The Reason This North Dakota Sports Announcer Was Suspended Will Leave You Scratching Your Head

Lenny Antwi of the University of North Dakota looks to pass past North Dakota State University s TrayVonn Wright during an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012 game at the Fargodome in Fargo, N.D. Credit: AP 

The University of North Dakota has suspended men’s basketball play-by-play announcer Paul Ralston for two games because he used the phrase “choke job” to describe an tough overtime loss to Northern Arizona University.

Ralston made the comment during his interview with North Dakota head coach Brian Jones after the team was defeated 74-72 on Saturday, the Grand Forks Herald reports.

The sports website defines the phrase “choke job” as “Losing a wager [in this case a basketball game ] you thought you had won.” It is unclear why using the term would lead to a suspension.

It certainly appears that the team choked in during the final moments of the game. North Dakota led in the final minute of the game, but Northern Arizona was able to close the gap and force the game into overtime. North Dakota also missed five free throws during the last four minutes of regulation play, according to

Brian Faison, the school’s athletic director, says Ralston will not be calling the game at Northern Colorado on Wednesday or Saturday’s match-up against Nebraska-Omaha. Filling in for him is associate athletic director Kyle Doperalski.

Ralston is scheduled to return to action on Feb. 28 when North Dakota plays Portland State.