Kirby Hocutt Should Have Gotten His Money’s Worth
As you might have read by now, Kirby Hocutt has been fined by the Big 12 for violating the sportsmanship agreement that the administrators in the Big 12 have between each other.
Here is the official public reprimand from the Big 12 conference and its commissioner, Bob Bowlsby:
"In accordance with Big 12 Conference sportsmanship policies, the Conference has issued a public reprimand and $25,000 fine of Texas Tech University Athletics Director Kirby Hocutt for his statement in the aftermath of the Red Raider’s double overtime loss at Baylor.
“The Big 12 Conference members have developed policies governing the officiating of our contests,” said Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “It is vital that senior administration officials, especially the Directors of Athletics, adhere explicitly to these policies. It is very difficult to balance support for an institution’s teams while fully complying with the imperative created by schools acting together to manage athletics competition. On this occasion, the required discipline was not exercised. Kirby Hocutt is one of the very best athletics administrators in the nation, and I am grateful for his assistance and support in resolving this matter.”
"The required discipline"? Reading that as an impartial third party, you start to imagine Hocutt calling out the officials at the very least, or injecting a negative opinion of the situation. He must have slammed the Big 12 and the officiating crew on hand to warrant the fine...right?
It is important to state that we have been in constant communication with the Big 12 Conference office from the immediate end of the game and throughout Sunday regarding the Illegal Snap call in the first overtime.
It has been confirmed that the ruling on the field of an Illegal Snap was incorrect. The play is not reviewable by rule because it is a dead ball judgement call by the official. I am confident that the Big 12 Conference will deal with the matter internally as they complete the review of the game in its entirety.
While this is a very unfortunate circumstance, I could not be more proud of our team and the competitive fight and effort with which they competed.
That's it? That's what Hocutt said that got him toasted with a fine? Laughable.
If Hocutt knew about the conduct code, the sportsmanship agreement, then he should have gotten his money's worth. He should have mentioned the head official's name and talked about how poorly the situation was handled on the field and afterward. Going scorched earth would have been overkill, but to be completely opinionless when you know a fine is coming for any statement? Hocutt had to know the fine was coming. Or did he?
According to an open records request by A-J Media, it seems like Hocutt didn't think he crossed any lines until Bowlsby responded with an email response to the statement.
In Bowlsby's email, he stated that "coaches, student-athletes, and members of the athletics department staff are prohibited from making any public comment regarding the game officials or the officiating at any contest." Bowlsby continued: "The public airing of officiating matters, whether directly or indirectly, during or after a game, verbally or by use of video, on or off the record, is prohibited."
Does Bob Bowslby not celebrate Festivus? Is there no airing of grievances? What's next? Does he try to take our feats of strength? Did I miss the meatloaf dinner?
Bowlsby concluded the email by saying that Kirby Hocutt has until 5 p.m. to respond with Texas Tech's position on the matter, and then he'd decide if any punishment was warranted. So basically, apologize and grovel, or face a penalty.
Roger Goodell? Is that you?
This entire situation could have been over. Bowlsby could have left it alone, but no. He had to poke the bear and try to pistol-whip Texas Tech's AD into submission. Hocutt wasn't having any of it.
Here's Hocutt's response to Bowlsby's demand to be "apologized" to:
This is basically a long, "uh...no," and maybe a metaphorical middle finger to the powers that be. I love that he starts it out with, "Dear Bob." I know it's his name, but in a formal response to go with the first name 'Bob' is a classic jab.
Hocutt is such a pro. He played at Kansas State. He's got group of five, and ACC experience as an AD. He's been in the Big 12 at Texas Tech for close to a decade and he's a logical choice to be the next Big 12 commissioner. Maybe Bob Bowlsby feels the heat? I can't imagine another reason for this wrist-slapping.
Kirby Hocutt released public information and tried to shield the Big 12 from their own total incompetence. His original statement was benign and factual. The whole story was put to bed. The Big 12 didn't look any better or worse because of Hocutt's statement because he didn't say anything new. Now, the Big 12 conference is getting roasted endlessly on Twitter in the responses to their statement this morning.
Also, in response to the fine, Kent Hance and FMX's Rockshow both set up places to donate to the cause. Fight the man!
Bottom line: Kirby Hocutt just keeps winning, even when he loses.