UCLA cornerback Aaron Hester was reprimanded by the Pac-12 for his comments about the officiating following a late pass interference call. Hester was not penalized with either a fine or a suspension.
The UCLA Bruins pulled off a 29-28 upset win over the Arizona St. Sun Devils to tie things up in the Pac-12 South race last weekend. The win, however, didn't come without its fair share of drama and controversy. One such play came late in the game when Bruins cornerback Aaron Hester was called for pass interference near the end of the game. Hester took a crack at the officiating after the game, and the Pac-12 reprimanded Hester for his comments on Monday.
Hester's frustration is understandable. The play cost the Bruins a 15-yard penalty that moved the Sun Devils, down 29-28, from their own 44-yard line to the UCLA 41-yard line with under one minute left. Replays showed that Hester didn't make any contact with the ASU receiver at all, infuriating Hester to make the following comments after the game, according to Scott Reid of the Orange County Register:
"It was a terrible call. The ref called it. I think they have something out for me honestly. I felt that I played it perfect. I turned around, I looked for the ball, the ball was way inside. It wasn't even a catchable ball. But they wanted to make it a game, I believe so. When I looked at the ref when he threw the flag, it was like he didn't even want to throw it. He barely tossed out of his pocket. But I mean we got the ‘W.' That's what really matters."
The harsh words from Hester about the referee having it out for him and wanting to extend the game caught the Pac-12's attention. The conference merely reprimanded Hester for his words and did not institute any fines or suspensions.
Despite the penalty, all ended well for the Bruins as Arizona State kicker Alex Garoutte missed a 46-yard, potentially game-winning field goal at the end of the game to secureu a 29-28 win for UCLA.
The Bruins play the Utah Utes on the road this weekend. The game is scheduled for 3:30 Pacific Time on Saturday.