MAC hands officials two-game suspension for mishandling of football game


Following Central Michigan's 30-27 upset victory against No. 22 Oklahoma State Saturday in Stillwater, Mid-American Conference referee Tim O'Dey said the final play which led to CMU's win, never should have happened. 

On Sunday, the MAC handed a two-game suspension to all eight officials and the Big 12's replay crew also received a suspension for the handling of the end of the game.

In an interview with The Oklahoman on Saturday, O'Dey explained why extending the game was an incorrect call.

"There's a rule that says the game cannot end on an accepted live ball foul," O'Dey said. 

There is an exception to this rule that says enforcing the foul creates a loss of down, bringing the game to its conclusion.

"In that situation, we've had the opportunity to run it back through our hierarchy, which includes the national rules editor," O'Dey said. "He confirmed that should have been a loss of down and the end of the game at that point, so that extension should not have happened." 

In a statement released by the MAC following the game, Bill Carollo, coordinator of MAC Football Officials, said the officiating crew made an error on the final play of regulation.

"The crew made a misapplication of the rule and should not have extended the contest with one final play," he said.

In a statement released by the Big 12, Walt Anderson, coordinator of Big 12 football officials, said "the Big 12 replay crew missed an opportunity to stop the game to inform the MAC officiating crew of the misapplication of the intentional grounding penalty as time expired".

The play came following an intentional grounding call against Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph, turning over the ball and setting up CMU's final chance.

CMU scored on the ensuing possession on a 51-yard Hail Mary from senior quarterback Cooper Rush, winning the game with no time remaining.

Carollo said the error will not change the game's outcome.