Posted September 16, 2013

Pac-12 reprimands officials over Wisconsin-Arizona State ending

Officials, Pac-12

The Pac-12 has “reprimanded and taken additional sanctions against” the officiating crew of Saturday’s game between Wisconsin and Arizona State for its handling of the final play.

Badgers’ quarterback Joel Stave ran the ball towards the center of the field with 18 seconds remaining and attempted to take a knee before placing the ball on the ground. But there was confusion as to whether Stave’s knee actually touched the ground. As a result, several Sun Devil players dove on the ball as if it were a fumble. The clock ran out before a decision was made, and Wisconsin missed the chance at a game-winning field goal as Arizona State escaped with a 32-30 win.

According to the league, no one of the officiating crew “moved with appropriate urgency to clearly communicate that the ball was to be spotted so play could resume promptly.”

“This was an unusual situation to end the game,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement. “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.”

Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen responded to the Pac-12′s decision at his Monday press conference.

111 comments
rkcla08
rkcla08

sheesh, you wisconsin fans don't give up.  yes, you did misinterpret what was written.  the motive was to stop the clock by spiking the ball.  the play that ended by putting the ball on the ground was stupid.  countless pundits agree.  the qb should have stepped between the hashes, took a knee and tossed the ball to the ref.  that would have given enough time to place and spike the ball to stop the clock.  he didn't, that was the stupidity.  not only that, there was really no need to even set up between the hashes for that chip shot field goal.  that too has been brought up countless times.  go cry in your cheese dip...

djdrummond
djdrummond

1. The clock - by rule - does not stop on a running play, even a kneel-down.  In fact, the kneel-down is used by QBs to intentionally run out the clock.

2.  It takes about 20-30 seconds to set the ball following a play.  This is exactly why you don't use a running play with less than 30 seconds in the game unless you have a time out you can take.

3.  The defense is allowed to make substitutions when the offense does so, and this does not allow the clock to be stopped while they do that.  Since Wisconsin ran a couple new players onto the field, this would have prevented the ball from being blown ready with time remaining.

4.  So why were the refs penalized?  Loss of game control, failure to explain the ruling.  For Wisconsin, though, no grounds to change the result. 

SqueekEron
SqueekEron

Wisconsin should forever have an asterisk by this "L".  What a homer.

j7apple
j7apple

Time to move on...Its not like they will play those 18 seconds over.

I don't expect refs to be perfect, heck no, judgement calls are rough at mock speed.  I do think they owe it to themselves and the teams they officiate to know the rules. This is the bone of contention with most. 

The refs owed it to both teams to get clarification before ending the game like this.

Next.................................


Chris31
Chris31

If the Arizona State player truly believe he had just recovered a "fumble", why hump the ball for ten seconds?  I've never seen that in a (non-pile-up situation) fumble recovery.  If he thought he had recovered a fumble, he would have pounced on the ball, and then stood up, held the ball over his head, and high-fived his teammates or something.  No.  He was doing one thing, and one thing alone - trying to delay the game and prevent Wisconsin from having their rightful opportunity to spike the ball and then attempt a FG. 

hapefish
hapefish

I'm still not sure I know what the officials *should* have done.  Should they have ruled a fumble?  Should they have ruled the play dead and allowed Wisconsin to get back up to the line?  

That said, I'm pretty sure I know what they shouldn't have done:  stood there and looked at each other like deer in headlights.

BlairELConquistadorMcKee
BlairELConquistadorMcKee

Why does every single Website have a link to a story about somebody whose name rhymes with Smiley Virus? 

swillyish
swillyish

QB was an idiot.  Every QB understands that you actually go to a knee and don't fake going to a knee.  Play should have been ruled a fumble anyway.

RyanA
RyanA

As someone who doesn't have a dog in this fight, my reading of the rule book (and I could very well be wrong) is that a player can't simply place the ball on the ground. This rule came into play back in the days when QBs or RBs would take the snap and lay the ball on the ground so as to fake and another RB from the Wishbone would could up and  secretly pick it up. That got outlawed. The rulebook I am reading also says that the ball has to be clearly spiked, and even then the spike is moot if the QB does not do it immediately after the snap or has moved around outside the pocket. If the knee is down or not, the clock keeps running. In other words, you can't spike after trying to run a play, which is what appears to have happened here. Thus, anytime the ball is placed or dropped behind the line of scrimmage, it is a live ball. So, I think the defense here was correctly assuming it could have been a live ball. 

Granted, that is a lot of confusion after that, but Wisconsin did not appear to be hustling to get back to the line. Had they hustled and snapped the ball with the defense still behind the line of scrimmage, then there should have been a penalty for offsides, but since that did not happen, I don't have a lot of sympathy for them. If they would have cleanly spiked the ball as per the rules, none of this would have happened. 

meats29
meats29

Amazing how many people are commenting on here who have no clue at all. 

Why would he spike the ball instead on the play in question when the clock was stopped already geniuses? There were 18 seconds left and the clock was stopped before they ran the play where he took a knee. What would spiking the ball possibly accomplish? Again why would he spike the ball in that situation? That makes zero sense. 

The refs blew it. The Pac-12 knows it and it's a complete joke. Stave clearly took a knee no matter how quickly he did it. You simply cannot let a game end that way. If the refs were so confused they need to stop the clock and figure out what to do, not do what they did and just run off the field without giving an explanation. 


IndependentsDay
IndependentsDay

There should have been a delay of game penalty at least against ASU, the clock stopped, the ball moved 5 yards closer.  Instead, we have this nonsense.  The officials should have stopped the clock at least.  The head ref should lose his job for this.

lassenlou
lassenlou

I've been watching Pac 12 or 16 or whatever the heck they call it these days for many years. Their refs are not crooks, but they are the most incompetent crowd of fools ever put on the field. For many,  many years the refs have affected the outcomes of games in a negative way and the administration of the conference have simply hung out in the palatial headquarters, doing nothing. It has been a total joke. 

Mathonwy
Mathonwy

This is the single greatest tragedy of our age. Or it's just a stupid college sporting event. One or the other.

First1
First1

It's easy to blame the refs but obviously the QB lost track of the time.  From 0:10 to 0:03 he has no urgency at all, then he suddenly looks at the clock and panics. 

ACPoints
ACPoints

Is it true that pac 12 officiating is a stepping stone to a career as a pro wrestling referee?  

AintGotNoDukes
AintGotNoDukes

@rkcla08 - The QB DID take a knee to setup another play to spike the ball, so if your argument is that he didn't take a knee, go play in the sandbox with the other children.

AintGotNoDukes
AintGotNoDukes

@djdrummond 
1. Yes, we know the rules and no one ever has argued that the clock should stop with a knee.
2. No, it does not take 20-30 seconds to set a ball ready for play...the play clock is 40 seconds so that concept is just ridiculous.
3. No Wisconsin player left the field or substituted out after the kneel down play.
4. The officials own governing body said the officials were at fault due to lack of urgency in the remaining seconds of a 4th quarter.

Honestly, if you can't see that the officials blew that call, you should probably just stop following football entirely.

AintGotNoDukes
AintGotNoDukes

@hapefish - The QB took a knee...it's clear on video and photos.  Just because it wasn't slow and deliberate doesn't mean it didn't happen!  They should have acted with urgency to place the ball or called AZ State for Delay of Game for not allowing an official to place the ball.  The head referee is the one that called the QB down so he should have stopped the clock when he saw that the AZ players were on the ball.

dfdfd
dfdfd

@hapefish the officials could have blown the whistle, conferenced, put the ball down and time back on the clock then resumed play.  Problem solved.  They could have even done this after time expired.

HowardKnutThompson
HowardKnutThompson

@swillyish After the whistle was blown,which it was, the play was dead. Whether his knee was ever down or not actually doesn't matter at that point. No fumble.

j7apple
j7apple

@swillyish It would help that the refs knew the rules better than the QB...The QB doesn't even actually have to kneel down, just simulate...play over...

BTW he didnt fake..he actually did kneel, albet quick.



Chris31
Chris31

@RyanA We are all dumber for having read your comments.

JohnCuevas
JohnCuevas

@RyanA 

Did you see the play?  Stave didn't try to spike it, that's not what happened here.  Stave ran to his left to respot the ball(for FG attempt) and HE TOOK A KNEE(I linked a picture of it below) and the WHISTLE BLEW..  Stave put the ball on the ground for the ref to then spot it...the second the kid from ASU jumped on the ball, it should have been a flag against ASU for delay of game.

Again there was no spike attempt per the rules, it was taking a knee...that's why the refs have been admonished, cause they were wrong...


meats29
meats29

@lassenlou 

Couldn't agree more and it's not just football. They are just as awful in basketball as well.

WatchWhatActuallyHappened
WatchWhatActuallyHappened

@First1 The Wisconsin QB couldn't do anything because the ref had not spotted the ball.  By the time the ref spotted the ball it was too late for Wisconsin to snap the ball.

The Wisconsin quarterback took a knee and there is a whistle that can be clearly heard with fifteen seconds left in the game.  At that point players from Arizona State cover the ball, which should have caused a flag for delay of game. 

Then with about four seconds left the ref finally decides to spot the ball.  At this point he orders the Wisconsin players to step back away from the ball.

To suggest that that the Wisconsin QB could have done anything to get his team to the line in order to spike the ball is to completely ignore what actually happened on the field.

The refs were at fault for not doing their jobs.  


ACPoints
ACPoints

@First1 

Its precisely this sort of situation that teams are supposed to be able to rely on an officiating crew to properly administer.  The team isn't administering the game the officials are.  It would certainly have helped if the UW QB had tossed the ball to the ref instead of setting it down.  But that's where you should be able to rely on a competent official to step in and take control.  Instead the officials just stood there looking helpless like pro wrestling refs.  

rkcla08
rkcla08

@AintGotNoDukes @rkcla08 go back and re-read what i wrote.  taking a knee was not the argument.  it was taking a knee and tossing the ball to the ref rather than leaving the ball on the ground.  the refs were dumbfounded by the stupidity of that, the defense pounced on the ball on the ground and hence the whistle wasn't blown right then and there when the knee went down.  the childish sandbox is yours for not recognizing the stupidity displayed by the qb.

swillyish
swillyish

@j7apple @swillyish No he didn't.  He ran into his own player and his knee got to about 6" off the ground.  if he had stood up and thrown it, it would've still been a live ball and could've resulted in a TD.

RyanA
RyanA

@Chris31 @RyanA I am just trying to figure out what happened in a reasonable and rational manner. I don't call names and troll, unlike you. 

RyanA
RyanA

@JohnCuevas @RyanA I think the taking a knee was pretty sketchy. None of the images I have seen look definitive to me. It is true that the whistle did blow, but even the line judge did not seem to have heard the whistle, so if anyone is at fault, it is the head ref. But I still maintain all this is a moot point because if it was in fact a legitimate knee, the QB should have handed the ball to the ref or kept it in his possession. He only added to the confusion with the weird placing of the ball on the ground, making it appear to the defense like it was a fumble or something bizarre. If time is of the essence, never do anything cutesy. 

First1
First1

@ACPoints @First1 I understand what you're saying, but ultimately it's up to the QB to control what his team does and for a brief period it looked like he wasn't aware of the clock.  I'm not saying the refs had no outcome on the game but I think they are more or less secondary to the QB.

AZBen
AZBen

@swillyish @JohnCuevas @j7apple 

actually on a fumble the clock would stop for change of possession.  That would have been a good scenario for WI.  As it would have been reviewed and the ball placed with 13 secs left.  This is why the PAC12 reprimanded them.  There was no scenario possible which would cause the refs to stand around looking like morons.  Its simply not possible to imagine what they were thinking.

swillyish
swillyish

@JohnCuevas @swillyish @j7apple I had not seen that actually, but that is pretty clear.  Whistle should have been blown right then and not 2s later like it was.  It is pretty clear the refs did not see it at all and at least one of the officials was treating it like a fumble.  PAC 12 officials are still the worst in the business.

IndependentsDay
IndependentsDay

@swillyish @j7apple 

Photos don't lie bro, the knee hit the ground.  ASU should have been flagged for delay of game or the refs should have blown the whistle.  It was ridiculous for it to take 13 seconds to re-spot the ball.  The refs blew it and may cost Wisconsin a spot in a BCS bowl worth millions of dollars to the program.  

JohnCuevas
JohnCuevas

@swillyish @JohnCuevas @j7apple 

The whistle blew...the refs knew he had downed the ball, that was down live, without slo-mo replay.  You don't need the TECHNICALLY...they were wrong...thanks for agreeing.  End of Story.

swillyish
swillyish

@JohnCuevas @swillyish @j7apple Lol, there is not an official out there who isnt wrong often in slo mo on replay.  The PAC 12 sucks so bad at officiating they have no choice but to always admit being wrong now or lose what little cred they are trying to rebuild.  And technically they were wrong, but the QB could've made a play without requiring the official to make a judgement so I am not feeling terrible for him.  It's like expecting a PI call as time expires...might happen.

swillyish
swillyish

@JohnCuevas @swillyish @j7apple  Whistle did not blow as soon as he took the knee.  It blew when he made a hand signal to the ref which means nothing.  I would 100% agree with all the issues, if the QB had not stumbled after running into his own guy.  In doing that he made it not 100% clear he was giving himself up.  He may have fumbled the ball and been grabbing for it when the knee was heading to the ground.  I agree it looked likely he was giving himself up but without removing the judgement call from the official like his coach probably explicitly told him to do in the huddle (take the knee, dive on the ground, etc) he screwed up.

AZBen
AZBen

@RyanA @JohnCuevas 

He placed the ball on the ground so the ref doesn't have to find the spot where the qb could have legally placed it. (which he did) That's the way the play is practiced to save time in a tight clock situation.  The ref should have immediately grabbed it.  He blew the whistle and then fell asleep at the wheel.  How is it anyone can argue the qb was at fault?  He did exactly what he wanted as they practiced within the rules of football.

Bucky182
Bucky182

@RyanA @JohnCuevas The whistle was blown. The refs gave him the kneel regardless. I believe it is also in the rule book that the knee does not have to actually touch the ground, it is the action or motion of taking a knee that signifies the player has given up and the official then makes the call to blow the play did which, in this case, they did. Bottom line, the whistle was blown and the ball needed to be immediately spotted. The latter did not happen.

ACPoints
ACPoints

@First1 @ACPoints 

That's the whole point isn't it?  In that situation the QB is not supposed to be the primary determiner of the process.  The refs are supposed to be in control.  Their actions are SUPPOSED to be primary not secondary.  The QB is not supposed to dictate the behavior of the officiating crew.  I doubt they ever go over in practice - "Here's what you do if the officials are standing around like zombies."  Basically EVERYONE who's an expert has said this is on the officials.  If you ever played football at the college level or even the high school level you would understand your reliance on the officials to control and administer the game.