The Big XII Conference has completed its review of the end-of-game timing questions that occurred in the January 20th, 2003, men's basketball game between Texas Tech University and the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma, league Commissioner Kevin Weiberg announced Monday.
Big XII staff and Oklahoma officials have reviewed the game videotape and have concluded there are two timing errors. The game clock stops at the 6.7 second mark of the second half for just under one second and then resumes normal clock operation stopping at 4.5 seconds when a foul is called. On the subsequent in-bounds pass, the second timing error occurs when the clock is late in starting. It is estimated the clock was late in starting by approximately 0.5 seconds in this instance.
In cooperation with the University of Oklahoma, the mechanical systems associated with the operation of the game clock were reviewed. The timing devices functioned normally during the tests.
The review showed there were no inadvertent whistles by game officials that could have stopped the clock, and the wireless devices worn by game officials that stop the clock on an official's whistle apparently functioned normally during the game and in subsequent tests.
Weiberg said while mechanical problems could not be completely ruled out and no conclusive information was developed, it appears likely that operator error is the cause of the timing problems. This may have happened inadvertently, possibly by accidental contact with the clock control which could have resulted in the clock pausing at the 6.7 seconds mark.
The videotape also indicated the slow start of the clock at the 4.5 seconds mark may be explained by the clock operator's view of ball contact being obstructed by other players on the court. Still, the clock was slow in starting, Weiberg said.
From the review, the following action is being implemented by the University of Oklahoma and the Big XII Conference:
Weiberg said there is no provision under NCAA playing rules or Big XII Conference rules for a game's outcome to be changed when a timing error is discovered after the game is final and the game referee has acknowledged that the official score is correct. Game timing was not questioned until the day after the game from a review of game videotape. There is no Big XII Conference rule that empowers the commissioner to change a game's outcome or require forfeiture of a game except in the case of the participation of ineligible players.