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Big Ten plans comprehensive review of officiating

1/7/2003

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Penn State coach Joe Paterno and athletics director Tim Curley are satisfied with a review of officiating by the Big Ten.

Penn State publicly called for a review of conference officiating practices after a controversial call in the Nittany Lions' 27-24 overtime loss at Michigan on Oct. 12.

An official called wide receiver Tony Johnson out on a catch that would have put Penn State in position to win the game in regulation. Video of the play appeared to show Johnson making the catch inbounds.

That came two weeks after Paterno sprinted across the field and grabbed an official's jersey to protest late calls after an overtime loss to Iowa.

"I appreciate the detailed review the conference staff did with the information we had regarding the games involving Michigan,'' Paterno said in a statement released Tuesday. "I do regret that some of my comments may have been interpreted to question the personal or professional integrity of the involved officials.

"I am sorry for any misunderstandings in this area. I am
pleased we will have the opportunity to be involved in the
comprehensive review process later this spring.''

Sue Lister, a spokeswoman for the Big Ten, said league coaches and officials routinely review officiating in the spring, but this year's review would be more comprehensive. She did not have details about what the review would entail.