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Big Ten Apologizes to Minnesota

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This is shocking. Just shocking to me. The Big Ten Conference has apologized to Minnesota for the interference call in overtime against Penn State that allowed the Nittany Lions to continue the drive and score a touchdown.

The Big Ten Conference office has notified the Minnesota athletic department that the pass interference call made against defensive back Trumaine Banks in overtime of a 28-27 loss to Penn State on Saturday was a very bad call.

Did anybody apologize to us after Tony Johnson was ruled out of bounds in Michigan in 2002? No. Did anyone apologize to us after Iowa in 2002? No. Did anyone apologize to us for adding 0:02 in Michigan last year? No. Why now?

The Big Ten blows so many calls every weekend it's not even funny. Are they going to start apologizing for all of them? Or just the ones in overtime? There were some pretty questionable pass interference calls in the first half too. Why not apologize for those?

There is all this talk about "letting the players settle it on the field." But you can't suspend the rules late in the game. If an offensive tackle grabs a defensive end by the collar and drags him to the ground in overtime, should the official throw the flag or "let them play?" The rules need to apply for all 60 minutes (or 60:02 in Michigan).

This is starting a dangerous precident, and I'm not just talking about Penn State here. Apologizing after every bad call is going to call into the question of the results of a lot of close games. Officials are there to give their JUDGEMENT. Sometimes plays happen quickly and they have to make an instant decision. They don't have the benefit of looking at it frame by frame and breaking it down several time. When you start calling them out after the game you make them gun shy. Now side judge Joe Duncan, who made the call in question, probably will not take his flag out of his pocket at all this week.

But beyond that, this just gives fuel to those who whine about officials which is all of us. The Big Ten has basically given everyone an excuse to challenge the result of every game now. They have basically said, "Our officials suck!"