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Big 12 fines Jamie Pollard

The Big 12 reprimanded and fined Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard $25,000 -- the largest fine ever doled out by the league -- for ripping officials after the Cyclones' loss Saturday at Oklahoma State.

"Mr. Pollard's public statements called into question the integrity and competence of game officials and the conference's officiating program," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. "To insinuate that games are called unfairly to negatively impact a program is irresponsible and completely baseless.

"... We take pride in our officiating programs and will continue to strive for the highest possible standards and the fairest competition."

The Big 12 added that further remarks from Pollard would result in more serious penalties moving forward. Pollard issued a statement Monday apologizing for violating the Big 12 sportsmanship guidelines.

On Saturday, Pollard questioned the competence of Big 12 officials during an impromptu news conference after the Cyclones' 37-20 loss.

"We've been on the short end of several controversial calls, and it's hard to sit idle (and) watch ESPN, Fox (and) other announcers not debate, but feel sorry for Iowa State because maybe they'll be an apology for a call," Pollard said after the game. "Coach (Paul) Rhoads and I have tried to deal with that internally, and I've tried to do it the right way, but it's no longer fair to put our student-athletes, our coaching staff and our fans in that position."

Pollard referenced a controversial call at the end of the first half, when officials initially ruled that Oklahoma State running back Desmond Roland had been stopped short of the goal line as time expired. The call, however, was reversed, giving the Cowboys a 13-6 halftime lead.

"I don't know how things change," Pollard said Saturday night. "But it's frustrating and it's not fair. It's not fair to our players. They're frustrated. And they're frustrated with the lack of action."

According to the Des Moines Register, Bowlsby told Pollard that the conference made the right call and had enough video evidence to reverse the no-touchdown call on the field.

It wasn't the first time the Cyclones had criticized Big 12 officials.

Following a 31-30 loss to Texas last season, Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads was irate after Longhorns running back Johnathan Gray appeared to fumble at the 1-yard line but officials ruled that Gray's forward motion had been stopped, negating the fumble.

The Longhorns scored the game-winning touchdown on the next play.

The Big 12 office also apologized to Iowa State and suspended a replay official after he failed to review a controversial play in the Cyclones' loss to Kansas State earlier this season.

The Big 12 also reprimanded basketball officials for mistaken calls during Iowa State's game against Kansas two seasons ago.

"I recognize the Big 12 does not allow comments to be made on officiating, and I recognize there's penalties for that, but folks, our institution has been penalized already," Pollard said. "I can think of three situations where the fine has been pretty great -- because we lost games as the result of calls that either were apologized for, or the media certainly felt we should have been apologized to. We can't get that back. That ends careers for football coaches, ADs and presidents."

During his rant, Pollard implied that Big 12 officials were out to get the Cyclones because the school had voted against adding an eighth official before the 2013 season.

"Something's got to be done," Pollard said. "I don't know what it is, but there needs to be more accountability on what happens in certain situations."