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Pac-10 penalizes officials of Virginia-USC game

The Pac-10 officials involved in a controversial call during Saturday's contest between Virginia and Southern California have been reprimanded and will be removed from a future game assignment, the conference announced Monday.

Virginia ran a fake punt early in the second quarter Saturday night. Punter Jimmy Howell completed a pass to tight end Colter Phillips, who advanced to the USC 24 yard-line for what would have been a 36-yard gain. The play was nullified, though, after offensive guard Isaac Cain was whistled for an illegal block below the waist.

Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott announced in a press release that the officials responsible for the call had been disciplined for failure to apply the playing rules correctly. Blocking below the waist anywhere on the field by either team is illegal if the offense is lined up in a scrimmage kick formation, unless a kick is not made, according to the release.

"The officials recognized the mistake after the fact and apologized to the Virginia coaching staff," Scott said. "We know mistakes are made in games, but we will not tolerate our officials misinterpreting the rules. We believe the reprimand and removal from a future assignment are appropriate."

A team spokesman said in an email that Virginia Coach Mike London would have no comment on the announced discipline.

By Steve Yanda  |  September 13, 2010; 9:07 PM ET
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Next: Virginia to devote 'sufficient amount' of time to field goal sequence this week


The game turned on that call.

Posted by: jms3rd | September 14, 2010 6:15 AM | Report abuse

"Blocking below the waist anywhere on the field by either team is illegal if the offense is lined up in a scrimmage kick formation, unless a kick is not made, according to the release."

What? Does THAT clear it up? So you can block below the waist if you don't kick the ball? Isn't that dangerous to the players?

Still, if that's the rule, Virginia got robbed on that one.

Posted by: postfan1 | September 14, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

postfan1, what are you still confused about, what do you not understand? You're suggesting that the commissioner of the PAC 10 incorrectly reprimanded the officials? That the officials actually made the right call? Oh, nevermind...

Posted by: otiswonsley39 | September 14, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

What a shocker -- Pac 10 officials "misinterpret" rules and cost non- Pac 10 team the game. Doesn't happen more often than every game officiated by Pac 10 refs. They make Big 10 refs look like paragons of virtue.

Posted by: grclarkdc1 | September 14, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

OK Trojan fan, that means Hoos won. No really we did. and we will get our W after we find out which of your players are ineligible this year.

Posted by: ElYeah | September 15, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I agree, jms3rd, the game really did take a turn after that call. It seemed to totally deflate the UVA team.

Posted by: smm4c2000 | September 15, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

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