BY COLBY FRAZIER
DAILY SOUND STAFF WRITER
UC Santa Barbara men’s soccer coach Tim Vom Steeg was fined $300 by the NCAA yesterday and officially reprimanded for comments he made during a post-game news conference in Ohio last December.
Vom Steeg made the statements after the Gauchos lost 4-3 in double overtime to Ohio State in the third round of the NCAA Tournament — a game Santa Barbara was convincingly winning until the Buckeyes scored three goals in the second half on free kicks.
In the post-game interview, Vom Steeg criticized the game’s referee and the NCAA as well.
The nine-year coach began his comments by saying there were only 16 teams remaining and “all they have to do is find eight officials in the country.”
“It’s actually a sad day that we’re even having to have a conversation,” he said. “That’s not taking away from Ohio State because I thought he was bad for both teams.”
The penalty riddled game featured 31 fouls and seven yellow cards, some of which Vom Steeg clearly didn’t agree with and may very well have cost his team the game.
“…The reality is that the game really turned on a lot of calls,” he said during the news conference. “We gave up three free kick goals so every call became very important, every corner kick became important and unfortunately, that is part of the story so I can’t really sit up here and talk about the game without necessarily talking about the fact that three of the four goals went in off of a call…”
The NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Committee handed down Vom Steeg's reprimand.
“The men’s soccer committee was disappointed by these comments and strongly believes the championship should not be tarnished by such acts,” a statement released yesterday by the NCAA said.
Repeated attempts to reach the NCAA for further comment were not successful.
UCSB Assistant Media Relations Director Ryan Hall said he was present at the December news conference and knew right away the NCAA wouldn’t be pleased with Vom Steeg’s comments.
He said a meeting was held months ago between Vom Steeg and UCSB officials to discuss the matter. The school does not plan to take further action, he said.
UCSB Assistant Athletics Director Diane O’Brien issued the school’s official statement.
“We accept the NCAA Men’s Soccer Committee’s reprimand of Coach Tim Vom Steeg,” the statement said. “Coach Vom Steeg and UC Santa Barbara take full responsibility for the unprofessional comments made during the championship. We realize the privilege of playing in an NCAA Championship and apologize for the impact the comments may have had.”
Thursday, April 3, 2008
BY COLBY FRAZIER