clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:


The Big 12 issued new sportsmanship rules this year. We're keeping track of what's acceptable and what's not.

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

We're four weeks into the season, which is enough time to start passing judgment on teams. Baylor is good. KU is bad. Texas is mad.

But on a more important note, we now have four weeks worth of data on what the Big 12 considers unsportsmanlike and what it considers acceptable. Remember, the conference enacted broad, sweeping, new sportsmanship rules that you can read in full here. It's under Section 12, but it really should be Section 8, amirite?!

Let's track what is acceptable and what is not.

NOT ACCEPTABLE: Forming and depicting another school's logo in space combat with the Starship Enterprise. Penalty: self-imposed $5,000 fine, one-game suspension of the band director, and prior review of expressive conduct by a government institution.

ACCEPTABLE: Making an obscene gesture at opposing fans while leaving the field of play. No penalty, no public reprimand.

God, I love YouTube.

ACCEPTABLE: Throwing bottles and other items at opposing team personnel as they leave the field. And during the game, but I can't find a direct replay of that. No penalty, no public reprimand.

ACCEPTABLE: A referee pursuing a head coach who is attempting to walk away from a confrontation, before finally initiating physical contact with said head coach. No penalty, no public reprimand, and indeed a statement from the conference office that the referee in question behaved appropriately.

(As a bonus: Big 12 Director of Officials Walt Anderson defended the performance of the officiating crew by stating "they got the majority of the calls right", a statement which is of zero value whatsoever insofar as it would have been technically correct even if Texas had been penalized, say, 55 times for 620 yards.)

It's good to know that the Big 12 is policing and issuing public reprimands for important things, like a band depicting another conference school's logo. Not players making obscene gestures at fans or fans endangering player safety by throwing things or the very individuals responsible for maintaining order losing control.