Editorial: One game, two victories

The MIAA, spoken for by commissioner Bob Boerigter, issued a “public reprimand” of Washburn’s head football coach Craig Schurig for “addressing our officials after the (second) completion of the game” in a way that was supposedly “unacceptable and not consistent with the championship code in the MIAA.”

For those that were at the game Saturday, you might know what Coach Schurig was upset about. But we didn’t know that he was so upset about it until the MIAA deemed it necessary to publicly reprimand him and post that fact on its website.

What did Schurig do? Why was he upset?

We have a pretty good guess.

The first time Washburn defeated the Fort Hays State Tigers in overtime, quarterback Zeke Palmer hit wide receiver DaJuan Beard with a pass in the corner of the end zone. The catch was ruled a touchdown by the official closest to the play, who was standing merely yards away.

After the Bods stormed the end zone to celebrate their victory, after the Tigers began moving to midfield where teams shake hands after games, and after the chain gang had packed up and was leaving, the “college-level officials” reversed the call, ruling the touchdown an incomplete pass – nearly three minutes after the original call.

So the chain gang had to come back and set up, both teams returned to the sideline, fans returned to their seats, just to see Vershon Moore run it in from 15 yards out to win the game for the second time.

So either way, the Bods won. What’s to be upset about?

At the collegiate level, football – on both the players’ side and the coaches’ side – is so time consuming, takes so much work, can be so intense, that it really is more than a game. With the incredulous amount of work a college head football coach puts in week in and week out, and especially after preparing for a very much-needed win, it seems incredibly simple to understand why a college coach with college players would be upset with junior high caliber officiating. The coaches who are a part of the MIAA and its “championship code,” whatever that means, are not playing these games for fun. It’s their jobs. So please, understand why a college referee, which is not a full-time job, failing to perform, which could detrimentally affect a coach (which is a full-time job), is a big deal.

A conference that prides itself on having a “championship code” should, then, have “championship” officials, or close to. Not one’s who take three to four minutes after the game clock has expired to decide whether a ball was caught or not.