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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott supports referees

Tyler Baker
Tyler Baker / The Daily Wildcat During the first half of Arizona’s 28-26 loss to USC at Arizona Stadium on October 11th.

Pac-12 Conference commissioner Larry Scott met the media at halftime of Arizona football’s game against USC, and the interview had a definite theme.

A few days after the resignation of Tony Corrente, Pac-12 coordinator of officiating, nearly every question posed to Scott was about officiating.

“I think there’s constantly a lot of focus on officiating in our conference and others,” Scott said. “Certainly [last] week with Tony Corrente’s departure there’s been a lot of talk about it, understandably, and that’s unfortunate.”

Scott said the resignation was a surprise since it came in the middle of the season.

“It’s a tough and thankless job being an official, let alone a coordinator of officiating,” Scott said.

Scott said the conference’s officiating has received positive feedback from athletic directors and coaches.

“That doesn’t mean for a second that it’s perfect or that anyone’s satisfied with it,” Scott said. “Officiating is one of those things that will always be imperfect; there will always be errors and we try to minimize those.”

Scott downplayed concerns from the fans and media about Pac-12 officiating, saying it “stacks up very well” to other conferences. “All the objective feedback we’ve gotten from people comparing the conferences has been positive,” Scott said.

Colorado Head Coach Mike MacIntyre and USC Athletic Director Pat Haden have been fined $10,000 and $50,000, respectively, this season for incidents with officials.

Scott said the extra tension may be from the College Football Playoffs’ introduction this year and the depth of the league.“I think the pressure’s heightened in our conference from what’s been, given the depth and competitiveness in our conference,” Scott said.

Every Pac-12 football team has at least one loss, the league is tied with the 14-team SEC with most teams currently ranked — six — and the Pac-12 plays nine conference games instead of the usual eight.

Scott didn’t mind the focus being on officiating and not the game.

“Well, you haven’t asked me about DirecTV yet,” Scott said. “No, it doesn’t bother me; it’s important. There’s nothing more important than the integrity of the competition and if people have questions about it, I’m happy to talk about it.”

Still in the hunt

While the No. 16 Wildcats lost their perfect record and top-10 ranking on Saturday, they still have plenty to play for.ESPN’s current projection has the Wildcats in the Fiesta Bowl, CBS projects the Alamo Bowl and SB Nation has them going to the Holiday Bowl.

“We have a lot of big games ahead of us, and we can still make a splash,” UA redshirt senior receiver Austin Hill said after the game. “For 24 hours, we might be mad, but after that, we’re moving on.”

At 5-1 and 2-1 in the Pac-12, the Wildcats sit in second place in the South Division behind USC (4-2, 3-1). UCLA, which was picked to win the conference by the media before the season, already has two conference losses and dropped out of the AP rankings after being in the Top 10 just a few weeks ago.

“They’ll move on after 24 hours from this one,” Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez said after the USC game. “It’s just like the other games. There’s no difference.”

Comeback Cats

While they lost the game against USC, the Wildcats once again owned the fourth quarter.Arizona outscored the Trojans 13-0 in the fourth quarter.

“We should have taken care of it earlier,” UA redshirt senior safety Jared Tevis said. “We have to have that fourth-quarter mentality throughout the whole game.”

Arizona has outscored its foes 73-38 in the fourth quarter and 145-77 in the second half. In the first half, though, the Wildcats have been outscored 84-80.

Afternoon delight

On Monday, the Pac-12 announced that Arizona’s next game at Washington State will be its first afternoon game of the season.The Wildcats will cat-fight with the Cougars at 3 p.m. on Oct. 25 on the Pac-12 Networks in Pullman, Wash.

— Roberto Payne contributed reporting to this story


Follow James Kelley on Twitter.

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