NSIC brass have suspended the referees responsible for Friday night’s debacle in Sioux Falls, when USF had an upset win over Division II rival Winona State stolen away by a technical foul called after Cougars fans and players celebrated a long-range, buzzer-beating three-pointer.
The officials involved have been suspended four games, and are banned from officiating in the NSIC tournament. The conference will not, however, overturn the game’s final outcome. Here’s the full statement from NSIC commissioner Erin Lind:
As many of you are aware, we experienced an unfortunate situation Friday, January 8th during the Winona State University and the University of Sioux Falls women’s basketball game where the outcome was, in part, affected by a misapplication of a rule. The NSIC Women’s Basketball officials are expected to have knowledge of all NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules and properly adjudicate them during a game. In this instance, it has been determined that this expectation was not met by the crew in charge of officiating.
It is important to state that overturning the result of the game cannot and will not be considered. However, in addition to receiving a letter of reprimand, each of the game officials involved have been suspended from four NSIC contests along with becoming ineligible to officiate the post season in the NSIC this year.
“To my knowledge, this is the first time we have ever publicly discussed the suspension of an official or officials. Typically, when we have instances such as this, we handle it internally and deal directly with the institutions involved. To publicly discuss this unfortunate situation is not something we wanted to do, but in this instance, we felt this course of action was warranted in the spirit of transparency.
We want to assure you that the conference takes all officiating matters seriously and we appreciate your cooperation as we work to address issues as they arise. Although officiating is an extraordinarily difficult and often thankless job, our student athletes, coaches, and administrators deserve proper and consistent officiating.