Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy said Monday that he would support a measure that prevents game officials from non-Power 5 leagues from calling nonconference contests involving Big 12 opponents in the future.
Gundy said he has discussed the measure with OSU athletic director Mike Holder and it is an item the school may use in future contracts for nonconference games after Saturday’s officiating blunder in Stillwater, Okla. cost the Cowboys (1-1) a victory against Central Michigan.
An officiating crew from the MAC misapplied an NCAA rule that allowed Central Michigan, a MAC member, an untimed down after the clock had expired with the Cowboys holding a 27-23 lead. The Chippewas scored on a Hail Mary pass and lateral to secure a 30-27 upset but both the MAC crew that called the game and the two-person Big 12 crew that operated the replay booth have been suspended for two games.
Gundy cited the mistake as a reason to tweak existing policy that allows an officiating crew from the visiting team’s league to call nonconference games involving Big 12 schools.
Asked on Monday’s Big 12 teleconference if he would support a measure that required a Big 12 officiating crew in similar matchups in the future, Gundy said: “You’re 100 percent correct. Against other Power 5 schools, you exchange refs (in nonconference play). Otherwise, I would not go into a game without Big 12 refs. Those discussions have taken place. If a school doesn’t want to use our officials, you move on and find another school. The best refs want to be at this level. You use our officials or you don’t sign the contracts.”
Typically, the NFL selects officials from Power 5 leagues to fill vacancies at that level when they arise.