Big 12 coordinator of officials defends controversial officiating in Texas-Oklahoma State game


It was either an afternoon of comeuppance decades in the making or a highway robbery of the highest order, depending on your view. But one thing was undeniable: the officiating during the Texas-Oklahoma State game was the hottest topic in the Big 12 on Monday.

The Longhorns were flagged 16 times for 128 yards in their 30-27 loss to Oklahoma State, while the Cowboys were charged with seven penalties for 40 yards. Among those 16 flags, Texas saw two touchdowns and a lengthy interception return taken off the board and, most controversially, a defensive holding call which, in turn, bled into an unsportsmanlike conduct call, that provide the necessary yardage for Oklahoma State to tie the game at 27-27 with a little more than 90 seconds remaining in the game.

Here is the defensive holding call on Texas defensive tackle Poona Ford:


And here is the unsportsmanlike conduct flag Charlie Strong drew protesting the call:

On Monday evening, Big 12 coordinator of football officials Walt Anderson spoke with Dallas Morning News writer Chuck Carlton and Austin American-Statesman columnist Kirk Bohls defending his charges’ work:

As to which calls were correct and which ones weren’t? Anderson didn’t say.

Austin American-Statesman beat writer Brian Davis noted earlier Monday that referee Alan Eck‘s crew flagged Texas far more often than the rest of its peers.

Apprised of that information, Anderson wouldn’t say whether or not he’d assign Eck’s crew to another Texas game.

Anderson defended the flags against Ford and Strong, specifically.

In the end, it was a case of an official defending one of his own – not that anyone should have expected differently. Zebras are like offensive linemen. They never call out their peers publicly.