WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The Pac-12 commissioner called the end of Saturday's Wisconsin, Arizona State football game "unusual."
Commissioner Larry Scott and the conference said in a press release Monday, "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 release said that Scott had reprimanded the officiating crew from Saturday's game, and also took "additional sanctions" against the officials for "failing to properly administer the end of game situation and act with appropriate urgency on the game's final play."
With 18 seconds remaining in the game, Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave ran the ball toward the center of the field, touched his knee to the ground and then placed the ball on the ground. There was initial uncertainty over whether the quarterback had taken a knee, given himself up or fumbled the ball. As a result several Arizona State players considered the ball live and a fumble, and attempted to recover the ball.
According to the Pac-12 release, "Neither the referee nor anyone on his crew moved with appropriate urgency to clearly communicate that the ball was to be spotted so play could resume promptly."
"It was a shame it went down the way it went down at the end and that's really all I want to say about it," Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen said. "It is a shame it went down that way. We (kneel) with 15 seconds left and never even got a chance to snap it again. I don't know how that happens."
Watch the controversial ending:
Wisconsin opens Big Ten Conference play at home against Purdue on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
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