SEC Referee Penn Wagers Announces Retirement, Fans Rejoice


Penn Wagers, one of the most fan-disliked and controversial SEC officials, has announced his retirement along with fellow SEC referee, Matt Moore.

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No, the Daniel Bryan “Yes” movement has not come to the SEC. That chant you are hearing from the southeastern corner of the United States (with perhaps the exception of Tuscaloosa) is for something much more real.

One of the most disliked and controversial SEC referees, Penn Wagers, is handing in his whistle and yellow flag, and calling it a career, while fans and coaches alike give silent fist pumps and high-five each other via emojis and gifs.

Every conference seems to think their referees are the worst, but when you talk about the SEC, many times bad calls have a lot more impact than just the game at hand. Poor officiating (even early in the season) can have a ripple effect on conference and even national championships.

Has Wagers ever had such an effect? You betcha.

Georgia and Auburn in particular seemed to have received the lion’s share of Wagers poor calls, but those two teams weren’t the only ones limited to his mistakes…or, conspiring against certain teams, as some (mainly Georgia fans) would call it.

Twice Wagers found himself immersed in controversy during the World’s Largest Cocktail Party, both times involving the Georgia bench and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. In the case of one instance, he gave Mark Richt the only UC penalty of his entire head coaching career.

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Perhaps the most egregious (and recent) instance of Wagers’ incompetence came just last season during the Alabama-Arkansas game.

As time was winding down in the fourth quarter, Alabama guard Arie Kouandijio was called for a false start on 3rd and 2 with 1:01 remaining, Wagers called for the game clock to begin immediately, while the rules stated he was to wait for the ball to be snapped.

The Razorbacks stopped the Tide on third down, but once the play was over the final seconds ticked off the clock, leaving Arkansas without a chance with the ball. The SEC openly admitted that Wagers did not follow the rules, and there should have been one additional play, giving Arkansas a shot at a punt return or fourth down turnover opportunity.

Don’t think that 20 seconds would have been long enough for the Hogs do do anything? Need we remind you of the Auburn “Miracle at Jordan-Hare” and “Kick-6” from 2013? Anything is possible.

Don’t worry though, SEC fans will find someone else to be the target of their venom soon enough in 2015.

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