Pac-10 coaches weigh in on celebration penalty Print
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Wednesday, 10 September 2008 13:28
NCAAF Headline News

 SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -Jake Locker's excessive celebration penalty that helped cost Washington a game against BYU caught the attention of several Pac-10 coaches.
Many used the penalty as both a teaching tool for their own players and as a reason to call for common sense to be used when interpreting a rule to cut down on taunting.
``I thought it was a little ticky tack,'' California coach Jeff Tedford said. ``It's unfortunate. You get a guy who's excited and celebrating with his teammates. I didn't think it was that far out of the normal. He wasn't really drawing attention to himself.''
Tedford showed the video to his team on Sunday to show them what can happen when they do anything other than just handing the ball to an official after scoring a touchdown.
The play in question came at the end of the Huskies' loss to BYU. Locker was flagged after tumbling into the end zone on a 3-yard touchdown run with 2 seconds left in regulation to pull Washington within 28-27. As he got to his feet, Locker threw his hands in the air, sending the ball sailing upward, before celebrating with his teammates.
Officials immediately called a penalty, because, as a point of emphasis for officials this year, Locker violated one part of the excessive celebration rule in the NCAA rule book - throwing the ball in the air.
The penalty was assessed on the extra-point, turning a chip shot into a 35-yard attempt. Kicker Ryan Perkins' attempt was low and blocked by BYU's Jan Jorgensen, preserving the Cougars' victory.
Pac-10 coordinator of football officiating Dave Cutaia said the call was made according to the rule. That's the problem, according to critics.
``What I think about Jake's deal is that he was happy. I don't think he was hot-dogging or anything ...,'' Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. ``Should it be changed? I hate to see it impact the game like that when I thought he was being happy.''
Southern California coach Pete Carroll teaches his players to hand the ball to the official and supports any crackdown on taunting or staged celebrations. But he says there has to be room for a spontaneous celebration by a young player.
``The officials should be clear that these kids are having the moment of their life and they might not do it exactly the way you think they should,'' Carroll said. ``You have to have some latitude to understand that.''
d stadium with a third man as Bruins head coach.
UCLA beat the Cougars 27-17 at home in the second week last season under coach Karl Dorrell. When the teams met again in December in the Las Vegas Bowl, defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker was the interim coach for UCLA's 17-16 loss.
Now it's Rick Neuheisel's opportunity to coach the Bruins as they head into Provo, Utah, for this meeting. While some say UCLA has an advantage because the Cougars are less familiar with a new system being used by the Bruins, Neuheisel dismisses that theory.
``That sounds like coach speak. I would say maybe just the opposite,'' he said. ``They have the advantage of longevity and all that kind of stuff not to mention that they won 12 in a row and 24 of 28. I don't know if they need to worry about advantages. I think it's going to be two good football teams.''
CLEARING THE TREES: California coach Jeff Tedford returned home from last weekend's 66-3 victory at Washington State to get even more good news.
The protest over a new sports training center on the Berkeley campus was coming to an end. The 21-month ordeal was finally resolved Tuesday when the last remaining protesters living in the trees descended from their perch.
The new training center is part of a larger project that includes the renovation of Memorial Stadium. Tedford said the delays by the protests were becoming a recruiting issue.
t's taken so long,'' he said. ``Everyone here was really trying hard and had great intentions. It just seemed like there was one hurdle after another that got put in front of us. But now it's over. There are no more trees out there. I think there was no question people were using that in recruiting.''
HOME SWEET HOME: Few teams will be as excited about playing at home this weekend as the Oregon State Beavers.
Oregon State was the only team from a BCS conference to open with consecutive road games, losing at Stanford and Penn State for the Beavers first 0-2 start in four years.
``It doesn't seem very smart right now,'' coach Mike Riley said of scheduling the game at Penn State. ``I really like those games. Nobody can now shy away from the fact that everybody was excited about this trip and about this game and about going to Penn State. I'm just really disappointed we didn't show up and play better.''
The Beavers have had experience with recovering from slow starts. In each of the last four seasons, Oregon State has ended September with at least two losses. In three of those seasons, Riley's squad has recovered to make it to a bowl game.
The Beavers are 15-3 after the opening month the past two seasons. Their hopes for a similar recovery this year begin with Saturday's game against Hawaii.
Riley said. ``You have to get some Band-Aids out and you have to go. I think that our experience can be toughening for this team if we'll allow it to be and not let it defeat us.''

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