Oregon's Nick Aliotti apologizes to Mike Leach, fined by Pac-12 anyway

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer
Nick Aliotti wants to know why you don't just quit like a good opponent
Nick Aliotti apologized for calling Mike Leach 'low class.' (USATSI)

Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti made some ridiculous comments about Washington State coach Mike Leach following Oregon's 62-38 win over the Cougars. And Aliotti realizes how ridiculous his comments were, as he issued an apology for them on Sunday night.

"I'm embarrassed that I got caught up in the moment after the game," Aliotti said in a release. "There's no excuse, but sometimes right after the game the adrenaline is still flowing and I made a huge, human error in judgment. I wish I could take it back, and I promise it won't happen again.

"I'd like to apologize to Mike Leach and [Washington State athletic director] Bill Moos, Washington State and its fans, and Oregon and our fans."

Aliotti was upset with Leach for keeping his starters in during the fourth quarter of a game Washington State trailed 62-24 at the time. The Cougars would keep passing -- Connor Halliday set an NCAA record with 89 pass attempts -- and would score two touchdowns late against Oregon's reserves. Which drew the ire of Aliotti.

"That's total bullshit that he threw the ball at the end of the game like he did," Aliotti said after the game. "And you can print that and you can send it to him, and he can comment, too. I think it's low class and it's bullshit to throw the ball when the game is completely over against our kids that are basically our scout team."

Aliotti's apology was not enough for Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, who announced a public reprimand and $5,000 fine for the Ducks' defensive coordinator on Monday. The Pac-12 acknowledged the apology, but said the punishment came as a result of the Washington State rant and previous comments from Aliotti about Pac-12 officials.

"The Pac-12 has specific rules that prohibit our coaches from making public comments about officiating, and this prohibition specifically includes comments that create doubts about the credibility of the conference's officiating program," Scott said. "His comments also showed a lack of support for the Pac-12‘s policies on sportsmanship and standards of conduct, which call for our coaches to treat opponents with respect."

Oregon faces UCLA on Saturday. The game, which will be the second time a Pac-12 team has to face the Ducks a week after losing to Stanford, is scheduled is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. ET, 4 p.m. in Eugene.

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