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Big Ten Coordinator Of Officials Admits Officiating Mistakes In Penn State-Ohio State Game

Any Penn Stater knows Christian Hackenberg’s pass wasn’t actually intercepted by Ohio State’s Vonn Bell or that Ohio State was allowed a field goal attempt three seconds after the play clock expired in the controversial 2014 matchup. As it turns out, Big Ten Coordinator of Officials Bill Carollo knows it too, as he admitted in an interview at Big Ten media days Friday.

In an interview, Corollo expressed his disappointment in the lack of officiating and failure of technology during the Penn State-Ohio State game.

“My philosophy is, I man up,” Carollo said. “We kicked those calls. I’m not happy with it, I’m not flippant about it, but I’m disappointed about it. They were pretty critical calls for Penn State.”

The calls turned out to be potentially influential on the course of the game, as the eventual National Champion Buckeyes left Happy Valley with a 31-24 win under their belt. The errors, the first of which due to a technical difficulty, prompted the Big Ten to instate a “failproof replay mechanism,” including televisions with live broadcast, just one week after the game.

“I think we should share the error with ABC, but the reality is, it was a mistake,” Carollo said. “We got tied up in technology, and it didn’t work the way it was supposed to work. We didn’t get it fixed fast enough, and we had a problem. It was the perfect storm.”

While many questioned why the officials didn’t look to the scoreboard projecting a replay of the “interception,” like everyone else in Beaver Stadium, to re-evaluate the call, Carollo additionally admitted this was not an option. A reversal would have needed proof from the ABC broadcast as opposed to in-stadium video.

“Everybody in the world knew that the ball wasn’t intercepted by Ohio State, and everybody in the stadium knew it,” Carollo said. “We’re not going to stick our heads out in the rain to look at the big scoreboards at Penn State. It’s unprofessional and it’s not very accurate from that distance. We have the right information from our TV partners.”

Even though the technology was conveniently fixed a few plays later, another controversy arose when what should of been a 5-yard penalty turned into three points for the Buckeyes due to another officiating error; this time, a human one. Carollo also touched on the Buckeye’s field goal that wasn’t initiated until after the play clock hit zero.

“He got caught counting players,” Carollo spoke of the official. “He wasn’t sure he had 12, went back, counted 11, and by that time the clock is at zero and the ball’s in the air. We missed it. It was human error. The [Penn State] coaches understood that. They didn’t like it, but they understood it,” he added.

(h/t: The Morning Call)

About the Author

Jacob Abrams

Jacob Abrams is a sophomore from Oxford, PA, majoring in Management in the Smeal College of Business. Jacob is the President/GM of The LION 90.7 FM along with being a play-by-play commentator and sports talk show host. He is a sports fanatic, and strongly supports the Philadelphia Phillies, Flyers, Sixers, and the New Orleans Saints. He is a first-generation Penn Stater, and in his free time he likes to play sports and sing. You can follow him on Twitter @jake_abrams and contact him at [email protected]

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