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College football: Big 12 reprimands Texas Tech announcers for ref slights

College football: Big 12 reprimands Texas Tech announcers for ref slights
Texas Tech radio announcers Brian Jensen and John Harris are suspended from Saturday's game due to their criticism of referees during the Raiders win last Saturday in Lubbock, Texas. Photo by Jay Hoes/Wikimedia Commons

Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Two Texas Tech radio announcers will be removed from calling the Red Raiders' game Saturday against Oklahoma State due to their recent on-air criticism of officials, the Big 12 announced.

The conference issued a public reprimand of play-by-play host Brian Jensen and analyst John Harris on Wednesday night. The duo worked the Red Raiders' 41-38 win over Iowa State on Saturday in Lubbock, Texas.

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"I understand the roles of the play-by-play and color analyst," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a news release. "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."

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Jensen and Harris were in the booth when officials overturned a potential interception by the Red Raiders with 7:25 remaining in Saturday's game.

Harris said that the Big 12 did "not want Iowa State to lose." Jensen responded by saying Bowlsby would "need to answer to this." He also said the referee crew was "in favor of Iowa State."

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Texas Tech students threw trash on the field after the overturned call. Officials issued an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to the Red Raiders due to the trash throwing. Jensen continued to criticize the officials and the conference. He also read off the names of each member of the officiating crew.

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"The Big 12 should be embarrassed," Jensen said. "The Big 12 should be embarrassed with this group."

The Red Raiders (6-4) went on to win the game on a Jonathan Garibay 62-yard field goal as time expired. They face Oklahoma State (9-1) at 8 p.m. EST Saturday in Lubbock.

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