The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference disciplined game officials after a rule misapplication contributed to Sioux Falls losing a women’s basketball game to Winona State on Friday but won’t reverse the result of the game.
Fans rushed the court after Sioux Falls’ Taylor Varsho hit a 30-foot three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Cougars an apparent 59-58 victory.
But officials put 0.4 seconds back on the clock and called a technical foul on Sioux Falls for fan interference. Winona State’s Alexis Foley hit both free throws, and the Warriors won 60-59.
Winona State coach Scott Ballard acknowledged that he brought up the idea of a technical foul to the officials. “I put the bug in their ear," he told the Winona Daily News "You can’t have people storming the floor before the game is over. That’s interfering with the conclusion of the game. There were hundreds of them. It wasn’t like a dozen. It was the entire student section.”
But on Sunday, the NSIC, calling it an “unfortunate situation,” said the officiating crew misapplied Rule 10, Section 2, Article 8, Letter D of the NCAA women’s basketball rulebook.
Each official will receive a letter of reprimand and be suspended from four NSIC games and cannot officiate in the 2016 conference postseason. The officials for the game were listed as Jon Garrow, Carson Hattel and Jeremy McHugh.
However, the statement said, “It is important to state that overturning the result of the game cannot and will not be considered.”
The rule referenced reads: “Team followers (fans, bands, cheerleaders and mascots associated with either team) shall not commit an unsportsmanlike act, including, but not limited to, the following … Delaying the game by preventing the ball from being promptly made live or by preventing continuous play, such as but not limited to, followers entering the playing court before the player activity has been terminated.” The penalty is two free throws awarded to the offended team.
“The NSIC takes all officiating matters seriously,” the statement read. “Although officiating is an extraordinarily difficult and often thankless job, the NSIC student athletes, coaches, administrators and fans deserve proper and consistent officiating.”