Big 12 fines Iowa State AD $25K for critiquing officiating

Jamie Pollard knew his comments on Saturday would cost him and the price tag has arrived.

The Big 12 has reprimanded Pollard and fined the Iowa State athletic director $25,000 for his comments critical of officiating on Saturday. Pollard also alleged that he and coach Paul Rhoads have drawn the "short stick" since bringing up an officiating issue to the Big 12 a year and a half ago.

"Mr. Pollard’s public statements called into question the integrity and competence of game officials and the Conference’s officiating program," commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a release. "To insinuate that games are called unfairly to negatively impact a program is irresponsible and completely baseless. Accordingly, the seriousness of this violation warrants a public reprimand and a financial penalty. We take pride in our officiating programs and will continue to strive for the highest possible standards and the fairest competition."

Late in the first half of Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma State, Cowboys running back Desmond Roland was called short of the goal line. Upon replay review, officials overruled the decision and awarded Oklahoma State a touchdown. Pollard took issue with the decision. The touchdown gave OSU a 13-6 lead going into halftime and the Cowboys returned the opening kick of the second half for a touchdown to take a 20-6 lead.

The Des Moines Register reported earlier Monday that the Big 12 informed Iowa State that it agreed with the replay officials’ decision.

Earlier this season, the Big 12 reprimanded and suspended replay officials for incorrectly managing a replay decision in Iowa State’s game against Kansas State.

"Something’s got to be done," Pollard said. "I don’t know what that is, but there needs to be more accountability."

The fine will be the biggest for a coach or administrator for criticizing officials in Big 12 history. Pollard called Saturday’s decision and two others in the last 18 months "frustrating" and "not fair."

"I recognize the Big 12 does not allow commenting on officiating and I recognize there’s penalties for that," Pollard said. "But folks, our institution’s been penalized already."