Pac-12 suspends referee after egregious mistake during Washington State vs. Cal game
The Pac-12 has suspended one of its referees after a “mechanics error” occurred in Saturday’s Washington State vs. California game.
That mechanics error? Assessing a 15-yard penalty to the incorrect team.
The conference said Sunday in a news release that early in the third quarter, Cal committed an illegal hands to the face penalty on a kickoff play. On that play, Washington State returned the ball to midfield and the 15-yard penalty should have advanced the ball to Cal’s 35.
Instead, the penalty was assigned to the receiving team and enforced half the distance to the goal from the spot of the foul, giving the Cougars starting field position at their own 8-yard line. That’s a difference of a whopping 57 yards.
Here’s how the Pac-12 described the sequence of events:
With 10:14 remaining in the third quarter, Washington State received the kick off and returned it to the 50-yard line. The Referee threw a flag on the play for a hands to the face penalty. After a crew discussion, the foul was announced by the Referee as “hands to the face on the receiving team number 15” and Washington State was penalized half the distance to the goal from the spot of the foul and the ball was placed at its own 8-yard line.
According to the Pac-12, the referee quickly realized the gaffe and informed Washington State, but it was too late. WSU already ran an offensive play — a three-yard pass from Anthony Gordon to Max Borghi. Washington ...
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