by Neil Patrick Healy
Three days after head football coach Brian Polian received two unsportsmanlike penalties against the University of Arizona, athletics director Doug Knuth has brought down the hammer.
Knuth announced Monday afternoon that Polian has been fined $10,000 for his behavior during Saturday’s game. The athletics director will have an administrative presence on the sideline during future games and Polian will face automatic suspension and be subject to more fines for any further offenses.
Polian’s complaints were due to questionable officiating. Nevada was wrongfully called for an illegal formation penalty that took away a touchdown and the referees missed an Arizona false start on the two-yard line on fourth and goal that lead to a Wildcat touchdown. Knuth issued a statement after handing down the punishment.
“I believe Coach Polian is moving the football program in the right direction, academically, athletically and socially,” Knuth said. “Unfortunately, his sideline behavior and interaction with officials – regardless of being right or wrong about officiating decisions – is not aligned with the values of Wolf Pack athletics or the University.
“These sanctions send a strong message to Brian, and to our fans, our University and conference administration, and to officials working our games, that we do not tolerate unsportsmanlike behavior. We want Brian to continue building the program in a positive fashion and stand with him as he makes adjustments. I am excited about the future of the program, and look forward to seeing changes which make us feel increasingly proud of the Wolf Pack football program,”
The Wolf Pack travels to College Station, Texas this Saturday to play the Texas A&M Aggies.
Neil Patrick Healy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NeilTheJuiceMan