Rules committee official: OSU error shouldn't prompt changes
The officiating error that gave Central Michigan a last-play chance to beat Oklahoma State is unlikely to lead to changes in the way officials enforce penalties at the end of games.
Rogers Redding, the former national coordinator of officials who sits on the NCAA's football rules committee, told The Associated Press on Monday that the circumstances that led to the mistake were rare. He said the goal is to have rules that stay consistent throughout the game.
Also Monday, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said he does not want to play future nonconference games without officials from Power Five conferences.
Officials for nonconference games are determined by the schools as part of a contractual agreement. Gundy said he would encourage Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder not to sign a contract unless the officials are from a Power Five conference.
''The best ones will be at this level,'' Gundy said.
In 2008, the College Football Officiating LLC was created by the NCAA and Collegiate Commissioners Association to put all officials under the same umbrella organization and create uniformity in training and education.
What flummoxed the MAC officiating crew Saturday in Stillwater, Oklahoma, was a fourth-down intentional grounding foul against the Cowboys on what should have been the final play of a Cowboys' victory. The penalty calls for a loss of down, not a replayed down.
A quarter cannot end on an accepted foul - such as holding or pass interference - that does require a replay of a down. Only in those situations is any quarter extended with an untimed down.
''The extension of the period really means we're going to go back and redo what we just did because that makes the period not over until you take care of that down,'' Redding said.
The extra play turned into a crazy long touchdown that gave Central Michigan a 30-27 victory.
The officials admitted their mistake soon after the game. On Sunday, the eight-man crew along with the two replay officials were suspended for two weeks.
But if the rule had been applied correctly, Oklahoma State would have essentially received no penalty for committing a foul. While that might seem unfair, Redding said doing otherwise creates inconsistencies.
''You can say let's make a special case at the end of the fourth quarter, but that's a slippery slope because now do you want to create other circumstances where you want to do things differently toward the end of the game distinct from the end of the first half?'' said Redding, who was the longtime coordinator of officials in the Southeastern Conference and now edits the NCAA rule book.
Redding said high-profile mistakes often lead to discussions by the rules committee, which is made up of coaches from all levels of college football, but he would not recommend changing when quarters should be extended.
''It's pretty rare to extend the period at all,'' Redding said. ''It's very rare to extend the game at the end of the fourth period. It's very, very rare to do that on fourth down. And it's extremely rare to have a fourth down at the end of the game where you've got a loss of down. The odds of this are just tiny, but obviously it can happen. And you've got to know it.''
As for changing the results of the game, there is simply no method for that in the rule book, Redding said. And the game is over not when the clock hits 0:00, but when officials rule that it has ended. ''That's what I think will be changed,'' Gundy said.
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder looked at it differently.
''I make 1,000 mistakes in a ballgame, and they won't let me get any of them back,'' the 76-year-old Snyder said. ''Stuff happens, so to speak.''
Other news from around the Big 12:
- TCU coach Gary Patterson said the motion that quarterback Kenny Hill made in the end zone late in regulation of a double-overtime home loss to Arkansas ''had something to do with his religious beliefs.'' Officials interpreted Hill making a throat-slashing gesture after he scored with just over 2 minutes left in regulation and handed out a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to the Horned Frogs. The score put TCU ahead 28-20, but the penalty helped set up a short field for Arkansas to drive for the tying score to force overtime. ''We got beat by three points in overtime,'' Patterson said. ''That was the most important part of the ball game, not a gesture in the end zone.''
- The Big 12 was 0-3 in Week 2 in nonconference games against Power Five schools, and is 2-4 in such games this season. There are three more this weekend: No. 14 Oklahoma hosts No. 3 Ohio State, Oklahoma State is home against Pittsburgh and No. 11 Texas goes to California.
AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins in Fort Worth, Texas, and AP freelance writer John Tranchina in Stillwater, Oklahoma, contributed to this report.
Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP