Published Friday, October 18, 2013 at 11:11 am / Updated at 10:45 pm
VOLLEYBALL
Big Ten reprimands Husker volleyball coach for comments about official

Nebraska’s John Cook was given a public reprimand from the Big Ten on Friday for remarks the coach made about an official during last Saturday’s four-set loss at No. 5 Michigan State.

In a release, the Big Ten said Cook’s comments, made in reference to the official who issued Cook a red card penalty in Game 2, violated the league’s agreement on sportsmanship.

“The Big Ten determined that Cook’s postmatch comments regarding officials were in violation of Big Ten Conference Agreement 10.01, which states in part that ‘The Big Ten Conference expects all contests involving a member institution to be conducted without compromise to any fundamental element of sportsmanship. Such fundamental elements include integrity of the competition, civility toward all, and respect, particularly toward opponents and officials.’”

Cook received a red card early in Game 2 for protesting a ball-handling error called on Nebraska setter Mary Pollmiller. The penalty gave the Spartans a point to tie the set 7-7, and Michigan State went on to win the frame 26-24.

It’s the second time in Cook’s career he had been given a red card, and he said the same official was involved in him receiving his first during a 2007 match at Texas A&M.

“That was totally uncalled for by that ref,” Cook said during his postmatch radio interview. “He’s had it out for me from the Big 12 days. He’s from Texas. I’m going to talk to the head of our officials about that, but that was uncalled for.”

Cook again briefly addressed the red card and his past history with the official during his Monday press conference, saying “Let’s get Sports Illustrated in here and do an exposť on that.”

It is not immediately clear to which official Cook is referring. Yellow and red cards are usually issued by the match’s chair official, not a line official. The official referees for the Spartan match are listed as Stacey Weitzel and Michael Blalock in the box score. Referees Richard Bleau and Steve Robb are the listed officials for the 2007 match at Texas A&M.

The Big Ten release said no further comment would be issued by the conference. The Nebraska athletic department said Cook would not be making any comments about the reprimand when contacted Friday morning.

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