Thursday, January 05, 2006

Ref Blasts Marcus Vick and VaTech

Wow, you don't hear about referees commenting much on player behaviour, but check out the comments of Steve Usecheck, the Big12 conference official who led the crew at the Lousivlle / VaTech bowl game:

Steve Usecheck, a Big 12 Conference official who led the crew for Monday's game, called Tech's first-half taunting and late hits the worst he's seen in his 22 seasons. He said that no official saw Vick stomp the back of Elvis Dumervil's leg while Dumervil was down on the turf late in the second quarter.

"We missed that, and I'm sorry we did," Usecheck told the Newport News Daily Press from his Colorado home. "The TV, everybody saw it but us. I wish we had the opportunity to talk to (Vick) because that was complete (expletive). You bet I would have thrown his ass out."

Usecheck said he has not seen a replay of the Vick incident but that purposely stomping a defenseless opponent warrants ejection. NBC showed the incident several times during its Gator Bowl telecast, and the footage has aired countless times since on ESPN and other networks. Tech athletic director Jim Weaver has called Vick's action "unacceptable" and vowed to punish him.

Officials called five personal fouls against the Hokies during the first half -- four that cost Tech yardage and one that was offset by a Louisville personal foul.

"I was really disappointed," Usecheck said. "We don't see football like that (in the Big 12). Those kids were just completely out of control. Louisville wasn't as bad. Virginia Tech was brutal."

Usecheck ejected Hokies All-America cornerback Jimmy Williams in the first quarter for swinging his arm at head linesman Al Green. Williams was jawing with Louisville's Amobi Okoye, and Green grabbed Williams to separate the two.

"He never hit the official but he swung at him twice," Usecheck said of Williams, a senior from Bethel High.

During the standard meeting of team captains prior to the second half, Usecheck said he told the players, "I don't care if I'm out here until midnight calling penalties. This has got to stop."