Nebraska Coach Bill Callahan said yesterday that he didn't make a throat-slashing gesture while arguing with an official during the Cornhuskers' loss to Oklahoma.
Callahan appeared livid after Kejuan Jones's 17-yard touchdown run that gave the Sooners a 31-17 lead in the fourth quarter Saturday. Oklahoma won, 31-24.
Callahan engaged in an animated discussion with referee Steve Usechek after the touchdown. The coach was arguing that Oklahoma should have been penalized for holding on the play.
Videotape showed Callahan raising his right arm, index finger extended, and making a motion from left to right across his throat.
The Big 12 Conference was reviewing the video yesterday, spokesman Bob Burda said in an e-mail to the Associated Press.
Callahan initially did not know what a reporter was asking about when the topic came up on the Big 12 coaches' teleconference.
"Oh, no. No. I was frustrated and emotional. There was no malicious intent toward anyone or any referee," he said. "Someone is making a big deal out of something that's nothing. I really don't know what you're talking about."
Callahan, as he did Saturday, declined to comment on officiating.
In 2004 the NCAA made the throat-slashing gesture a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. The NFL outlawed the gesture in 1999, making it a 15-yard penalty and a $2,500 fine.
-- From News Services