"The fact that the errors on the onside kick altered the outcome of the game is most unfortunate and unsettling.". . . . . Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen.


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OU president wants game voided, officials suspended

Associated Press

NORMAN, Okla. -- University of Oklahoma president David Boren sent a letter to Big 12 Commissioner Kevin Weiberg on Monday, asking him to push for the Sooners' game against Oregon to be eliminated from the record books and have the Pac-10 officials involved in the game suspended for the remainder of the season.

Two plays were reviewed on Oregon's game-winning drive -- an onside kick that gave the Ducks possession and a pass interference call one play before the touchdown that gave them a 34-33 victory.

"To describe the lapses in accurate officiating at the Oklahoma-Oregon football game last Saturday as constituting an outrageous injustice is an understatement," Boren wrote in the letter dated Monday.

Later on Monday, the Pac-10 suspended the officiating crew for one game.

"I appreciate the apology issued by the Pac-10 Commissioner and his action in penalizing the game officials," Boren said in a statement. "I hope this will lead to further national review of the responsibilities of replay officials and the way in which they interact with game officials on the field. I also hope this situation will lead the Pac-10 to change their policy of requiring that only officials of the Pac-10 officiate the home games of Pac-10 universities when they are hosting a non-conference opponent."

Weiberg responded with a statement saying the result of the game would stand.

"There is no provision under NCAA or conference rules for a game result to be reversed or changed as a result of officiating errors, nor do I believe there should be," he said.

Weiberg also didn't see the Pac-10 assigning non-conference referees anytime soon.

"This policy is well known nationally and institutions, including OU, know this to be the case at the time of entering into contracts to play Pac-10 opponents," he said.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has said he believes an Oregon player interfered with Oklahoma's ability to recover the onside kick by illegally touching the ball and a Sooners player before the kick traveled 10 yards. He also believes the Sooners recovered the kick, as tailback Allen Patrick had possession at the end of the play.

Stoops has also said he believes Oklahoma defensive end C.J. Ah You tipped a pass by Dennis Dixon that resulted in a pass interference call. If the ball was indeed tipped, the pass interference call would have been negated.

Both plays were reviewed using instant replay Saturday.

Boren's letter also asks the Big 12 to place on the agendas of NCAA meetings and conference commissioners' meetings a discussion of how the review process should be implemented.

"It is truly sad and deeply disappointing that members of our football team should be deprived of the outcome of the game that they deserved because of an inexcusable breakdown in officiating," Boren wrote.

Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said Sunday that the university would request a "comprehensive review of specific officiating decisions and use of instant replay" in the game.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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