Nov. 12, 2007
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Following a thorough review of the play in and officiating of the Washington at Oregon State game on Saturday, November 10, the Pacific-10 Conference has determined no additional penalties will be assessed against any player, but the instant replay crew has been reprimanded, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today.
"Our review of the game included study of the game tape by Coordinator of Football Officiating Dave Cutaia, Director of Instant Replay Verle Sorgen, football administrator Jim Muldoon and me, review of game reports from the officiating crew and instant replay officials, communications with the two institutions and follow-up communications with the referee of the game.
"We regret that there was flagrant misconduct on the part of some players which led to four ejections from the game, that there was an injury to Washington quarterback Jake Locker which increased the emotions of the players and that the instant replay crew failed to stop the game to review the play at the goal line with just under three minutes to play. On the play, it was ruled Oregon State's Yvenson Bernard fumbled. However, it appeared his knee had touched the ground before he lost the ball.
"We found that the officiating crew made ernest attempts to control the conduct of the players. Eight personal fouls were called and four players ejected during the game. We did not find any act which was not addressed by the officials which warranted additional action by the Conference," Hansen said.
"We do believe the instant replay officials did not perform properly on the Bernard fumble play. There was human error in that while reviewing the available replays the crew failed to notify the game officials to stop play before the ball was snapped for the next play. It was not the fault of the equipment. The game should have been stopped and the play reviewed. The members of the IR crew have been reprimanded."
"We believe the helmet-to-helmet contact on the hit on Locker was inadvertent. College football is played at a very high speed, and hard collisions such as this one result. Thankfully, Locker apparently did not suffer a serious injury. The sight of him walking back into Reser Stadium during the fourth quarter was most welcome.
"Helmet-to-helmet contact is a national point of emphasis, and we will continue to officiate accordingly.
"We reviewed a second-quarter play on which Bernard lost his helmet. That occurred in a pile of players when the ball came loose and a struggle ensured for possession. It is impossible to see more than players grabbing at the ball," Hansen said.
Because the four players were suspended during the second half of the game, each will be required by NCAA playing rules to miss the first half of this week's game. Oregon State will play at Washington State and Washington will host California.
"This was not a game representative of the best of Pac-10 football, as evidenced by the fact there have been no ejections in a Pac-10 game previously this year. We know that feeling is shared by the administrators and coaches at both institutions, and all involved will work to see such conduct does not happen in the future," Hansen concluded.