining in the game, Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave ran the ball toward the center of the field, touched his knee to the ground and then placed the ball on the ground. There was initial uncertainty over whether the quarterback had taken a knee, given himself up or fumbled the ball. As a result several Arizona State players considered the ball live and a fumble, and attempted to recover the ball.”

Scott said the referee and crew didn’t move fast enough to communicate that the ball was to be spotted so play could resume promptly.

“This was an unusual situation to end the game,” said 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.”

Reacting to the Pac-12 statement, Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen said, “It doesn’t change the outcome, obviously. I guess I don’t expect that. But it’s accountability, which at the end of the day is what we asked for.”

Andersen said he’s been asked if they’d run that final play differently in the future. He said no, he wouldn’t change anything. He said that’s the way the team practiced it and that’s the way they run it in that situation.