South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp said Sunday the highest authorities in the SEC heard his concerns about the officiating in his team’s loss this weekend to Florida.
He was clearly displeased with several calls in the 38-27 loss and late in the game earned an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. By the end of Saturday, he had his voice heard.
“I had a conversation with Steve (Shaw) and the commissioner (Greg Sankey) yesterday and we’ll continue to move forward, but it’s in their hands,” Muschamp said.
The most notable pair of questionable officiating moments came on a 75-yard touchdown run that tied it 17-17. There appeared to be a missed false start from the Gators right tackle. Then, corner Israel Mukuamu was blocked well downfield with the receiver holding a handful of jersey.
Later in the game, the Gators scored a touchdown on a pick play where an offensive player appears to start blocking a defender well before the pass was completed. That is acceptable when the pass is caught behind the line, but not ahead of it.
Muschamp was also incensed by the way in which his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was assessed. He said the referee called it far away from him instead of dropping the flag “on my feet,” and then called the action “gutless.”
Muschamp he said he wanted to keep the message from two of higher officials in the league between them. When asked if he reached out or they did, he answered it did not matter.
“I don’t want to take anything away from UF,” Muschamp said. “They won the game. Nothing I’m going to say is going to change anything. We all saw what happened. That’s in the conference office’s hands.”