Callahan's action occurred at the 10:58 mark of the fourth quarter after an Oklahoma 17-yard touchdown run by Kejuan Jones. Callahan acknowledged that he did make a gesture out of frustration and intended no malice toward an official.
"I understand Coach Callahan's explanation of his gesture, however it resembled an action specifically prohibited by the NCAA football rule book [Rule 9-2-a-1-(a)]," stated Commissioner Kevin Weiberg. "This was out of character for Coach Callahan. He has been very good to work with and his sideline demeanor had been exemplary. I have great respect for him and understand that he was acting on emotion. However, the Big 12 and its member institutions place tremendous emphasis on the Conference's Sportsmanship Policy, and I believe his action in this situation constituted unsportsmanlike conduct and therefore warrants a public reprimand."
"The University of Nebraska is a proud member of the Big 12 Conference and has great respect for the Commissioner and his staff," said Nebraska athletics director Steve Pederson. "We appreciate the fact that they have accepted Coach Callahan's explanation of this gesture. We also recognize that any kind of gesture is not in character either with Coach Callahan or our program. We accept the public reprimand and are ready to put this matter behind us."
The Big 12 Conference office considers this matter closed and will not comment further.