Weis criticizes Big Ten officials after loss

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

For a guy who starts off an answer by saying, "I have to be careful when I say this, I have Big Ten officials coming in this week again [for the Michigan State game]," Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis seems to have a tough time holding his tongue.

Anyone who watched the Notre Dame-Michigan game Saturday could see Weis wasn't pleased with the men in stripes. And when asked about the officiating at his Sunday news conference, Weis couldn't help but criticize several calls.

"That game left a lot to be desired," he said.

Weis started off by addressing an out-of-bounds ruling on a screen pass to Armando Allen that cost Notre Dame a touchdown.

"I still haven't heard anyone tell me there's any evidence of Armando stepping out of bounds," Weis said. "The way I thought the rule is supposed to be, it's supposed to be conclusive evidence. I'm perturbed at that call."

Weis also took issue with a holding call against Fighting Irish tackle Sam Young.

"It's one of those tic-tac calls that I'm talking about," Weis said." But what happened, on the play, the defensive end, we chip defensive ends, so we chipped him. I'm not sure it was with an extra tight end or a fullback, but we chipped him and knocked him inside of Sam. So when he knocked him inside of Sam, Sam now has him. He goes to throw him to the ground. If he just pushes him to the ground, they probably don't call it. Hands in the air, throws him to the ground, that's what they called."

There was also a timing issue after Michigan scored the game-winning touchdown.

Weis thought there should have been 11 seconds remaining in the game, but the clock went down to 9 seconds after a kickoff that went through the end zone.

"First it went from 11 to 10," he said. "Then I complained it went to 9. It went from 11 to 10 to 11 to 9. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything. Maybe we'd have one more second, throw a Hail Mary. Their answer to me was they thought that Theo [Riddick] tipped the ball in the field of play on the kick which would then start the clock. If he did, which I couldn't really tell whether he did or he didn't, so I'm going to take their word for it that that happened."

Weis said he sent in several plays to the Big Ten office but didn't file a formal complaint against the officials (he never does). He also seemed perturbed that the sideline officials didn't help get him get the referee's attention when he needed it.

Since Notre Dame is an independent, Weis won't face any discipline for his comments. But as he mentioned at the start, another crew of Big Ten officials is coming to South Bend this weekend.

You can bet they read this.

A Big Ten spokesman told me the league had no response to Weis' comments.

"Am I happy with the officiating? No," he said. "But you certainly don't want to do that, because then you're saying, 'The only reason why we lost is because they blew these couple of calls.' Most Notre Dame fans would say, 'I can't believe they made those calls. I can understand why they made 'em.' That being said, that's a never ending problem you're talking about.

"We're an independent so we're not really in a conference. We're affiliated with Big East officials. When you're playing interconference matchups, I'm not the guy who sets the rules. Whatever they are, they are."