EDIT NUSS: Promoted because it's obviously of interest. I'm honestly surprised the official explanation doesn't own up to the video and its own rule book -- that the ball is not live until a player is ready to inbound it and the official starts the five-second count, two things that clearly were not happening when the technical foul was called.
It sounds like they're trying to make the argument that Oregon not moving to the baseline to inbound the ball was caused, at least in part, by the chaos on the floor -- and therefore "interfered" with play. Seems like a pretty thin thread to hang your defense of your referees on, but it's at least plausible. And if we know anything about conferences' defenses of officials, if they can find any shred of a plausible defense, they're going to use it.
I still don't buy it, but I'll give them credit for responding to the e-mail.
I sent an e-mail to Larry Scott Thursday night and while I was not expecting a reply, I did. It was not from Scott, however, it was from Dave Hirsch. Basically the reply just stats the rule the officials were enforcing and says how players from WSU's bench (and a fan) was impeding Oregon from inbounding the ball.
Again, as with the officials explanation Thursday night, he is wrong as video evidence clearly shows no Oregon player attempting to inbound the ball and is in fact walking to his bench with the ball - the opposite direction from trying to throw the ball in. Anyways, thought some of you might like to read what the Pac-10 is saying so here is the reply in full, enjoy.
On behalf of Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott, thank you for taking the time to express your view of the outcome of the Oregon at Washington State men’s basketball game.
While it is certainly an unfortunate way to lose a hard fought game, we want the officials to correctly enforce the rules of the game and they did so in the closing moments of both overtimes in that game.
The rule enforced was Rule 10, Section 6, Article 2, Paragraph h (page 139) of the NCAA Basketball Rule Book, "A technical foul shall be assessed to the coach and all bench personnel for the following infraction: Delaying the game by preventing the ball from being promptly made live or preventing continuous play, such as bench personnel entering the playing court before player activity has been terminated. In such case, when the delay does not interfere with play, it shall be ignored."
The situation which occurred with 0:00.3 remaining in the first overtime was a live ball situation. After a successful WSU basket, a WSU player from the bench (as well as a fan) ran onto the court to celebrate the basket. Therefore, the delay that followed with the impromptu celebration was a clear interruption of the game, preventing continuous play and an indirect technical foul was assessed to WSU. While it was suggested that the Oregon coach was calling for a timeout after the basket, it was neither seen on the available video, nor acknowledged by the officials who were attempting to restore order on the court.
The situation which occurred with 0:00.5 remaining in the second overtime was a dead ball situation. The Oregon player was fouled while making a successful basket. When the foul was called, it became a dead ball situation. At that time, there was no delay caused by the Oregon bench after the play.
The NCAA Basketball Case Book (A.R. 208) refers to the following situation:
"Team B leads 67-66. A1's two-point try for goal is successful. Two seconds remain on the game clock. Assuming that the successful try was a game-ending and winning goal: Bench personnel from Team A go onto the playing court to celebrate. RULING: When a celebration causes a delay by preventing the ball from being promptly made alive or prevents continuous play: An indirect technical foul shall be assessed to the head coach. When the celebration does not delay or interfere with play, the celebration shall be ignored."
The Pac-10 is committed to providing the best officiating possible for our games. Officials who work Pac-10 games are among the best in the country, and are rigorously evaluated on their performance throughout the season by an observer, the Pac-10 coordinator of officials and an NCAA regional advisor. Pac-10 officials are very highly regarded nationally as evidenced by the significant number of Pac-10 officials invited to officiate the NCAA Championships every year.
Again, thank you for your comments, and your passion for college basketball is very much appreciated.