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Thursday, October 21, 2004
Weaver will sit out most of N. Arizona contest

Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. -- Portland State tight end Scott Weaver has been suspended for three quarters of the Vikings' game at Northern Arizona for punching a Montana State player during a game last weekend, the Big Sky Conference announced Thursday.

Officials didn't see Weaver punch Montana State defensive tackle Ray Sebestyen in the fourth quarter of Saturday's game, or Weaver would have been immediately ejected and suspended for the first half of the NAU game, league commissioner Doug Fullerton said.

"I realize that a three-quarter suspension sounds odd," Fullerton said. "But I feel a three-quarter suspension most closely mirrors the principles set forth in the rule book."

The punch happened right after Portland State kicked a 43-yard field goal that gave the Vikings a 24-17 lead with 7:38 remaining. Montana rallied for a 31-24 overtime victory.

The league did not immediately say where Sebestyen was struck.

The Big Sky Conference reserves the right to take action in cases where flagrant acts take place on the field and the officials do not penalize the offender at the time, the league said.

"Scott's actions met all the elements of the three-part test I apply," Fullerton said. "The act was intentional, it was not a football move and it was dangerous or injurious."

The Portland State-Montana State game was officiated by the same crew that the league acknowledged incorrectly called a block in the back on Montana's Jefferson Heidelberger during a punt a week earlier. The call should have gone against Idaho State, the league said.

The crew -- referee Bruce Palmer, umpire Lou Tosti, linesman Glen Hepner, line judge Pat Aluia, back judge Bob Rowling, field judge Kevin Kieser and side judge Gary Peterson -- threw 24 penalty flags in the Idaho State-Montana State game on Oct. 9.

"We've had a few situations of the past few weeks where I'm not sure we got 'em right," Fullerton said. "We are working to get that corrected."

Fullerton said he was still trying to verify complaints that the officials missed two play clock violations by Portland State, one on the 43-yard field goal and one on the final punt as the Vikings apparently tried to take a delay of game penalty.

"We going to continue to try to get first generation, digital shot of [the shot clock on the PSU field goal], which may show just the bottom of the count down clock," Fullerton said.