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Friday, October 22, 2021

SEC officers below microscope after high-profile errors

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Mississippi State coach Mike Leach was nonetheless being requested his ideas Wednesday concerning the weird punt play within the fourth quarter of final week’s loss to Memphis, and two obvious errors — considered one of them acknowledged — by SEC officers.

Leach nonetheless wasn’t positive he needed to pay to debate them.


Regardless, the state of affairs on the identical Saturday as one other important error by SEC officers in Auburn’s loss at Penn State has put the women and men in stripes precisely the place they by no means wish to be: the highlight.

“There may be not lots I can do in a different way. I clearly have some ideas,” acknowledged Leach, whose group performs LSU this weekend. “I simply have to determine if I am curiosity in investing in airing these ideas. There may be kind of a value to play this explicit sport. I sort of reserve the proper to do this. It’s nonetheless an possibility on the desk.”

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There is likely to be no tougher job in school soccer than officiating, notably as groups have embraced large open offenses, fast substitutions, quicker tempos and extra unique seems. And the fact is that the 2 performs that shone a nasty highlight on the SEC on Saturday had been however two of lots of that its officers had been pressured to observe final weekend.

Nonetheless, they’re additionally had been errors egregious sufficient — notably with prompt replay obtainable — that many coaches, gamers and followers are little question left questioning whether or not they can depend on SEC officers to deal with their video games.

The extra noteworthy errors, if solely as a result of it instantly affected the result, got here within the Bulldogs’ sport.

It occurred with Memphis main 21-17 and 5:58 left within the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs punted and two gamers made contact with the ball in an try to down it, although neither ever truly possessed it, and the again decide waved his arms over his head to sign the play was {dead}. However with no whistle blowing, the Tigers’ Calvin Austin III alertly grabbed the ball and took off, operating almost the size of the sphere for a clinching landing.

The league stated in an announcement that Austin was allowed to select the ball up as a result of “the kicked ball remained dwell by rule, because it was not possessed by a participant,” although various would disagree with the interpretation. The place that was no grey space was this: The play ought to have been reversed due to the official’s sign.

“The following assessment would have positioned the ball on the spot the place the sign was made,” the SEC stated.

Leach stated he was informed Saturday that every one performs are reviewed, and that the punt play had already been confirmed.

Evidently, the officers doing the assessment additionally missed the very fact hat Memphis had two gamers on the sphere carrying the No. 4, which can also be a violation and will have resulted in a 5-yard penalty.

“This can be very disappointing when student-athletes are usually not absolutely in charge of a sport’s final result,” Mississippi State athletic director John Cohen stated, “particularly when considering the time, effort and assets put into an officiating system created to remove human error on the sphere each time doable.”

It did not remove human error in Completely satisfied Valley, both.

Early within the second quarter, the officers merely forgot a whole down — all of them — and Penn State was pressured to punt on third down. Not surprisingly, Nittany Lions coach James Franklin was nonetheless baffled after the sport.

Good factor they received or he might need been downright irate.

“I talked to all of them. All of them agreed,” Franklin stated. “I stored bringing them over and saying, ‘It’s not correct.’ I don’t know what else I can let you know, however all of them concurred with the officers. They received the headset, they talked to one another they usually all agreed. They ran it by replay, they agreed as properly. I don’t know what else I can do or what else I can say.”

The SEC had one thing to say: “The error was found through the media timeout that adopted the punt,” the league stated in an announcement after the sport, “and by rule it couldn’t be corrected at the moment.”


So far as Leach is anxious, at the very least ensure it is appropriate subsequent time.

“Our group would not want to fret about that. We had ample alternatives to do issues in a different way,” he stated whereas selecting to take a diplomatic strategy. “The most important factor is we have to fear about ourselves and what we predict is most necessary. (The gamers) do not dwell on that in any respect. I deal with that and our administration and the league — they deal with that, and we concentrate on taking part in one play at a time. We have got to get higher at that. That is the largest factor.”

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