OVC reprimands TSU coach

Friday, October 20, 2006

Webster told The Tennessean his players were in danger because of the officiating.

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. -- The Ohio Valley Conference reprimanded Tennessee State coach James Webster for criticizing officiating Wednesday, a few hours after the coach's complaints appeared in print.

"Coach Webster's comments were unprofessional and are not in keeping with the high standards he has set for himself and his program, nor are they consistent with the standards of sportsmanship and ethical conduct held by the Ohio Valley Conference," commissioner Jon A. Steinbrecher said in a statement.

Webster told The Tennessean in a story published Wednesday he was worried about his Tigers' health because of a disparity in penalties. Tennessee State has been flagged for 56 penalties for 449 yards compared to 27 for 252 yards for opponents through six games.

Webster said he believed other teams were getting away with physical moves that could cause injuries to his players.

"When I brought these young men here, I promised their parents I would take care of them, and right now I feel that my players are vulnerable. It's a very, very serious concern. I do not feel like the officials are protecting my players," Webster told the newspaper.

Webster had officially complained and sent a videotape to the league office.

"The OVC has procedures in place for coaches to address concerns with officiating," Steinbrecher said. "In this case, those procedures were not followed."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: