Mid American Conference NCAA

Mid-American Conference suspends officials from CMU-Oklahoma State game

Corey Willis

A referee signals a touchdown as Central Michigan wide receiver Corey Willis (8) celebrates with his teammate running back Joe Bacci (40) after scoring the winning touchdown in the final seconds of an NCAA college football game between against Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. Central Michigan won 30-27.

(Brody Schmidt | Associated Press)

Central Michigan University’s 30-27 win Saturday will cost Oklahoma State its No. 22 ranking.

It will also cost the officiating crew two weeks of work.

Bill Carollo, the coordinator of football officials for the Collegiate Officiating Consortium, announced Sunday that the eight-person crew will be suspended for the next two weeks after misinterpreting a rule allowing the Chippewas one final play.

“After a thorough review and evaluation of the entire Central Michigan at Oklahoma State contest, we have decided to suspend the officiating crew for the next two consecutive weeks. I have personally informed the crew of our decision,” Carollo said in a Mid-American Conference press release.

With Oklahoma State leading 27-24 and four seconds remaining in the game, Cowboys quarterback Mason Rudolph threw the ball away on fourth down to kill the final four seconds of the clock.

Rudolph was flagged for intentional grounding, and the officials ruled that a game could not end on an accepted live-ball penalty. But there is an exception that the game can end when the penalty involves a loss of down, such as intentional grounding.

With the extra play, CMU quarterback Cooper Rush threw a Hail Mary pass to Jesse Kroll at the Oklahoma State 10-yard line. Kroll lateraled to Corey Willis, who ran the ball in for the winning touchdown.

Oklahoma State also scored the go-ahead touchdown on a controversial call. On the touchdown, the Cowboys were flagged for holding. But after an officials conference, the flag was picked up, allowing the touchdown.

The eight officials suspended are referee Tim O’Dey, umpire Brett Denker, linesman Paul Beyerle, line judge Mark Bennett, back judge Jeff Pasold, field judge Kyle DeBuse, side judge Richard Ames and center judge Kerry Ripley.

The 2-0 Chippewas face Nevada-Las Vegas at 3 p.m. Saturday at CMU’s Kelly/Shorts Stadium.

The Big 12 suspended its two-man replay crew for two games and also announced that the two replay officials will not be allowed to work a bowl game.

“The crew missed an opportunity to advise the MAC officiating crew of the misapplication of the penalty giving CMU an untimed down that resulted in its game-winning touchdown,” Walt Anderson, Big 12 football coordinator of officials, said in a statement. “NCAA rules permit instant replay to correct egregious errors and it is unacceptable that it did not occur in this situation. Additionally, this replay crew will not be eligible for assignment to an end-of-season bowl game.”

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