Paterno Implies Biased Refs

PSU Head Coach Joe Paterno complains in his press conference about the crew assigned to the PSU/U-M game.

For the entire press conference, go to

After such an emotional loss, is it tougher to prepare for your next game?

It has been a very tough couple of losses. Sometimes people don't appreciate how much effort and emotion and work goes into trying to get a football team ready to play and may be a little bit too critical of some of the reactions of people after a tough game. We have lost four games since we were 0-4. Three of them were on the road. Three of which were decided by very questionable calls, if you talk about Virginia on the fumble. They were all Big Ten crews. I am not saying they were one way or the other as to good, bad or what, but they were emotional games. I am not sure exactly whether we can come back off of that or not. I would hope that these kids, who have worked so hard to re-establish themselves as a good football team, would not back away from the challenge ahead of them now. They have six tough games to play. I would be disappointed if they don't come back. For me to tell you that it is going to be easy, no it is not going to be easy. Obviously, it has to be done. They have worked too hard for such a long period. It is over a year that they have been working at this thing day in and day out. The coaching staff has worked like dogs and I have pushed them and myself over a long period of time where you get worn down physically and emotionally. It is going to be tough, but we will see what we are made of.

When critiquing game tapes, do you take into consideration calls against the other team?

You try not to be paranoid about it, but the same crew that did this game did the umpiring a year ago when we played Michigan. A year ago Michigan got one penalty and this year they got two. So you start to wonder about those things and you look at it. There again, you get into that area where you can read things into it. I am sure that people can look at the tapes and say, "Well, look what Penn State did here and they didn't call that" and that kind of thing. So I am reluctant to be here in front of the public and say that this happened, and this happened. Obviously, when you look at tapes, you see things that you wonder why they weren't called. I am sure that happens with the people who play against us. You don't expect officials to be able to be perfect, but you get a little concerned when it gets a little bit lop-sided.

What constitutes the review of the Big Ten officials and what has their response been thus far?

I have not talked to anybody in the Big Ten. I did meet with Tim Curley and some other people and expressed some concerns that I have. Tim was in the process then of making some decisions. I am not sure exactly what can be done. There were some concerns about the assignment of the same crew this year that worked our Michigan game. There were some concerns about the fact that three of them live in Michigan. There were some concerns that some of them said to me that they had met with Dick Honig, who was the guy I had some problems with at the Iowa game, who lives in Ann Arbor. Those kinds of things are what they should be looking at. Not necessarily that anybody is incompetent. We are all human beings and have friends and impulses. I think that is what Penn State would like to see have done. Just re-examine how officials are assigned. It is tough. We are a border state. There are three officials from Pennsylvania in the Big Ten. One of whom played for me, Bob Bassett, who can't get a Penn State game. You want to know why. There should be some kind of a policy. Not to say that there is anything wrong that has been done. It is just that, "Let's take a good look at it."

Do you think you have had some bad calls go in your favor?

Sure we have had some calls that went our way. I have never said that we didn't. When have you ever heard me gripe about officiating? I wasn't even going to talk about it until you brought it up. All we did is ask the Big Ten to review what is going on.

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