D-III Conference Apologizes After Refs Cost Team Game | Athletic Business

D-III Conference Apologizes After Refs Cost Team Game

The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference apologized for a recent referee ruling that changed the outcome of an NCAA Division III men’s basketball game.

It’s not going to do St. Olaf College any good, as there is no way to overturn the outcome of its 75-74 home loss to Augsburg University on Jan. 22 in Northfield, Minn.

After trailing by 17 points in the second half, St. Olaf was within one point when inbounding the ball under its offensive basket with 0.2 seconds to play. Dominic Bledsoe threw a lob to Troy Diggins Jr. near the free-throw line. Diggins tipped it like a volleyball set, using two hands to easily get it off before the final buzzer sounded.

The ball went in, briefly appearing to win the game before the three referees immediately called it off due to a belief that it’s impossible to get a shot off in that amount of time.

"At the conclusion of Wednesday night's men's basketball game, the officials informed us that a tip-in with less than 0.4 seconds left is only permissible if tipped with one hand,” St. Olaf athletic director Ryan Bowles said in a Jan. 24 statement. “Since then, the officials and Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) have recognized the mistake in the application and interpretation of the rule and have apologized for the error.

"We have explored options and there in not an avenue in NCAA basketball to appeal results once a game has concluded. While the result in not what we believe is correct, we also realize that human error is a part of athletics and officiating is a difficult task.

“This situation is an opportunity for our men's basketball coaches and student-athletes to apply the life lessons taught through sport, perseverance, and to respond by putting this loss behind them and prepare for our next opponent."

St. Olaf bounced back Saturday, improving their record to 9-9 with a 74-62 home win over Saint Mary’s.

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