Monday, October 6, 2008

PAC-10 Slaps Harbaugh For Blasting Officials

When are coaches going to learn that you can't talk trash about the officials publicly? It's not as if Jim Harbaugh didn't know this, so maybe he just thought whatever punishment he received would not outweigh the perceived injustice his team received.

Walnut Creek--Stanford head football coach Jim Harbaugh was reprimanded today by Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen for public comments about the officiating in Saturday’s Stanford-Notre Dame game.

At his postgame media conference, Harbaugh criticized a second-quarter call in which Stanford was flagged for failing to provide a Notre Dame player an unimpeded opportunity to catch a punt. The penalty erased the recovery of the muffed punt by Stanford.

“Pac-10 rules prohibit comments by a coach about officiating other than to the Conference office. Coach Harbaugh violated that rule by publicly criticizing the officials,” Hansen said. “He and all other coaches must comply with the policies on officiating.”

“In addition, Pac-10 officials have reviewed video of the play and it is apparent the Stanford player covering the punt impeded the Notre Dame player attempting to catch it.

“The call was correct,” he added. “NCAA playing rule 6-4-1 states in part ‘A player of the receiving team within the boundary lines must be given an unimpeded opportunity to catch the kick.’ Even though the player attempting to catch the kick was bumped by his teammate, he still attempted to catch the kick and was impeded by the Stanford player. The rule places the onus on the kicking team member to avoid impeding the opportunity to catch the ball.”

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