So late Monday afternoon the Pac 10 Conference, officially released their statment and even an Apology to the University of Oklahoma. For a few hours I was delighted to see that the Pac 10 was at the very least, willing to admit to such gross errors of officiating on what they called "a game altering play". But then other 'reports' and interviews began to surface which are very disburbing.
The replay official is now claiming that even with all the cameras working the game that one half of the country was watching, Riese saw only a single frame of video and the angle was "bad". This is a direct contradiction of the Pac 10 commisioner's apology to Oklahoma where he says,
"Further, the instant replay official is limited to the views of any play which is made available and must make a timely decision, although on the kickoff play ample views were available"
Houston, we have a problem. But wait, There is still more to this story.
The official on the field said that "After review, there is conclusive video evidence that the ball was touched by a receiving team player, which makes the ball live."
A 'video review' is not a review of a snapshot in time. One frame, by definition, is inconclusive at the very least. This is big time College Football, not Pop Warner. One only has to look at the home team of the game in question and their largest booster (Nike) to understand this.
Also there has been the 'time constrant' excuse thrown out there as well for replay review. That simply is not true according to the Pac 10's replay FAQ:
Q. Is there a time limit on how long a play can be reviewed?
Now the replay official, is willing to talk about his stress level, high blood pressure, and even a 'death threat', in order to gain some sort of sympathy, and I understand why he would feel this way after such a gross error. However, Unlike the 18 and 19 year old player who just minutes after games will field question after question in order to explain his actions and even MISTAKES on the playing field. This replay official will now hide behind the vail of secrecy and will not talk about specifics on the call, but will pass the buck and say, "My supervisor knows what happened up there and that's all that matters."
Lets not publicly speak out of convenience here, and your commisioner does not agree with you. The travasty here is not a missed call by the officals on the field. They are human and errors will be made. The travesty now seems to be that people who were ultimately repsonsible for the REPLAY SYSTEM to work properly, failed miserably.
What is the point of having replay in the first place then?
The outcome of the fiasco can NEVER be changed, but the more people speak about this publicly, the more it smells. I am not falling for the 'gunman behing the picket fence" theory just yet, but it is terrible that such a cloud hangs over the outcome of this haunt BOTH Universities, and more importantly the players who gave every effort they possibly could in order to achieve their goal. It is just too bad that the officials responsible to insure the fairist contest didn't feel the same way.
This isn’t about the game played in Orergon last Saturday and laying BLAME on one individual specifically. This isn’t about the 2006 season. This isn’t even about OU. This is about the credibility of College Football and its falling reputation. This isn't the WWE. I can handle losing a game against the any team, but does the sport we love have to suffer in the process?! Duck fans, this is your loss too, Pac 10 fans, this is your loss too, College Football fans, this is your loss too!
The more information that comes out each day about this, the more it smells.
Addendum (5:18 09/19/06)
This is from the WEBSITE that supplies both the Pac 10 and the Big 12 their 'replay equipment'.
"Also, we set up a recording device so they can later review the reviewers (watch the clips they watched so they can see how the monitors came to their decision)"
If I am this replay official, and what he has said is true. Then I would be demanding that these tapes be made public or at the very least, reviewed by BOTH universities and let them make public statements.
and that way there is no doubt or it truly was 'clitch', and no need for this guys