Whenever we watch a WAC football game, one thing always sticks out like a sore thumb.
No, not Colin Kaepernick's completion percentage.
No, not the empty seats in San Jose.
No, not David Augusto. Although he is pretty noticeable.
The most egregious part of WAC games to us has always been and will always be the officiating. And we're not alone.
Other football fans who have witnessed the same lopsided, flag-filled affairs as we have also attest to the utter horridness of WAC officiating. WAC refs throw flags for posterity. They make up calls to hear their voices over the PA system. They slow down the game, they miss obvious infractions, and they are utterly and totally incompetent during large portions of games. Yet WAC commissioner Karl Benson still loves them dearly.
Apparently, Benson gets asked about officiating a lot on his occasionally-used "Ask the Commish" page on WACSports.com, which is why he penned a 500-word, three-paragraph essay on the virtues of conference officials. Some highlights include:
- They must have 10 years of officiating experience, including but not limited to Optimist.
- They are required to stay in top physical condition.
- They are graded on their performances on a weekly basis and given game film to review.
But the most telling aspect of the job demands of WAC zebras is this little nugget:
As you can see, an official may spend up to 12 hours a week reviewing his previous performance and preparing for the next game.
Wouldn't want to overdo it, after all.
Twelve hours a week would equate to working part-time at a part-time job. You wouldn't expect a Subway sandwich artist to be a very good sandwich artist if his hands were in the salami for only 12 hours a week, so why would we expect any different from a Division 1 college official? No wonder Ryan Winterswyk is still waiting for a holding flag from the Utah State game.
Officiating in the WAC won't improve until the officials devote more time to their trade than we devote to our video games. If we can find time in our busy schedules for 12 hours of Madden each week, then they can find time in theirs to re-read the rulebook every now and then.
With that settled, we eagerly await Benson's response on Kaepernick's completion percentage.
Read more: Ask the Commish [WACSports.com]