Two Texas Tech football radio announcers have been suspended after making disparaging comments about Big 12 officials during the Red Raider’s 41-38 win over Iowa State last weekend.
Aside from criticizing the conference officials, play-by-play announcer Brian Jensen and John Harris also criticized Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, implying that the conference was biased toward the Cyclones.
After a Texas Tech interception was overturned on review, the announcers suggested that the Big 12 was fixing the game for Iowa State.
“I’ll say it right now, the Big 12 does not want Iowa State to lose this game,” Jensen said in reaction to the call, after which Harris went after Bowlsby.
“Bob Bowslby, you need to answer to this. This is ridiculous. This is ridiculous. Uneblievable. The inconsistency of this referee crew in favor of Iowa State today. Unbelievable,” Harris said.
Jensen and Harris went on to rip the officiating crew, eventually naming each individual referee.
“Yeah, the Big 12 should be embarrassed,” Harris remarked. “The Big 12 should be embarrassed with this crew. We’ve only point out two guys, I’m going to read them all to you.”
In the end, the Red Raiders prevailed and four days later the Big 12 announced a public reprimand of the Texas Tech radio booth.
"In accordance with Big 12 Conference Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct policies, the Conference has issued a public reprimand of the Texas Tech radio booth announcers," the statement read. "They have also been removed from announcing the Tech game on November 20th. The actions have been taken in response to comments during Saturday’s football game broadcast against Iowa State."
“I understand the roles of the play-by-play and color analyst,” commented Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “However as University representatives they also have an obligation to adhere to Conference policy regarding comments about game officials. The comments by the Red Raider Radio Network booth announcers were contrary to expected levels of respect and professionalism. Questioning the integrity of Conference officials and specifically calling out members of the officiating crew is well beyond appropriate and permissible behavior.”