After bungling a last-second play in Wisconsin's 32-30 loss to Arizona State, producing one of the more bizarre endings in college football history, a group of Pac-12 officials has been officially reprimanded by the conference.
According to the Pac-12 website:
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott has reprimanded and taken additional sanctions against officials in Saturday night's Wisconsin at Arizona State game for failing to properly administer the end of game situation and act with appropriate urgency on the game's final play, it was announced today.
This was the situation, according to USA Today.
With 18 seconds remaining and the ball at the Arizona State 13-yard line, Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave ran the ball toward the center of the field in an effort to get the ball to the center of the field for a presumed attempt at the game-winning field goal. Stave touched his knee to the ground and then placed the ball on the ground.
There was initial uncertainty over whether Stave had taken a knee, given himself up or fumbled. As a result, several Arizona State players considered the ball live and attempted a fumble recovery.
From there, all hell broke loose. ASU jumped on the ball, but it wasn't ruled a fumble, so Wisconsin was supposed to be allowed to spike the ball and kick a field goal. But the official never properly spotted the ball, and with the clock continuously running, time expired before the Badgers could run another play:
In the official release, there's no mention of how or to what extent the officials will be punished. Commissioner Larry Scott left his words intentionally vague:
This was an unusual situation to end the game.
After a thorough review, we have determined that the officials fell short of the high standard in which Pac-12 games should be managed. We will continue to work with all our officials to ensure this type of situation never occurs again.
The world (read: Internet) will get a good chuckle out of "high standard," "officials" and "Pac-12" all being included in the same sentence.
But with nothing able to be done in terms of adjusting the teams' records, nothing can be done to redeem this situation.
Badger fans still can't sleep at night.