Sun Belt Conference reprimands instant replay officials

From the Sun Belt Conference

The Sun Belt Conference serves official notice that two of the league's instant replay officials are hereby reprimanded.

During the Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas State game on Thursday, November 8, a touchdown was ruled on the field on a play in which the ASU quarterback ran the ball for a significant gain along the sideline.  There was no stoppage between the ruling of a touchdown and the ensuing try for an extra point.

However, a stoppage in play should have occurred to allow for a full video review.

Shortly after the extra point was made, video became available that showed that the runner clearly stepped out of bounds inside the two yard line as he dove for the goal line.  The instant replay official should have stopped play to review the play.  Had this been done the call on the field would have been reversed and the ASU would have had possession with first and goal to go.

A second incident took place during the South Alabama at North Texas football game on Saturday, November 10 as USA intercepted a pass and the ensuing return resulted in a fumble by the returner at the NT goal line.  The ruling on the field was that the ball was fumbled and hit the end zone pylon – resulting in a touchback.  The play was reviewed by the instant replay official and the call on the field was confirmed.

Video evidence later showed that the USA player fumbled the ball and the ball proceeded to go out of bounds – short of the goal line.  The ball should have been spotted at the one yard line with a first and goal for South Alabama.

The two instant replay officials will be placed on probation and will be removed from consideration to work 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."