Pac-12 reprimands, fines Ducks coach
On Saturday night, Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti opened eyes with a profane tirade aimed at the Ducks’ opponent that night, Washington State. On Sunday, Aliotti went into damage control, issuing an apology.
On Monday, the Pac-12 had its say. And while it lacked the colorful language used by Aliotti, it certainly packed quite a sting.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott announced Monday a public reprimand for the coach, as well as $5,000 fine.
"The Pac-12 has specific rules that prohibit our coaches from making public comments about officiating, and this prohibition specifically includes comments that create doubts about the credibility of the Conference’s officiating program,” Scott said in the statement. “His comments also showed a lack of support for the Pac-12‘s policies on Sportsmanship and Standards of Conduct, which call for our coaches to treat opponents with respect."
The controversy erupted after the No. 2 Ducks’ 62-38 win over the Cougars. In the game, WSU head coach Mike Leach had quarterback Connor Halliday throw 89 passes in the loss, breaking the previous FBS record of 83 set by Purdue’s Drew Brees in 1998. But a closer look at the numbers shows what set Aliotti off.
The Ducks pulled their defensive starters from the game in the fourth quarter, ahead 62-24. In that fourth quarter, Washington State never took its foot off the gas, throwing on every offensive down in the quarter. Halliday was able to throw two scores for the game’s final 14 points, but he also threw as many interceptions as touchdowns (four). The junior leads the nation with 17 interceptions.
And after the game, Aliotti said, "That’s total bulls**t that he threw the ball at the end of the game like he did. And you can print that and you can send it to him, and he can comment, too. I think it’s low class and it’s bulls**t to throw the ball when the game is completely over against our kids that are basically our scout team. … Make sure he knows that. Because I don’t really care."
The next day, a much more contrite-sounding Aliotti told GoDucks.com:
"My integrity’s important to me, and the type of person I really am wasn’t portrayed
in that moment. I got caught up in the emotion, and that’s not what a man of Oregon
should do. I’m embarrassed.
"The bottom line is, I’m sorry. I’m embarrassed that I got caught up in the moment
after the game. There’s no excuse, but sometimes right after the game the adrenaline
is still flowing and I made a huge, human error in judgment. I wish I could take it back,
and I promise it won’t happen again.
"I’d like to apologize to Mike Leach and (athletic director) Bill Moos, Washington State
and its fans, and Oregon and our fans."
—The Associated Press contributed to this report