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September 19, 2006 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-19

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Officials suspended
after two bad calls


NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - The Pacific-10 Con-
ference, finding merit in Oklahoma's complaints
about the officiating in its loss to Oregon, issued
a one-game suspension Monday to the officiating
crew and the instant-replay officials who worked
the game and an apology to the Sooners.
The Ducks won the game 34-33 after scoring
two touchdowns in the final 72 seconds.
"Errors clearly were made and not corrected,
and for that we apologize to the University of
Oklahoma, coach Bob Stoops and his players,"
Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen said in a
statement. "They played an outstanding college
football game, as did Oregon, and it is regrettable
that the outcome of the contest was affected by
the officiating."
After the Sooners' practice Monday night, Stoops
said the apology brought him no satisfaction.
"At least they have reacted to it and tried. Truly
there can be no amends to it and it can't be cor-
rected," Stoops said.
The loss was Oklahoma's first of the season and
immediately lessens the Sooners' chances of mak-
ing it to a third BCS title game in four years.
"I've made a million mistakes. I'll make a mil-
lion more in each game, and in that game included,
I wish there were things I could have done differ-
ently or changed," Stoops said. "Unlike officials,
players and coaches don't have that opportunity.
They had an opportunity to get it right and they
chose not to. SoI find it still absolutely inexcusable
and unacceptable."
Two plays were reviewed on Oregon's game-win-
ning drive - an onside kick that gave the Ducks
possession and a pass interference call one play
before Oregon's winning touchdown.
Hansen said the onside kick was touched by an
Oregon player before it had traveled the required
10 yards, and, therefore, the ball should have been
awarded to Oklahoma.
The video also shows an Oklahoma player
actually recovered the ball, although that aspect
of the play was not reviewable under the instant-
replay rule.
"The fact that the errors on the onside kick
altered the outcome of the game is most unfortu-
nate and unsettling;' Hansen said. "We had a solid
veteran crew assigned, and the instant replay offi-
cial had a fine career as a referee in the Pac-10.
"We believe in the ability and integrity of each
individual involved. It should be noted that not all

of the seven officials were directly involved in the
play in question, but the entire crew bears respon-
sibility for every play. Game officials and replay
officials have positions of great responsibility and
must be accountable for their actions."
Stoops has also said he believes Oklahoma
defensive end C.J. Ah You tipped a pass by Dennis
Dixon that resulted in a pass interference penalty.
If the ball was indeed tipped, the pass interference
penalty would have been negated.
The replay officials ruled that they didn't have
indisputable video evidence that the ball had been
Hansen said that the future work of the officials
who were suspended will be closely monitored.
"The training and experience of officials at
this level enable them to work at a high degree of
accuracy" he said. "Unfortunately, at the critical
moment of this game, errors were made."
University of Oklahoma president David Boren
sent a letter Monday to Big 12 commissioner Kevin
Weiberg, saying the officiating problems was
beyond an "outrageous injustice;" and asking him to
pursue having the game eliminated from the record
books and having the officials involved in the game
suspended for the remainder of the season.
Weiberg responded with a statement saying the
result of the game would stand.
"There is no provision under NCAA or con-
ference rules for a game result to be reversed or
changed as a result of officiating errors, nor do I
believe there should be," he said.
Boren also asked for a Pac-10 apology and called
for the conference to change its policy that requires
only Pac-10 officials be used for nonconference
home games.
"This policy is well known nationally and insti-
tutions, including OU, know this to be the case at
the time of entering into contracts to play Pac-10
opponents," Weiberg said.
Boren, in a statement issued after the conference
statements, expressed appreciation for the Pac-10's
"I hope this will lead to further national review
of the responsibilities of replay officials and the
way in which they interact with game officials
on the field," Boren said. "I also hope this situa-
tion will lead the Pac-10 to change their policy of
requiring that only officials of the Pac-10 officiate
the home games of Pac-10 universities when they
are hosting a non-conference opponent."

U.S. Ryder cup player Zach Johnson walks on the practice ground in light rain in Straffan, Ireland, yesterday. '4
Americans arrielate,
but still hungry for win

STRAFFAN, Ireland (AP) - The Americans
arrived for the Ryder Cup about three hours late
Monday, which captain Tom Lehman attributed to
bringing too much luggage on the charter plane.
Considering how these matches have gone lately,
he can only hope it wasn't emotional baggage.
Having lost four of the last five times, the Ameri-
cans will try to beat Europe on its home soil for the
first time since 1993 when the Ryder Cup gets under
way on Friday at The K Club.
Another ominous sign?
Not long after the U.S. team arrived, a week-
end of gorgeous weather gave way to a downpour
that drenched the golf course, making the chipping
green look like a wading pool.
Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk arrived separately
after losing in the first round of the HSBC World
Match Play Championship last week at Wentworth.
Woods stayed in England, attending the Chelsea-
Liverpool game on Sunday, while Furyk came over
to The K Club to practice.
The Americans were supposed to arrive at 9 a.m.,
but did not land in Dublin until noon.
"We brought more than our share of luggage,"
Lehman said. "We were trying to put together a
puzzle, trying to fit all the stuff inside the plane.
You could see the guys outside the plane in the win-
dows going, 'How are we going to get all this stuff
inside?' But they managed to do it. Our team is very
excited we're coming back."
Lehman brought his team to Ireland at the end
of August for two days of practice, determined to
end nearly two decades of frustration in the Ryder

Cup. The weather should not have been surprising,
because it also rained most of those two days.
Along with extra baggage, the Americans brought
a new label to these matches - underdogs.
Europe has only two rookies on this team -
Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson of Sweden
- and Paul Casey gave his squad an emotional lift
with his victory Sunday in the World Match Play
The Americans counter with a powerful 1-2-3
punch - Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jim
Furyk - but have four rookies on their team, two
of whom never have competed in match play.
"The European team is extremely strong, and
very, very strong from top to bottom," Lehman
said. "Our team is very strong. We have four rookies
that are always a bit of a question mark, although I
believe that they are tremendous players. But at the
end of the day, I think the European team based on
the strength of their team, playing here in Ireland,
would probably have to be favored."
Woosnam and his wife, Glendryth, were at the
airport to greet Lehman and his U.S. team.
The former Masters champion said in a recent
Golf Digest magazine interview that one of
his pet peeves was people showing up late. He
was more than willing to give the Americans a
reprieve in this case.
"That doesn't count today;" he said. "The Ameri-
can team has had to travel from a long distance. We
didn't mind waiting. Pity it started raining just as
they came off the plane, but I'm glad to see every-
body got here safe."





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