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Bad officiating means never having to say you’re sorry

Gazette staff October 9th, 2012

Oklahoma State fans could not have known that the officiating crew responsible for the blown call in the Sept. 30 OSU-Texas game was auditioning to be NFL replacement refs. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, the bad call in the end zone came two days too late to secure an NFL gig — but it clearly robbed the Pokes of a much-deserved victory.

Credit: Brad Gregg

When OSU linebacker Alex Elkins knocked the ball from Texas running back Joe Bergeron’s hands prior to Bergeron crossing the goal line, it looked as if the Cowboys had narrowly preserved a victory.

Officials, however, signaled a touchdown. Replay failed to provide sufficient evidence to overturn the call.

Things got weirder on Oct. 3, when Oklahoman reporter Gina Mizell, citing two unnamed OSU sources, reported that the head of Big 12 officiating had apologized profusely to OSU head coach Mike Gundy.

Within hours, the Big 12 issued a denial via Twitter: “Reports that the Big 12 acknowledged a blown call and issued an apology to Oklahoma State are inaccurate.”

What has clearly been lost in Apologygate is that an apology means nothing. Even if Walt Anderson, head of Big 12 officiating, had phoned Gundy, the score would remain the same. Perhaps it’s time instead for the NFL and NCAA to finally consider revisiting all the close games throughout history to right the wrongs committed by future replacement refs.

First stop: Columbia, Mo., to fix that Fifth Down Game.

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