SportsFest controversy: the call that wasn’t made

David outsmarted Goliath. The New York Giants stole one from the New England Patriots, and now, there is Stanford Residential College’s story.

By this point, word has spread far and wide that Stanford upset the nine-time defending champions Hecht this past weekend at SportsFest. History books are being rewritten to include this clash as another famous battle in which the underdog took down an overwhelming favorite.

But what if that wasn’t necessarily the case?

Controversy arose during the flag football championship matchup between Stanford’s “The Ocho” and a commuter team “Shifting Gears.” During the final play of the game, there was an alleged push on an extra point attempt that was not called on Stanford that, had it been called, would have sent the game into overtime.

The controversy here isn’t that the commuter team was denied an opportunity to win the event outright. It is the fact that the call was intentionally held back so the game did not go into overtime.

According to a Facebook screenshot from a player of “The Ocho,” one of the game’s referees admitted to holding off on the call in order to “not have the game go into overtime.”

As most students in both Hecht and Stanford know, Stanford won the trophy by the slimmest of margins, a mere 9.36 points. Being that flag football was worth 100 points for the overall winner, had the game gone into overtime, “Shifting Gears” may have had an opportunity to win the event.

So what does this all mean? If the foul had been called and the game had gone into overtime, then the commuters would have had a chance to win and Hecht could be celebrating its 10th SportsFest win in a row. However, it’s also important to remember that Stanford could have gained the lead back and things would have ended the same way.

What about the referees? Although there is still no word on what happened to the referee in question, it’s not fair to criticize them all for the mistake of one. Having personally seen intramural referees at work, I know about the hard work that they put into making sure their games run as smoothly as possible.

There is no way to know exactly what would have happened if the penalty had been called and the game went into overtime. But to speculate about things that could have happened won’t change what occurred on the field. Stanford won the title, fair and square. Now only one question remains: can they do it again next spring?

Ernesto Suarez may be contacted at

February 16, 2011


Ernesto Suarez

Sports Editor

15 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “SportsFest controversy: the call that wasn’t made”

  1. Mitch says:

    Way to get to the bottom of the story there Bob Woodward, Pulitzer worthy material. I think more editors/journalists should completely abandon journalistic integrity.

  2. UrAMorOn says:

    i would just like to say that this is the second article this year that The Hurricane has published that makes them look like absolute fools. It’s cool to have your own commentary hell this is America. But when you don’t cover the people’s names up? Come on man are you dumb? Or just stupid? And second of all, there were three (3) I.M. Supervisors watching this game in its entirety so if there was a missed call don’t you think they would’ve done something? And third of all, if there really was a missed call, do you not think the commuters teams would have complained about it? From personal experience, I know the commuters are just as intense as Greeks and they argue any call to get their way. And there was no argument from them at all. This was the best reffed game of the tournament. It would be nice if The Hurricane’s editors would get their facts straight and learn how to say no to stupid stories like this one and the one about Greeks last semester. Both the paper and author should be ashamed.

  3. Kevin says:

    I very much agree with Larry’s comment about Javier. It’s been nearly one week since the game, you didn’t complain at the game, and only now are you whining about a game. The only prize is a GLASS! It means nothing!

    Ernesto should be ashamed of such horrible journalistic ethics and integrity. He never attempted to contact the referee to hear his side of the story and misstated the points at stake. Even had the commuters won football, Stanford would have won sportsfest because the 9 points was a floor/team average, split by 22 floors. Stanford still would have been sportsfest champions. Ernesto, an employee of the wellness center, should be ashamed of his actions. I’m sure he would hate it if someone wrote an article about a mistake he made.

  4. Larry says:

    javier. you wanna know whats simple. you are pathetic. the ref made a sarcastic remark on someone elses facebook and then you creeped on it. its sportsfest and you lost to freshman in football get a life.

  5. Javier says:

    Ricky, quit trying to pass the blame.
    It’s one thing if the refs didn’t see the push on the rush and just blew a call, its another if you saw the push and chose not to call it because it was bed time.

    We got screwed over. That simple.

  6. Adam says:

    As you can see from the other comments, this article is an absolute sham. Nothing is based on facts, instead it was written on a whim without any journalistic integirty. SRC won SportsFest, and would have still won SportsFest even if the Ocho wasn’t in the finals at all.

    To point out one instance of a disputed call during SportsFest is ridiculous, considering seemingly every single game is stopped at some point to bring over an Intramural Supervisor to clear up the issue. After participating in SportsFest for 3 years, I have very rarely seen a Supervisor overrule an official – which shows that these referees do a great job. I hope that next edition of the newspaper runs a story on when an official told Walsh 12 that he made a wrong call in the game they just lost, but the end result still stood. Except you shouldn’t, because it’s over and Stanford won, let’s all move on and look towards next year.

    There should be a retraction in the next edition, because all that this article has done is create a controversy that need not exist. People who do not know any better (like our friend Ernesto Suarez) will simply read this and take it as fact. This is sad considering there is nothing factual in this article, even the spelling of the official’s name.

  7. Hey Ernesto, I really enjoyed your article in the Hurricane today. I appreciate you trying to defile my name and get me fired over a flag football game. Just so you know there were two other refs who could have made a call, but there was no call to make so that’s erroneous. You made it seem as though if your ACS team would have won that game, then SRC wouldn’t have won Sportsfest, which is completely untrue, the point differentials still would have given Stanford the victory. As a fellow employee of the wellness center, I feel as though you should have some pride in the department and not try and put down other employees, maybe that’s just me though. Also, as a former editor of a school newspaper myself, I was always taught that good unbiased reporting gives both sides. I was wondering if you were interested in setting up an interview and getting my take on this whole situation, and giving me a chance to clear my name, or I guess if you are just content with attacking me in the public newspaper without a chance to defend myself that’s cool too. Just let me know, I’ll be waiting to hear from you


    PS, in the caption right under the snapshot of my conversation, you spelled my name wrong, there’s no ‘a’ in Olmsted. It was literally right in front of you, and I feel as though you could have at least gotten that part right.

  8. JJ Redick says:

    Anybody who plays intramurals knows that just about all the refs are incompetent. Ricky, the ‘ref in question’ is one of a few who is good at his job, and he is very good if not the best. You will find him reffing the championship games of just about every sport, reserved for only the best officials. The kid is human and likes to joke around, he would never throw a game or whatever you think he did, give it a rest.

  9. Narley Broseph says:

    I am not sure this article would have been printed if the editor of the newspaper did not write it himself. As the only person in a student run newspaper with the power to print something, this article seems doomed from the the start

  10. IT WAS A NO CALL YOU MORON. Cite REAL fact, interview students involved, and try to consider ANY of the basic ethics of journalism before you moan about the most reliable ref in intramurals. You’re just making yourself sound like another whiny commuter student that got beat by Freshmen. Not bro.

  11. nick says:

    Do some research before you write something like this. Stanford’s floor average was 599 and Hecht’s floor average was 588. If the ocho had gotten second, they would have received 90 points instead of the 100 they did for winning. That ten point difference in the score of a single floor would not have been enough to drop SRC’s total score the 9.36 points needed to give Hecht the victory. That settles all debate on what would have happened even if your stupid commuter team won. This is a stupid article with zero point, something tells me you’re just pissed off your commuter squad didn’t win football, so you’re looking to bring down a great guy like ricky. Wrong on many levels.

  12. Ernesto makes a clear error here which is embarrassing. He fails to point out the difference between the 9 point Stanford winning margin and the 100 point total for winning football. Stanford won by an AVERAGE of aboout 9 points per floor (22 total). The margin of victory was 315 points, meaning that a football loss wouldn’t have changed the outcome. Ernesto tries to play damage control by saying they won “fair and square” but he clearly begs the question that this single call changed the overall winner. I call on Ernesto to clarify his assertion. Anyone who would like to do the same should email

  13. Greg says:

    I agree. the “referee in question” is by far the most experienced at this school. i participate in just about every intramural sport and have had serious issues with many of the refs. you have to remember that these referees are students, just like us. They are not professionally trained nor are they making a career of this vocation. Simply doing it for a little spending money or to help pay for their tuition. This referee, yes made a mistake by commenting about it on facebook, but was chosen to ref the championship game based on his track record. The fact that this issue is being brought up again is pathetic. Its Sportsfest. You all are here to study not to win Sportsfest. Give the kid a break and move on. It is quite sad that this issue is being blown out of proportion especially to the point of putting it in the newspaper. I think the writer here had personal intentions and highly disapprove of the Miami Hurricane for publishing this article personally attacking these two individuals. Bravo.

  14. timmy says:

    that “referee in question” is the best intramural ref at this entire school. any of the other referees or supervisors will tell you that. there is zero controversy, learn to take a joke. quit being bitter commuters nobody likes you anyways, just let it go.

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