The Big 12 Conference has fined and issued a public reprimand to Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt after statements he made following the Red Raider football team’s double-overtime loss at Baylor on Saturday.
According to ESPN, Hocutt said in a statement on Sunday that the conference had acknowledged an officiating error in the first overtime period when Baylor center Jake Fruhmorgen errantly snapped the ball, causing it to tumble to the turf where Tech defensive tackle Jaylon Hutchings recovered it. Officials blew the play dead, however, and instead of a turnover Baylor was penalized for a false start. Baylor went on to score two plays later.
"It is important to state that we have been in constant communication with the Big 12 Conference office from the immediate end of the game and throughout Sunday regarding the illegal snap call in the first overtime," Hocutt said in a statement. "It has been confirmed that the ruling on the field of an illegal snap was incorrect.”
"The play is not reviewable by rule because it is a dead ball judgment call by the official. I am confident that the Big 12 Conference will deal with the matter internally as they complete the review of the game in its entirety. While this is a very unfortunate circumstance, I could not be more proud of our team and the competitive fight and effort with which they competed."
The Big 12 on Wednesday handed down the penalties, which included a $25,000 fine, for violating league rules on speaking about officials.
“The Big 12 Conference members have developed policies governing the officiating of our contests,” said Commissioner Bob Bowlsby in a statement announcing the sanctions. “It is vital that senior administration officials, especially the Directors of Athletics, adhere explicitly to these policies. It is very difficult to balance support for an institution’s teams while fully complying with the imperative created by schools acting together to manage athletics competition. On this occasion, the required discipline was not exercised.”