ISU Athletic Director criticizes Big 12 officiating after loss

ISU athletics director Jamie Pollard was fined 25,000 dollars by the Big 12 for comments made after Iowa States loss to Oklahoma State. Pollard said Iowa State has been on the short end of controversial calls. 

Ross Boettcher/Iowa State Daily

ISU athletics director Jamie Pollard was fined 25,000 dollars by the Big 12 for comments made after Iowa State’s loss to Oklahoma State. Pollard said Iowa State has been “on the short end” of controversial calls. 

Alex Gookin

ISU Athletic Director Jamie Pollard took the mic in the post-game press conference and criticized officiating after the Cyclones fell to the Oklahoma State Cowboys 37-20 Oct. 4 in Stillwater, Okla.

His comments come after a goal-line stand by the Cyclones to close out the first half. The Cowboys tried rushing for a touchdown in the final seconds, but was stuffed by linebacker Jevohn Miller with officials indicating no touchdown on the field. The play was sent to the replay booth where the call was overturned, causing outrage on social media after what appeared to be inconclusive video evidence from television replay angles.

Pollard was noticeably emotional and acknowledged he would likely be fined by the league. His statement is as follows:

“Iowa State University takes great pride in how we conduct our business, and those of you who know me personally know that I work very hard to make sure my staff and I adhere to that. That being said, we’ve been on the short end of several controversial calls and it’s hard to sit idle and watch ESPN, Fox, other announcers not debate, but to feel sorry for Iowa State because maybe there will be another apology for a call. Coach Rhoads and I have tried to deal with that internally, and have tried to do it the right way. But it’s no longer fair to put our student athletes, our coaching staff and our fans in that position.

“Coach Rhoads and I, a year-and-a-half ago raised an issue, and we were the lone vote, and ever since that time we’ve been on the short end of the stick. I don’t know how things change. But it’s frustrating and it’s not fair. It’s not fair, again, to our players. It puts them in a position that I know a couple of them did some things during halftime that are inappropriate. I don’t fault them. I don’t fault them. They’re frustrated. And they’re frustrated with a lack of action.

“So we’ll continue to work internally, through the appropriate channels, but I felt it was appropriate to stand up here right now and stand behind our team and stand behind our coaching staff. And I recognize that the Big 12 does not allow comments to be made on officiating. And I recognize there are penalties for that. But folks, our institution’s been penalized already. I can think of three situations where the fine has been pretty great because we lost games as a result of calls that either we were apologized [to] or the media certainly felt we should we certainly should have been apologized to. We can’t get that back. That ends careers for football coaches, ADs and presidents, and so something’s got to be done. I don’t know what it is, but there needs to be more accountability on what happens in certain situations. Thank you.”

Pollard was then asked what the athletics department would do next.

“We’ll deal with it internally like we should. I just felt like there needs to be a public statement. Because this is about Iowa State University, and it’s not fair for our institution to continually be put in this position and not be able to comment.”