NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma would consider canceling its game at Washington in 2008 if the Pacific 10 Conference doesn’t change its rule requiring league officials to be used at its home stadiums, Sooners coach Bob Stoops said Tuesday.
The Sooners lost 34-33 at Oregon on Saturday, and Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen has since said that two incorrect calls by the league’s officials on Oregon’s behalf changed the outcome of the game.
On Monday, Oklahoma president David Boren sent a letter to Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg asking him to pursue having the Pac-10 remove its officiating policy.
“I think there’s no question that (athletic director) Joe Castiglione and I and President Boren, if that rule is not changed that we may reconsider that game, and I think it’s justified. We’ll look into that.”
Jim Muldoon, associate Pac-10 commissioner, said the league will examine the issue when athletic directors meet Oct. 12.
“The underlying philosophy is officials are honest,” Muldoon said. “In light of the attention that’s been brought to it, we’ll put it on agenda ... and see if they want to revisit it.”
The Pacific-10 Conference, finding merit in Oklahoma’s complaints, issued a one-game suspension Monday to the officiating crew and the instant replay officials who worked the game and an apology to the Sooners.
“Errors clearly were made and not corrected, and for that we apologize to the University of Oklahoma, coach Bob Stoops and his players,” Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen said in a statement. “They played an outstanding college football game, as did Oregon, and it is regrettable that the outcome of the contest was affected by the officiating.”
“At least they have reacted to it and tried. Truly there can be no amends to it and it can’t be corrected,” Stoops said.
The loss was Oklahoma’s first of the season and immediately lessens the Sooners’ chances of making it to a third BCS title game in four years.
“I’ve made a million mistakes. I’ll make a million more in each game, and in that game included, I wish there were things I could have done differently or changed,” Stoops said. “Unlike officials, players and coaches don’t have that opportunity. They had an opportunity to get it right and they chose not to. So I find it still absolutely inexcusable and unacceptable.
Hansen said the onside kick was touched by an Oregon player before it had traveled the required 10 yards, and, therefore, the ball should have been awarded to Oklahoma. The video also shows an Oklahoma player actually recovered the ball, although that aspect of the play was not reviewable under the instant replay rule.
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