Jim Ferry, Penn State's interim men's basketball coach, called some of the officiating in Sunday's game against Purdue "a little uneven or inconsistent" and added that some "sensitivity" led to him being issued a technical foul.
That cost Penn State a $10,000 fine.
The Big Ten on Tuesday issued the fine and a public reprimand of Ferry, who said in a statement that he regrets his actions.
“I would like to apologize to the officials, Big Ten Conference and our fans for my actions following our Purdue game Sunday," Ferry said. “I regret my actions and know my behavior was unacceptable. I would also like to apologize to our team, our athletics department and our university. I have a high standard for myself and my team in representing Penn State and my actions Sunday failed to live up to that standard and set an example for my team. I am disappointed in myself; I have learned from this experience and will make sure it does not happen again.”
Three minutes into the second half of Penn State's 80-72 loss at Purdue, Ferry was called for a technical foul while one of his own players, Izaiah Brockington, was shooting free throws. Purdue's Brandon Newman made two foul shots to give Purdue a 12-point lead.
"I was just fighting for our guys," Ferry said after the game. "I thought some of the calls were a little uneven or inconsistent, whatever you want to call it. I've been coaching for a long time. I wasn't ranting and raving and I wasn't cursing. I thought there was a little sensitivity on that, but I'll deal with that separately."
The Big Ten said Ferry violated conference rules that state the following: "The Big Ten Conference expects all contests involving a member institution to be conducted without compromise to any fundamental element of sportsmanship. Such fundamental elements include integrity of the competition, civility toward all, and respect, particularly toward opponents and officials."
“We are disappointed in Jim Ferry’s actions following the men’s basketball game at Purdue Sunday afternoon,” Sandy Barbour, Penn State athletics director, said in a statement. “While these actions are out of character for Jim, they are not the example we want to set for the young men in our program nor do they represent the values of Penn State, intercollegiate athletics or our men’s basketball program.
“Jim has taken responsibility for his actions and has apologized. He is upset with himself, understands his behavior was not acceptable and regrets his actions. He accepts the Big Ten’s decision.”
Ferry has noted that his team has struggled with fouls all season. The Lions have been called for a Big Ten-high 21.1 fouls per game. Their opponents have been called for 16.1 per game.
Opponents are averaging 24.5 free-throw attempts per game against the Lions, also a league high. No other team is allowing more than 20 foul shots per game.
On Sunday, Penn State was called for 27 fouls, the most in a Big Ten game this season. Purdue was called for 16.
The Boilermakers went 24-for-33 from the line. Purdue made 11 more free throws than Penn State attempted, even though it shot just 72.7 percent from the line.
Penn State (3-5) visits Illinois on Tuesday. Tipoff is at 8:30 p.m. on Big Ten Network.
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