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WAC apologizes for referee confusion at UH game

  • MATT LANGE / SPECIAL TO THE HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER
    Hawai'i receiver, Royce Pollard, breaks away from the Louisiana Tech defense.
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Terming the 22-minute replay delay in the second quarter of Saturday’s University of Hawaii-Louisiana Tech football game "an embarrassment," the Western Athletic Conference office issued a public apology today.

"I apologize to the Louisiana Tech and Hawaii student-athletes and coaches, fans and members of the media who had to sit through this excessive delay," Commissioner Karl Benson said in a statement on the conference’s website.

UH won the game, 44-26 in Ruston, La. 

"It was an embarrassment to the WAC and steps have been taken to prevent something like this from happening again," Benson said. He added, "The instant replay official failed terribly in managing the review process as we have policies in place that state if a particular call can’t be overturned in two minutes, the play in question must then stand."

The review occurred early in the second quarter following a punt by Hawaii.  The WAC said, during the preceding series of downs, a timeout was called by Hawaii as a third down play was being run. The officials granted the timeout and the play did not count, but the replay official thought the timeout was granted after the completion of the play. Following an incomplete pass on the next play and then the subsequent punt, the replay official buzzed the field to inform the referee that five downs had occurred and that the plays needed to be reviewed.

The game required 3 hours, 56 minutes to play, the longest of the season for the Warriors.

At his press conference this week, Tech coach Sonny Dykes said, "they did surgery with a chainsaw in trying to get the call right."

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