Big 12 fines Texas Tech AD for statement on officiating error

The Big 12 Conference Wednesday issued a public reprimand and fined Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt $25,000 (Texas Tech Athletics / Michael Strong)
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DALLAS, Texas (KWTX) The Big 12 Conference Wednesday issued a public reprimand and fined Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt $25,000 for releasing a statement Sunday in which he said the conference had acknowledged an incorrect call in Tech’s 33-30 double overtime loss to Baylor Saturday night.

“The Big 12 Conference members have developed policies governing the officiating of our contests,” Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Wednesday.

“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,” he said.

“Kirby Hocutt is one of the very best athletics administrators in the nation, and I am grateful for his assistance and support in resolving this matter.”

During the first overtime period Saturday a ball snapped by Baylor center Jake Fruhmorgen hit Fruhmorgen’s rear end, fell to the turf and was recovered by a Tech lineman.

The officials, however, blew the play dead and enforced a penalty against the bears for a false start with an illegal snap.

Two plays later Baylor scored.

On Sunday Hocutt, in a violation of a conference policy on speaking out publicly about officiating, issued a statement in which he said, “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."