BY SPNW Staff 04:02PM 11/21/2013

Pac-12 Reprimands Sarkisian For Criticizing Refs

The Pac-12 Conference Thursday reprimanded University of Washington football coach Steve Sarkisian for public comments he made this week about the league’s officiating, and for disclosing private conversations he had with conference officials. Sarkisian criticized game officials after a penalty erased a Washington touchdown in the Huskies’ 41-31 loss to UCLA last Friday night.

“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,” Commissioner Larry Scott said. “We have an obligation to our membership to enforce the conference rules which they have approved.”

Sarkisian became agitated over a personal foul call on offensive lineman Dexter Charles that nullified a UW touchdown in the first half. Although the conference issued a private apology for the officiating blunder, Sarkisian disclosed the apology, saying, “What good is an apology?”

“We are the most penalized team (89 flags), but if you take our opponents’ penalties, they’re the least penalized opponents, of common opponents, in our conference,” Sarkisian said this week. “So that part’s a little discouraging to me.”

The Huskies (6-4) play at Oregon State Saturday night before concluding the regular season with the Nov. 29 Apple Cup against Washington State.


  • jafabian

    Apologies have no effect on the win-loss column. The penalty in question probably would not have affected the outcome of the game though. Now, if it was at the end of the game and if it was a situation where the QB’s helmet is mistaken for the football, that’s another thing entirely.

  • ll9956

    I guess one is obligated to acknowledge that “rules are rules”. However, I suppose it’s my innate anti-authority and anti-secrecy streaks that prompt me to opine that these gag rules should be done away with. Are the refs so fragile that they need to be sheltered from criticism? In this case the criticism was valid. As long as there are no personal attacks against individuals, which Sark did not engage in, one’s freedom of speech should not not be curtailed.