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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

November 21, 2013 at 2:54 PM

The heavy hand of the Pac-12: On Sark’s Thursday reprimand . . .

The Pac-12 announced Thursday that it was reprimanding Washington coach Steve Sarkisian for his comments regarding the blown call in the UCLA-Washington game last week on offensive lineman Dexter Charles that cost the UW a touchdown.

My initial reaction was that it seems like a heavy-handed move by the league. Sarkisian, acknowledging Monday an apology (by an unknown league figure, presumably in the officiating hierarchy), said, “What good is an apology? It’s not going to get me seven points back?”

I assume the league wouldn’t have chafed enough at that statement to reprimand Sarkisian. If it did, it shouldn’t have.

I think what Sarkisian went on to say was probably what got him in hot water.

Here’s what Adam Jude reported Sarkisian having said Monday: “We are the most penalized team, but if you take our opponents’ penalties, they’re the least penalized opponents, of common opponents, in our conference. So that part’s a little discouraging to me. I’m all about officiating the game and officiating it equally. If we’re going to have 11 penalties, and UCLA’s going to have eight, it is what it is. But when we go into ballgames and one team has 10 and the other team has two . . .  that’s when it gets frustrating on our end.”

Of course, one team getting flagged 10 times and the other two doesn’t mean the game was officiated unequally. It might mean that one team simply was penalized more because it deserved it. I’m guessing that the complaint about that perceived inequity was what cost Sarkisian the reprimand.

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