Glass: Referee spoof was “completely inappropriate”

Indiana athletic director Fred Glass has been trying to push the envelope to change the atmosphere at IU football games, but he said a commercial spoofing referees that appeared on the video board during Saturday’s game against Western Michigan pushed the envelope a bit too far and disrespected the officials working the game.

During a penalty-boosted drive that helped Western Michigan to the Indiana 5-yard line, the IU video board showed a commercial from Subway’s “Fresh Moment” ad campaign in which an official used his microphone to admit a mistake by saying “I totally blew that call. In fact, it wasn’t even close. But don’t worry, I’ll penalize the other team for no good reason in the second half to even things up.”

The commercial aired immediately after Indiana cornerback Richard Council was flagged for pass interference, drawing cheers from IU fans. On the next play, however, the officials flagged linebacker Justin Carrington for a 15-yard, roughing-the-passer. A few plays later, linebacker Tyler Replogle was penalized for a face mask, putting Western Michigan on the 5-yard-line before Greg Middleton caused and Carrington recovered a game-saving fumble.

Glass claimed responsibility and said that the commercial should not have been aired.

“The buck stops with me there,” he said. “I’m the one who is ultimately responsible for what goes on there. I thought it was completely inappropriate and it will never happen again.”

Glass refused to discuss who had actually determined to air the commercial on the video board or why it was even in the queue to be aired in the first place.

“I don’t really want to get into all the behind the scenes machinations,” Glass said. “Ultimately, it comes back to me. We apologized to the officiating crew and told them right after the game it wouldn’t happen again.”

Glass said the officials accepted the apology.

“We told them that’s not the way we want to do things at Indiana University,” Glass said. “They said that’s all they needed to hear.”

Glass, however, said no one lost their job over the mistake.

“We’re trying to be aggressive,” Glass said. “We’re trying to create a different environment. Sometimes we miss the mark, and sometimes we do worse than miss the mark and have a mistake. But I don’t want to create the kind of environment where people fear the consequences of pushing things. The point here is to say it’s my responsibility. It was a mistake. It was completely inappropriate and it’s not going to happen again.”


  1. Please for the Love of God please tell me that our Athletic Director and two-time Indiana University graduate did not say the “University of Indiana” and it was a mis-quote or author error! What the heck…I like Fred Glass a lot but damn we are The Indiana University!!!!

  2. knew we were going to have another shoe drop on that one.

    I would rather see the replays of the controversial plays and let the officials be accountable to the fans during the game than to see some silly subway commercial. It was in bad taste.

    Go Hoosiers!!
    Play Finch!

  3. fred get oooooover it!!!! the fans need some form of entertainment no big deal…im sure those officials have had a few venus williams type comments in their face with spit included!! sooo i think some levity from the hd scoreboard is good for the game!! dont b so pc!

  4. You have to apologize ‘cuz it’s the “right” or polite thing to do, but it really did “hit the spot” during a tense time and it was really funny. You could hear a pin drop when it was playing.

  5. Wow! Talk about a 180 turn-around in administrative character- Glass refuses to allow ads that negligibly disparage refs; Greenspan inked a sponsorship deal with a brewery. My respect for the new A.D. grows with each passing press release.

  6. It should not have been shown – it was pretty grade school, but then IU football is much above that level either

  7. after all of the NO RESPECT calls I have seen in the last 15 years and the way it was going last Saturday…my wife and I are still laughing about it!!! It was funny!!!

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