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Pac-12 reprimands Jim Mora for calling officiating ‘criminal’

You can’t say that, Jim.

Arizona v UCLA Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Pac-12 has issued a reprimand to UCLA coach Jim Mora, who was not happy with the officiating in the win Saturday night over Arizona. Mora promised to get answers for what he felt like was sub-standard officiating, referring to the reffing as “criminal” in a postgame interview.

Tuesday night, the conference fired back, citing that the way the officials handled the situation was backed up by the NCAA.

One of the plays in question came with 3:13 remaining in the first quarter. Arizona attempted a pass on second and six at their own 22-yard line when an Arizona offensive lineman was initially flagged for being an ineligible receiver downfield. The flag was picked up when it was determined that the Arizona quarterback was out of the pocket and legally threw the ball away out of bounds. Per the CCA Officiating Manual (Page 28: Other Passing Situations - 9), “If the passer is legally throwing the ball away and it lands near or beyond the sideline, do not penalize the offense for having ineligible players downfield.” Similarly, “Offensive pass interference for blocking downfield will not be called if the passer is legally grounding the ball out of bounds, near or beyond the sideline.” (Page 27: Not Offensive Pass Interference - 1). The correct ruling on this play was confirmed by the NCAA.

Mora received an unsportsmanlike penalty during the game for giving the refs a piece of his mind. Now the conference office is giving him a piece of theirs.