WAC apologizes for 'excessive' delay

HONOLULU -- Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson on Tuesday apologized for an "excessive" delay during Saturday's Hawaii-Louisiana Tech football game in Ruston.

The officiating crew took 22 minutes to conduct an instant replay review, which Benson called "an embarrassment to the WAC."

"The instant replay official failed terribly in managing the review process as we have policies in place that state if a particular call can't be overturned in 2 minutes, the play in question must then stand," he said.

The review occurred early in the second quarter with Hawaii leading 13-6 when Warriors coach Greg McMackin called a timeout just before the snap on third and short. There was confusion on when the timeout was granted or whether the play counted.

Officials on the field granted the timeout and the play did not count. But the replay official thought the timeout was granted after the third-down run play was completed.

Following an incomplete pass on the next play and a punt on fourth down, the replay official notified the field that five downs had occurred and that the plays needed to be reviewed.

"I apologize to the Louisiana Tech and Hawai'i student-athletes and coaches, fans and members of the media who had to sit through this excessive delay," Benson said. "It was an embarrassment to the WAC and steps have been taken to prevent something like this from happening again."

Hawaii (3-2, 1-0), which is playing its final season in the WAC and joining the Mountain West Conference next year, ended up beating Louisiana Tech (1-4, 0-1) 44-26.

McMackin acknowledged being heated at the replay official.

"The officials all said, 'Yeah, we're all the same number,' and then all of the sudden the guy upstairs overrules all the officials," McMackin said Monday. "Listen, I have no problems with the officials on the field. I thought the officials on the field called a good game. I thought there was some confusion every once in a while, but it got worked out. So I've got no complaints."

Bulldogs coach Sonny Dykes said the delay was bad for the game and Hawaii handled it better than his team.

"It's just bad for college football to have two teams standing out there for 20 minutes waiting for somebody to decide something," he said on the Monday WAC teleconference. "That's just not what is supposed to happen."

With the delay, the game took three hours, 56 minutes to finish.