Bad call on pass interference tip in LSU game – reviewable?

Early in the second quarter of LSU’s loss to Georgia on Saturday, the officials waived off a pass interference flag against the Dawgs because it was very incorrectly ruled that the pass was tipped by a Georgia player at the line. The bad call ended an LSU drive and forced the Tigers to settle for a 51-yard Colt David field goal instead of potentially tying the game at 14.

Not the hugest of deals in the grand scheme of things, as David’s long field goal gave the Tigers three points in place of the potential seven. But I wondered at the time why there was no review of the call, no challenge by Les Miles and not even a timeout called to buy some more time for the officials to look at the play.

It turns out that Miles believes such an event is unreviewable:

Notwithstanding his nonsensical “basically, they have to pick the thing up and wave it off, otherwise you’ve got no shot” line (do what?), is he right?

I’m not so sure.

In the 2008 NCAA Rules and Interpretations (PDF), they have a section of interpretations – for the first time, it seems – about what’s reviewable. And it includes this example:

Seems to me that’s exactly what happened on the LSU play. I’d like to think big-time football programs keep law students as interns and on standby in the booth for just such moments, but I guess that’s not the case. And on the replay, Miles was talking to an official after the play, so maybe he was incorrectly told the play is not reviewable. Or maybe I’m reading that interpretation wrong and it’s not reviewable. On its broadcast, CBS said it was a reviewable call.

If the play is reviewable, it would be a shame for nobody on the LSU staff to know that, and more of a shame if the official incorrectly told Miles it wasn’t reviewable. And even more of a shame for the replay official to not realize it and stop the action. If Miles was told that by the official and didn’t independently know the reality, I guess he would have been at a loss to do much about it.

But I wonder what the protocol is to tell an official you think he’s wrong about the crew’s ability to review a play. I think probably you call a timeout without lodging an official challenge, and then use that time to get the official to think more about things.

This time, the badly blown call and lack of review was fairly insignificant to the outcome of the game. But put this call in the position of something like LSU’s drive-killing bad call against Auburn in 2006, and it’s something everybody ought to know the reality of and get right.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Bad call on pass interference tip in LSU game – reviewable?”

  1. Hofo says:

    Was the ball tipped at the line? I thought it was tipped by one of the defenders further towards the intended receiver. I said something about this at work and someone opined that the rules didn’t specify where the ball had to be tipped for the “no flag” call.

    Georgia got another break from the refs missing a facemask call, it was pretty blatant on the camera.

  2. Hofo says:

    Oh, I see what your saying, you didn’t think the ball was touched at all. I didn’t run the TiVo back on the play and don’t have HD, but I thought on the replay that it looked as if the ball had been touched by one of the defenders. But it may have also been suggestion from the ref saying so…

Subscribe to RSS Feed Follow me on Twitter!