Hawks' Martelli scolded by A-10 for criticizing referee

Posted: November 28, 2006

St. Joseph's coach Phil Martelli received a reprimand from the Atlantic Ten Conference yesterday for his comments about the officiating after Saturday's 65-61 loss at Penn State.

Martelli made harsh comments toward the official, Mike Sanzere, for not calling a foul on a Penn State player on a play involving Ahmad Nivins during the Hawks' final possession.

Martelli has apologized to Sanzere.

"The Atlantic Ten expects its coaches, student-athletes, and administrators to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner at all times," A-10 commissioner Linda Bruno said in a statement released yesterday.

"Coach Martelli's comments were uncharacteristic of the high standards to which he holds himself and his student-athletes. I appreciate that Coach Martelli has contacted the official in question to apologize for his comments and am confident that he will avoid an incident such as this in the future."

Under the league's Code of Conduct policy, more severe penalties could be dealt for an additional violation.

"My belief remains the same," Martelli said last night. "There was a foul at the end of the game on Saturday. My efforts to express that were incorrect and embarrassing to my family and to my program. . . .

"Today, I did speak to the Atlantic Ten. I spoke to the referee who was involved. He was very gracious. And I also spoke to Penn State because I did not want them to feel in any way that their win was diminished. They did everything right, and we did everything wrong in that last minute and a half. It's not something I can take back, but it's something I can't repeat."

Contact staff writer Ray Parrillo at 215-854-2743 or rparrillo@phillynews.com.

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