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Tuesday, October 4, 2011
WAC apologizes for delay in Hawaii game

By Andrea Adelson

WAC commissioner Karl Benson issued an apology for an instant replay review that delayed play 22 minutes in Hawaii's 44-26 win over Louisiana Tech.

The review happened early in the second quarter after a Hawaii punt. On the preceding series, Hawaii called a timeout as a third down play was being run.  The officials on the field granted the timeout and the play did not count. But the replay official thought the timeout was granted after the the play was finished. After an incomplete pass on the next play and the punt, the replay official buzzed the field to inform the referee that five downs had occurred and the plays needed to be reviewed.

“I apologize to the Louisiana Tech and Hawaii student-athletes and coaches, fans and members of the media who had to sit through this excessive delay,” Benson said.  “It was an embarrassment to the WAC and steps have been taken to prevent something like this from happening again.  The instant replay official failed terribly in managing the review process as we have policies in place that state if a particular call can’t be overturned in two minutes, the play in question must then stand.”

Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes said during his news conference Monday that the delay was "a bit bewildering" and "not good for college football."

"They were going to give us the ball on Hawaii’s end of the field and I tried to tell them that it wasn’t the right thing to do," Dykes sad. "I and (Hawaii) coach (Greg) McMackin knew what the right thing to do was after 15 seconds -- so if they asked us we could have saved them 21 minutes and 45 seconds.”

The 22-minute delay was one of several issues with the officiating in last Saturday’s game.  There was confusion with the coin toss, two Louisiana Tech penalties offset one Hawaii penalty, and the first down chains were moved incorrectly on one drive, allowing Louisiana Tech to benefit from a first down.