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 TheSpread.com 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 ESPN.com.
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.