Bravo Boren

September 19th, 2006

by Justin Waganer
Senior Sports Writer

It is rare in times such as these where obvious wrongs are done to a school via poor officiating that an official of the school speaks out against it. Fines can be levied and opinions can be formed that are detrimental to the progression of the school by committing such an act. However, after such transgressions on Saturday that were so obvious to everyone, David L. Boren, President of the University of Oklahoma spoke out Monday. Here is a review of Boren’s main points to Kevin Weiberg, Big 12 Commissioner.

>“First, seek an apology from the Pac-10 Conference for the gross errors in officiating.” If this isn’t done then the Pac-10 is a joke anyway and should no longer be considered a legitimate organization by the college football world in general. You MUST take accountability for your actions!

>“Second, since institutions, players, and coaches are held responsible by conferences and the NCAA for their actions, those who officiate games should also be held responsible. At the very least, those found responsible for reviewing the onside kick call and the interference call in the closing minutes of the game should be suspended from officiating for the rest of the season.” The Pac-10 suspended the officials for one game, the equivalent of jailing someone for one week for stealing from the company they work for.

>“Third, it is my understanding that the Pac-10 Conference has a rule that they will only use Pac-10 officials at games with other conference institutions hosted by Pac-10 members. In light of what happened Saturday, the Big 12 should request that the Pac-10 change its rule to assure impartial officiating.” Is there any harm in asking for this? I understand that this was agreed upon when the contract was signed, but forgive me if I believe that the playing field is different now. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on the Pac-10.

>“Fourth, the Big 12 should request that the game should not go into the record books as a win or loss by either team in light of the level of officiating mistakes.” This is a little out there in that it will never happen, but again, where is the harm in asking? If the officials know that it IS possible to change the outcome after the game has finished wouldn’t that put an end to any improprieties? Not saying that this was a “fix” but if it were that would certainly put an end to it, right?

>“Fifth, the Big 12 should place on the appropriate agendas of NCAA meetings and meetings of the conference commissioners a discussion of how the film review process should be implemented.” Thank God somebody finally said it! Yes, review is a great idea. Yes, its intent has the good of the game at heart. However, how does something like this happen with review being used? This isn’t the first time that replay has failed, just ask Joe Paterno about instant replay’s effectiveness!

I understand that asking for some of the things that Boren asked for and even speaking out may color him a “whiner”, but here’s the truth, if nobody speaks out then nothing changes. The old saying goes something like this, all truth goes through three stages, “First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is recognized as being self evident.” When replay screwed Joe Paterno we laughed at its inaccuracy as being ridiculous. When it screws you in the last minute you violently oppose its use. When do we accept that the system is flawed and begin to make changes?

Entry Filed under: Oklahoma Sports

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