College football: MSU looks into penalties

Staff reports
ND Insider

Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis contacted the Big Ten this week about officiating, but he was more concerned with getting clarifications than apologies in the wake of MSU’s 17-13 loss at Notre Dame.

After MSU defensive backs were flagged four times for pass interference and once for holding downfield — including a pair of controversial calls that aided both of Notre Dame’s touchdown drives — Hollis wanted to know whether it was a sign of something MSU needs to adjust.

The Big Ten office isn’t issuing any apologies for calls made by its crew in the game, but Big Ten coordinator of officials Bill Carollo apparently put Hollis’ mind at ease.

“I don’t see our approach changing in the future,” Hollis told the Free Press.

He said MSU’s defensive coaches do “an excellent job of teaching technique” and that MSU’s cornerbacks “were in position to make plays.”

Carollo declined to comment through Big Ten spokesman Scott Chipman. But some of Saturday’s calls have inspired pointed comments from others.

NBC color analyst Mike Mayock was especially dubious of a call against MSU’s Trae Waynes that led to Notre Dame’s winning score. Waynes appeared to turn his body and get inside position on Notre Dame receiver Corey Robinson, but Waynes was flagged.

Mike Pereira, former vice president of NFL officiating, echoed those criticisms on Twitter, and MSU coach Mark Dantonio said Sunday of the play: “Trae Waynes has an opportunity for a pick, and somehow, he’s called for interference at the goal line.”