The Pac-12 on Friday announced a public reprimand of Washington men’s basketball coach Lorenzo Romar, who made comments about the officiating in the Huskies’ 82-81 loss at Oregon State on Wednesday night that the league office apparently deemed too critical.
The Huskies lost the game after OSU guard Stephen Thompson Jr. made a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the left wing. Replays showed that Thompson indisputably traveled before releasing the shot, though no violation was called.
And the game clock appeared to start a few tenths of a second late after Thompson caught the inbounds pass in backcourt with 3.3 seconds remaining.
Romar aired the latter grievance with the Pac-12 office to no avail; the conference on Thursday issued a statement that the clock operator and game officials handled the situation appropriately, and, predictably, offered no comment on the missed traveling violation because it was a “judgment call.”
And on Friday, after Romar made clear his feelings regarding the apparent gaffes, the conference reprimanded him for it.
The Pac-12 statement read, in part: “Romar made comments to the media questioning the officiating during Washington’s game with Oregon State Wednesday night, and subsequent public comments that did not support the Conference’s statement regarding its review of the end of game situation.”
Shortly after Wednesday’s game ended, Romar bluntly remarked that “he (Thompson) traveled, but they didn’t call it” when asked his opinion of the final play.
Speaking with reporters on Friday at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, Romar said he’s moved on and is focusing on UW’s 5:30 p.m. Sunday game at 13th-ranked Oregon.
“As a parent, my own kids, certain things happen, and when it’s toward you and you alone, you deal with it,” Romar said. “When it happens to your kids, man, you flare up a little bit. That’s all. I said what I had to say, and the league gave its response. I respect their response, and we’re moving on now. That was done.”
Asked if he received any further explanation from the Pac-12 regarding its review of the final play — beyond the league’s general statement that the officials handled it correctly — Romar replied: “It doesn’t matter at this point. Again, everything I wanted to say, I said, and they responded. As far as I’m concerned, close the door.”
Romar said Wednesday’s game is “probably up there in the top three tough(est) losses during conference” in his 14 seasons at UW.
As a coping method, he said, “I just watch the game over and over and over. For me, it’s not depressing to watch it over. Sometimes. But in the process of watching the game over and over and over, I keep seeing ways where maybe we could be better the next time. You get lost in the game again. It’s almost like a movie, you come out of it, now reality is still here.
“Also, perspective. For me, perspective is always very important. As a leader, you can’t come back to your group sulking and depressed. So I see the big picture.”
UW guard Andrew Andrews, who led the Huskies with 30 points Wednesday but missed a crucial free throw with 4.4 seconds to play, said the team appreciated Romar’s objection to the officiating.
“That’s all we want from our coach, is to have our backs when things don’t go right, which he did,” Andrews said. “We all love him for that, and that’s one of the reasons we all came here. We knew he’s a very stand-up guy. Any time he feels like something didn’t go the way it was supposed to go, he’s going to have our back.”