AD Sandy Barbour Releases Statement on Saturday’s Officiating
Saturday’s officiating debacle in the game against Ohio State is still fresh in everyone’s minds. Today, Athletic Director Sandy Barbour released a statement regarding what her office has done about it.
“Regardless of circumstance, when two teams battle as hard as Penn State and Ohio State did last weekend, it’s difficult when the flow of the game is influenced by something or someone other than the players and coaches,” Barbour said.
She said she and James Franklin have been in touch with Big Ten Headquarters to get explanations about the baffling calls. In case you forgot, failure to overturn a blatantly dropped interception and allowing a play to run at least three seconds after the play clock expired drastically hurt Penn State’s chances to beat Ohio State. The Nittany Lions eventually fell in double overtime, 31-24.
Here’s Barbour’s full statement:
As a member of the Nittany Lion faithful, I’m sure you can imagine we’ve received many inquiries asking for rules interpretations from our game vs. Ohio State. I certainly want to provide as many answers as possible, but first I want to say that I’m extremely proud of the character and perseverance shown by our football team on Saturday. They battled hard, representing Penn State with great pride and integrity in an extremely competitive environment.
Regardless of circumstance, when two teams battle as hard as Penn State and Ohio State did last weekend, it’s difficult when the flow of the game is influenced by something or someone other than the players and coaches. The stakes are very high in college football, particularly in the Big Ten, and collectively we need to ensure that we do everything in our power to offer game conditions that allow all student-athletes to have the very best possible experience. We owe it to them.
Both Coach Franklin and I were in touch with the Big Ten Conference office through the course of Sunday and Monday, and the conference clarified a number of the issues that arose out of Saturday’s game.
Based on our conversations and specific inquiries we collectively received, below is the statement released by the Big Ten:
“In regards to the play that was called an interception on the field with 13:07 remaining in the first quarter, the video feed to the replay booth was tested and confirmed on Friday and prior to the game on Saturday, but at the start of the game, the booth was no longer receiving all available feeds. The technician in the booth followed procedure by contacting the production truck, which immediately began working on the issue. Due to these technical difficulties, only one isolated shot from the overhead camera was available and the view did not provide sufficient information to reverse the call. As a result, the play stood as called. The production truck rectified the technical issues shortly thereafter, and the replay booth had access to multiple feeds for the remainder of the game.”
“In regards to the play that involved a made field goal by Ohio State with 11:07 remaining in the second quarter, the officiating crew has procedures in place to monitor aspects of each play, including the play clock. In this case, a breakdown in officiating mechanics occurred and the crew failed to properly monitor the play clock. There is flexibility for a slight delay between the play clock and the snap of the ball, but in this case, the timing far exceeded the tolerance for normal play clock procedures. The proper ruling should have been a five-yard penalty for delay of game. This is not a reviewable play.”
We owe our student-athletes, our coaches and our fans the very best each time out. This includes our support services, facilities management, officiating, administration and the literally hundreds of individuals who impact our game day environment. Every student athlete in this conference deserves our best effort day in and day out. I appreciate the Conference’s willingness to communicate on this matter and in joining us in a commitment to continuous improvement in every aspect of our operations.
The atmosphere in Beaver Stadium was electric last Saturday – our student-athletes, fans and students experienced one of the very best in all of college football. All of that is thanks to you! You have my commitment that I will continue to work with our staff and the conference to strive for excellence and preserve the long-standing tradition that IS Penn State Football.
WE ARE… PENN STATE!