Replay Official Reprimanded By Conference Officials For Blown Call In USA – UNT Game

November 14, 2012 · By · Filed Under Football 

South Alabama received some news on Tuesday from the Sun Belt Conference office concerning the Jaguars game against North Texas last weekend. The Sun Belt Conference issued a formal reprimand of two of the Conference’s replay officials, including the replay official working the South Alabama vs North Texas game.

With the Jags trailing North Texas 24-14, Jaguar defensive back Tyrell Pearson picked off a pass and returned it down the left sideline. He was then knocked out of bounds near the goal line and officials on the field ruled that he had fumbled the ball and it had hit the pylon before going out of bounds. That ruling meant that the ball was a touchback, giving the Mean Green the ball back at their own 20 yard line.

It went to a review and the play was upheld.

However, the video clearly shows the fumble going out of bound around the 1 yard line and that the ball did not the pylon. The correct ruling should have been that it was the Jaguars ball with a first and goal at the 1 yard line.

In the press release the Conference recognized the blown call in announcing the reprimand. Additionally the replay officials involved have been placed on probation and will be removed from consideration to work a post-season bowl game.

Another replay official working the Arkansas State vs Louisiana-Monroe game from last Thursday night were also reprimanded, placed on probation and will not be considered for a postseason bowl game.

“Instant replay was established to ‘get calls right’ that are questionable on the field,” said Sun Belt Conference commissioner Karl Benson. “Our coaches, student athletes and fans deserve quality performance in the instant replay booth just like they do from the officials on the field. South Alabama and ULM have received apologies and the two instant replay officials are hereby reprimanded.”

As mentioned above, the Jags were trailing 24-14 with 2:40 left in the third quarter. If the Jags had retained possession they were poised to score a touchdown from the one yard line to cut the Mean Green lead to three points heading into the fourth quarter.

“It is unfortunate, but it definitely had a major impact on the game,” head coach Joey Jones said. “It would have made it a three-point game and it would have changed our whole offense philosophy in the fourth quarter. But I admire the Sun Belt Conference and the commissioner for admitting to (the mistake) and being completely honest about it.”

South Alabama Athletics Director Joel Erdmann told the Press Register that he appreciates what the Conference did in this instance. “I’d like to commend the commissioner and the conference’s actions in our specific instance,” Erdmann said. “It reinforces the stakes that are at play within the game of FBS football. Often times, a game’s outcome hangs in the balance of a hand full of plays. Thus, the increased importance on accuracy.”

“We deeply appreciate the conference and the officials and the coordinator of officials because we know that they work hard every day to prepare themselves to make the best decisions and call the best games that they can.”


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