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Steve Sarkisian reprimanded by Pac-12 for public comments about officiating

Post by Christian Caple on Nov. 21, 2013 at 1:50 pm with No Comments »
November 21, 2013 2:02 pm

The Pac-12 announced today that Washington coach Steve Sarkisian has been reprimanded for publicly commenting about officiating, as well as publicly disclosing private communication between UW and the Pac-12 office.

The release from the Pac-12 did not state that Sarkisian was fined. Typically, those kind of things are included when reprimands are announced, so it looks as if Sarkisian escaped monetary punishment. But it’s not out of the question.

Presumably, the “disclosing private communications” no-no is in reference to Sarkisian revealing that the Pac-12 admitted a hands-to-the-face penalty against Dexter Charles in the first half of UW’s loss at UCLA shouldn’t have been called. The penalty wiped out a touchdown pass from Keith Price to Damore’ea Stringfellow.

Sarkisian first volunteered that information during his weekly Monday radio segment with Mitch Levy on KJR 950 AM.

“The Pac-12 already did notify us on the long touchdown to Stringfellow that (it) was not a penalty,” Sarkisian said then.

Asked about the play during his Monday press conference, Sarkisian said: “It’s tough because we already get penalized a lot. We get a lot of penalties and probably the majority of those, deservedly so. When you get one that isn’t, and is obviously very clear to see that it’s not a penalty, and not only is it not a penalty, it takes seven points off the board for you in a critical ballgame, it’s hard. But the reality is that one play is not the reason why we lost the game. Sure, would we have loved to have  that touchdown? No doubt about it. But there’s other plays in there too that we could have helped ourselves better.”

When asked later on Monday about his team’s penalties, he added: “I think our guys play really aggressive football but we have to be smarter. And then trusting our technique in my opinion is part of it. I think to one play in particular the pass interference on Marcus Peters on the far sideline. He’s in awesome position. He’s in great position. If he turns around he’s going to intercept the pass. I think it’s just the believe of knowing when we do things right we’re capable of being right. But when we grab face masks and when we get pass interference penalties and when we false start, those are self inflicted wounds that we don’t need to do to ourselves and so we’ll continue to work at it. Again, I’ve looked at every area and every aspect of this thing and one thing that is a little frustrating on our end. We are the most penalized team. But if you take our opponents’ penalties, they are the least penalized opponents in the conference. That part’s a little discouraging to me.

“I’m all about officiating the game equally. If we’re going to have 11 penalties and UCLA is going to have eight it is what it is but when you go into ballgames and one team has 10 and the other has two and things of that nature that’s when it gets frustrating on our end because I don’t think our guys are maliciously out there holding or committing pass interference penalties.

“You’d just like to see it called equally for everybody. Whether that happens all the time or not I’m not sure.”

Here’s the full release from the conference:

Walnut Creek, Calif. – University of Washington Head Coach Steve Sarkisian has been reprimanded by the Pac-12 Conference for public comments he made about officiating, Commissioner Larry Scott announced today. 
 
Sarkisian made comments to the media this week regarding Pac-12 officiating and the Conference’s officiating process, including disclosing private communications he had with the Conference office.
 
“The Pac-12 has specific rules that prohibit our coaches from making public comments about officiating and from discussing private communications with the Conference office,” stated Scott. “We have an obligation to our membership to enforce the Conference rules which they have approved.
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