Big Ten reprimands Iowa’s Nico Ragaini for his obscenity-laced comment about officiating

ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — Iowa wide receiver Nico Ragaini has been reprimanded by the Big Ten for his comment about officiating in last week’s game against Iowa State, the conference announced Wednesday.

Ragaini gave an obscenity-laced response to a reporter Tuesday when asked if he thought Iowa State’s Jeremiah Cooper committed pass interference against him before making an interception in the second quarter.

“Is the NCAA or Big Ten going to fine me if I say that’s a (expletive, expletive) call or what? Yeah, I don’t know. I probably shouldn’t have dropped an F-bomb in there, but (expletive) Jesus.”

The Big Ten referenced Conference Agreement 10.01, which states, “The Big Ten Conference expects all contests involving a member institution to be conducted without compromise to any fundamental element of sportsmanship. Such fundamental elements include integrity of the competition, civility toward all, and respect, particularly toward opponents and officials.”

Ragaini issued a public apology through the Iowa athletic department shortly after the reprimand was announced.

“I want to apologize for my public criticism of Saturday’s officiating,” he said. “I am a competitive person and player. My comments reflected my passion for the game, and I apologize for my choice of language.”

Television replays showed Cooper appearing to pull down Ragaini just before Cade McNamara’s pass arrived. Fox commentator Brock Huard said during the telecast that it appeared to be interference. Iowa won 20-13 in Ames.

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