PULLMAN – Pac 12 Commissioner Larry Scott addressed the media at halftime of the Oregon game to address the ongoing controversy over a missed targeting call in Washington State’s Sept. 21 loss at USC.
Scott spoke after it was revealed this week that Coach Mike Leach had texted Pac 12 General Counsel Woody Dixon and called him a “total coward” after Trojans linebacker Porter Gustin was not penalized for targeting after making a clear helmet-to-helmet hit on WSU quarterback Gardner Minshew.
The Pac-12 is also mired in controversy over a different call in the same game when officials were prepared to eject WSU defensive end Logan Tago for targeting in the first half. But, Dixon telephone the replay officials to overrule their call.
“I’ve had a chance to interview the folks involved in replay review. I’ve been told it is an isolated incident in terms of what happened. Policies and procedures which we have now changed,” Scott said. “Woody is held in very high regard by our schools, nationally and by me. There was a mistake that was made.”
Scott would not address the text messages by Leach about the missed call against Minshew.
“If there are ever accusations about integrity or personnel, we immediately go to the leadership of our university’s athletic department and ask if they’d like to have an inquiry or review and Washington State declined to do so,” Scott said.
Asked what the mistake was on Dixon’s call to the officials, Scott said the mistake was “leaving any doubt about who makes our replay decisions,” he said. “Replay officials thought they were being instructed to make a call. That’s not what Mr. Dixon thought he was doing.
“There was a miscommunication there. That’s a problem. But there was no intent to manipulate a call or influence a call.”
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