LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Big 12 Conference has issued a public reprimand and $25,000 fine on Kirby Hocutt for his statements on an “illegal snap” call during a Saturday game Tech played against Baylor.
The “illegal snap” call Hocutt referenced in his initial statement followed Tech’s 33-30 loss to Baylor in double overtime. On Sunday, Hocutt released a statement and said he was speaking with Big 12 officials immediately after the game ended.
“It has been confirmed that the ruling on the field of an Illegal Snap was incorrect,” Hocutt said in his initial public statement. “The play is not reviewable by rule because it is a dead ball judgement call by the official.”
Bob Bowlsby, the Big 12 commissioner, contacted Hocutt via email on Monday and said there was concern of a “potential unsportsmanship violation." The specific policy states, “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.”
Hocutt was asked to submit a response so the Big 12 could determine a punishment.
Hocutt responded on Monday and wrote in a letter to Bowlsby, he did not intend to violate any conference policy but wanted to clarify the ruling. He also added it was the stance of the university and the athletics department that no violation of any policies took place with his response.
“We had received many requests for comments and questions, and felt that closure to this issue was in the best interest of all parties involved. Our statement does not have any opinion nor does it bring to light any other officiating issues,” Hocutt wrote in his emailed response. “We simply stated the facts in regards to the communication with the Conference Staff, the decision on the field, and tha t the play is not reviewable.”
However, the conference still felt Hocutt’s actions were a violation of conference policy and issued the public reprimand and fine on Wednesday.
“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," Bowlsby wrote in the public statement. “On this occasion, the required discipline was not exercised.”
Fans and supporters have taken to the web to try and help Hocutt. Kent Hance, Texas Tech chancellor emeritus, tweeted out a link soon after the Big 12 released its public statement and said he is helping raise funds to pay of the $25,000 Hocutt is now required to pay.
Any money raised that goes beyond the $25,000 will go towards an athletic scholarship in Hocutt’s name. The link to that fund can be found here.
“The Big XII has just reprimanded & fined Kirby Hocutt $25,000 for his statement about the “fumble” at the TT v Baylor game,” Hance tweeted. "As a private attorney I’m raising the money to pay the fine. Support Raiders & Kirby.
That full statement can be read here.