Referee attempts to justify horrid flag against K-State, fails miserably

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If you haven’t heard about the inane unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at the end of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, you can read about it HERE.  Go ahead, we’ll wait.

(Lips moving… lips moving… done reading…)

In the aftermath of the absurdity that cost Kansas State any realistic shot at tying Syracuse and sending the game into overtime, the referee of the Big Ten officiating crew, Todd Geerlings, was asked about the decision to throw a flag for an innocuous salute.  Here are the questions, and Greeley’s answers, with no commentary from us:

Excessive celebration is rule 9-2-1d, which states a penalty is called for:
“Any delayed, excessive, prolonged or choreographed act by which a player attempts to focus attention on himself (or themselves).”

What exactly caused the penalty?
“It was the salute, which was the judgment of the calling officials, which were the head linesman and the back judge. Two officials threw the flag, both judged it to be drawing attention to themselves, and that’s what the flag was for.”

Were you watching for any celebrations?
“These kinds of excessive celebrations have been a priority in the rulebook for the last several years. There’s a whole page in the rulebook pertaining to sportsmanship.”

OK, maybe just one comment: perhaps there should be a whole chapter pertaining to common sense as well.

(Special thanks to the KSU sports information folks for forwarding the email containing the quotes.)