Utah gymnastics coach Greg Marsden thought he was right Friday night when his behavior and comments over the low scores his team earned drew him a yellow card.
But on Monday, Marsden was contrite, acknowledging he was wrong, at least in his behavior during the Utes' 196.3-196.1 win over Stanford.
Marsden was given a yellow card during the Utes' floor rotation after he commented to a judge following what he believed were low scores. He was even more upset when senior Stephanie McAllister's floor score was valued at just 9.8 because the judges said she was lacking a necessary element to have a 10.0 start value. She earned a 9.675 for the routine.
"My behavior was inappropriate," he said. "I should have handled it better."
Marsden's biggest points of contention were McAllister's floor routine deduction and the overall low scores the Utes earned. The Utes thought through a conversation with judge Linda Fenton last year that McAllister had the correct elements in her routine.
However, McAllister was lacking one detail, a required 180 leap sequence that had one leg straight; McAllister bends both legs on the element.
McAllister changed the move since the discussion with Fenton last year and the Utes didn't realize it would make a difference.
"It's a no-brainer for us to fix," Marsden said. "It's totally our fault, but the odd thing is it took us six meets to find this out."
As for the overall low scores, Marsden believed there should have been a greater separation between the Utes, who earned a 49.05 without any falls, and Stanford, which earned a 48.75 despite having to count a routine that had a step out of bounds. Another gymnast fell so her score was dropped.
"I'm still scratching my head over the issue," he said. "I watched the meet again on television and Stanford had problems so I thought maybe there should have been more separation but that is my biased opinion. My frustration wasn't so much coming from the scores but showing the separation between the teams and that kind of thing, but I handled it wrong."
In the rankings
Utah's gymnasts don't believe they are headed in the wrong direction despite slipping down the national rankings again this week.
The Utes, who held the No. 1 ranking for three weeks, went from No. 5 to No. 7 in this week's poll. Utah was expecting such a drop this week since the rankings moved to the regional qualifying score formula which counts three road scores.
The Utes haven't earned very high marks on the road this season but aren't concerned.
"With our away scores we knew it was coming," McAllister said. "It's what we've said all along, we can't dwell on the scores or the things that happened in the last meet. We have to focus on the things we need to work on as a team and focus on the end goal, not the rankings."
Florida and Oklahoma remained No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. UCLA improved from No. 6 to No. 3 after it posted a 198.05 in a win over Arizona State (194.85). The score was the highest this year by any team and the highest by a UCLA team since it won the 2004 NCAA Championship. The Bruins had 49.475 or better on each event and 13 marks of 9.9 or higher.
Nebraska also had a big jump, moving from No. 9 to No. 6.
Individually, Corrie Lothrop is ranked No. 9 in the all-around (39.325) to be the only Utah representative among the Top 10 in the various categories.
Lothrop said her arms were recovering from her vaulting mishap on Friday during which she sprained both triceps. However, Marsden said he didn't want to put her back in the lineup too soon. If she isn't 100 percent, Georgia Dabritz will replace her in the balance beam lineup.
Dabritz earned a 9.9 in exhibition on the event.
"She has been doing an unbelievable job in exhibition and we need to find a way to get her in the lineup," Marsden said. "If Corrie can't go, that would be a nice job for her. She is getting more and more comfortable in the lineup and looks more confident."
Top 25 rankings
Ranking RQS Pvs.
1. Florida 197.195 1
2. Oklahoma 197.145 2
3. UCLA 197.025 6
4. Georgia 196.83 3
5. Alabama 196.73 3
6. Nebraska 196.585 9
7. Utah 196.555 5
8. Arkansas 196.545 5
9. Oregon St. 196.25 8
10. LSU 196.245 13
11. Penn State 195.95 10
12. Stanford 195.895 12
13. Missouri 195.79 17
14. Ohio State 195.76 11
15. Auburn 195.515 15
16. Boise St. 195.405 16
17. Arizona 195.39 14
18. Minn. 195.285 22
19. Denver 195.27 20
20. N.C. State 195.175 19
21. Illinois 195.155 18
22. Arizona St.195.145 24
23. Michigan 194.795 21
24. West Va. 194.67 23
25. Wash. 194.525 25
Oregon State at Utah
P Friday, 7 p.m.