At Arizona, Stoops feels for brother, favors ref change

Updated: September 22, 2006, 8:16 AM ET
Associated Press

NORMAN, Okla. -- The brother of Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops finds himself on both sides of the fence in the debate over whether the Pacific 10 should change its conference officiating policy in the aftermath of the school's game against Oregon.

"They may move forward with this thing to get regional refs that don't have any bias, subconsciously or consciously," Arizona head coach Mike Stoops told the Oklahoma Daily on Wednesday.

"I think it's good anytime you have out-of-conference [officials]. For out-of-conference games, all coaches I think would be for that."

One of the controversial calls involved an Oregon player illegally touching the ball and a Sooners player before an onside kick traveled 10 yards. Instant replay footage showed the Sooners recovered the kick, but the Ducks were awarded possession.

Another call involved a pass interference penalty called against the Sooners, who lost 34-33 when Oregon rallied in the final minute.

Pac-10 officials said they would put its policy of using league officials for non-conference games before its athletic directors at their next meeting on Oct. 12.

Mike Stoops said he talked to his brother after the game.

"We talked. It's just like anything, he was just upset that it wasn't right," Mike Stoops said. "I think everybody's frustrated about the same thing."

Stoops said he takes a lot of pride being in the Pac 10, but was upset by the calls.

"I just thought it was ridiculous that they couldn't get all of the angles. It was pretty obvious, and not to see that Oklahoma had recovered those were just errors that are the fundamentals of refereeing," Mike Stoops said.

"I feel bad for all of the players and the coaches; for Bob. You want to see [the game] decided on the field of play and not in a booth or by officials."

Mike Stoops said he is also hopeful that mistakes in a game with the magnitude and national significance of OU-Oregon will force officials to change the current instant replay system.

"When you've got a team like Oklahoma playing on national TV, it's hard to take a loss like that," Mike said.

"But still I think it will benefit everybody in the long run. It's hopefully something everybody can learn from."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press