The Red Raider Radio Network play-by-play commentator and color commentator have been suspended for being overly critical of Big 12 officials over the weekend.
lay-by-play man Brian Jensen and analyst John Harris were apparently supposed to remain neutral and not voice their displeasure with the officials during Texas Tech’s home game with Iowa State over the weekend.
Though the Red Raiders would eventually win on a 62-yard field goal, both Jensen and Harris have been suspended from broadcasting the team’s next game against Oklahoma State.
There were several – and I don’t mean just a couple – terrible calls that went against Tech, and after a pretty clear interception was ruled incomplete, Harris, and then Jensen, made their feelings about the decision abundantly clear.
The play they are criticizing came when Tech appeared to make an interception inside its own 10-yard line in the fourth quarter. The call on the field was an interception, however, the review team deemed that the Tech player did not secure the ball and ruled the play incomplete.
I have to agree with the Red Raider Radio Network, how is there clear and obvious evidence that the ball hit the ground and the call on the field was incorrect?
This play led to four unsportsmanlike penalties on the hosts, and fans in Lubbock began littering the field with trash, leading to the ejection of two of the student sections in the lower bowl.
Another play – a fumble that clearly was not one – was ruled against Tech and gave Iowa State the ball. The photos of the play sure are damning!
The gripe from both Brian Jensen and his color commentator, John Harris, is in my eyes’, justified. The Big 12 commissioner, Bob Bowlsby, ruled the two suspended for the next game for not “adhering to Conference policy.”
Here is Bowlsby’s full statement on the situation:
“I understand the roles of the play-by-play and color analyst. 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.”
Are local broadcasters supposed to remain neutral? Because if they are, that’s news to me! When you listen to, for example, the Texas Tech radio broadcast, isn’t it expected to be biased towards that team/school?
I will say, Jensen took it a bit far (so did Harris) but I can’t sit here and pretend like I wouldn’t have said some of those same things were I in that situation.
From a neutral’s perspective, yeah, it seemed at times the game was rigged in favor of Iowa State. And yes, there were some TERRIBLE calls against Tech.
But hey, at least they won the game!
What do you think of the Big 12’s decision to suspend the commentators for a game?