Texas Tech radio announcers suspended 1 game after Big 12's public reprimand for criticizing refs

·3 min read

Two Texas Tech football radio announcers have been booted from calling the school's game against Oklahoma State on Saturday after the Big 12 issued a public reprimand for their comments on the conference's officials.

During Texas Tech's 41-38 win over Iowa State last weekend, Red Raiders play-by-play announcer Brian Jensen and color analyst John Harris went far beyond criticizing a call on the field. The duo called out Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby by name, implied the conference was biased toward the Cyclones and listed off the names of each member of the officiating crew.

Jensen and Harris were critical of the officials throughout the fourth quarter, but peaked when an interception by Texas Tech defensive back Dadrion Taylor-Demerson was overturned by review. The pair soon theorized the Big 12 was basically fixing the game for Iowa State.

The reactions to the call:

Jensen: I'll say it right now, the Big 12 does not want Iowa State to lose this game.

Harris: Bob Bowlsby, you need to answer to this. This is ridiculous. This is ridiculous. Unbelievable. The inconsistency of this referee crew in favor of Iowa State today, unbelievable.

Harris would later suggest one of the officials needed to get a trainer because he was concussed and "acted like it this whole game."

The ire continued when a water bottle was thrown from the student section onto the field, leading the officials to pause the game and force a section of fans to move. That led to Harris angrily reading off the names of every official working the game.

The comments:

Jensen: This has been a remarkable day, and a remarkably horrible day of officiating by this crew.

Harris: Yeah, the Big 12 should be embarrassed. The Big 12 should be embarrassed with this crew. We've only pointed out two guys, I'm going to read them all to you ... That is your officiating crew people, that is completely out of control here. Unbelievable.

Jensen: I've never seen this before in any ballgame.

Fortunately for Jensen and Harris, the game did end up working out for their Red Raiders, but only after Iowa State tied the game with a minute left. One drive later, Texas Tech won the game on a 62-yard walk-off field goal by Jonathan Garibay.

Four days later, the Big 12 announced it had issued a public reprimand of the Texas Tech radio booth, and that they have been removed from announcing the team's next game. Bowlsby, one target of Jensen and Harris' outrage, was quoted calling the duo unprofessional:

In accordance with Big 12 Conference Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct policies, the Conference has issued a public reprimand of the Texas Tech radio booth announcers. They have also been removed from announcing the Tech game on November 20th. The actions have been taken in response to comments during Saturday’s football game broadcast against Iowa State. 

“I understand the roles of the play-by-play and color analyst,” commented Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “However as University representatives they also have an obligation to adhere to Conference policy regarding comments about game officials. The comments by the Red Raider Radio Network booth announcers were contrary to expected levels of respect and professionalism. Questioning the integrity of Conference officials and specifically calling out members of the officiating crew is well beyond appropriate and permissible behavior.”

Oklahoma State is currently a 10.5-point favorite for Saturday's game, via BetMGM.

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