CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State athletic director Bob De Carolis called for the on-field officials in the Beavers’ Saturday football game with Washington to be disciplined, and for the replay officials to face a stiffer sanction.
“If something more doesn’t happen then the credibility of the conference is out the window,” De Carolis said in a news conference Tuesday at the school’s Valley Football Center.
A contentious game turned ugly with several personal foul penalties, and near fights broke out in the second and third quarters of the Beavers’ 29-23 win. Referee Larry Farina and his crew ejected four players – three from Oregon State and one from Washington.
De Carolis was also upset that no replay was called for when, with 1:11 left in the game and the Beavers leading by six points, tailback Yvenson Bernard stretched for a touchdown and dropped the football in the end zone. Bernard appeared to have been down when he lost his grip on the ball, but Washington’s Roy Lewis picked up the ball and ran it back to the Beavers’ 38, setting up Washington for a potential winning score. No replay was called for.
Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen, in a statement Monday, acknowledged a replay should have occurred. He said the replay officials will receive letters of reprimand, and that no further penalties would be assessed.
De Carolis said he called Hansen on Tuesday and reiterated he didn’t consider that acceptable.
De Carolis argued the athletes shouldn’t be the only ones punished, and that Farina and crew let the game get out of control by not penalizing the Huskies when Bernard was apparently punched in the second quarter.
“When the only people being held accountable for the mismanagement are the student-athletes then something’s wrong,” he said. “The purpose of instant replay is exactly for that purpose – the game-changing play to get it right. And the inability to push the button and stop play is just flat-out wrong and unfair. And that person should be held accountable. A letter of reprimand doesn’t do it for me. So I am asking that that person either be docked a game or some other penalty.”
De Carolis also took exception to comments made by Verle Sorgen, the conference’s director of instant replay, that were published in the Oregonian newspaper Tuesday.
Sorgen was quoted as saying the lack of replay on Bernard’s fumble “wasn’t that egregious unless you are an Oregon State fan.”
“As for (Sorgen) there should be a public reprimand,” De Carolis said. “There’s no way that an official in that capacity should be singling out a program.”