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Sprints Isn't Afraid to Mix It Up with Officials // 10.28.09

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OFFICIATING CONTROVERSY

That's easy for him to say
Nick Saban has leapt to the defense of the SEC's officials, which has nothing at all to do with the fact that he won Saturday.

"I've been in other leagues and in bowl games," Saban said, "and our officials do a marvelous job here. Are they perfect? No. Do they make everything perfect? Probably not. None of us do. But the spirit of making corrections should be done through the proper channels in the SEC office."

Either that, or you can always do what the Coachbot does -- incinerate difficult officials with your laser-beam eyes.

Spurrier's the model of restraint?
On the officiating brouhaha, yes.

"Yeah, our referees have struggled a little bit lately," Spurrier said, adding the Gamecocks have turned in "a bunch" of missed calls to the league office. "But when you win the game you don't worry about it too much." ...

"I think (Redding) does a super job. I'm not sure his referees do as good a job as Rogers does right now," Spurrier said. "They're going through a little difficulty. I don't know the answers to all that, (other than) to say I think they're trying to get it right."

South Carolina is actually handling missed calls the way you're supposed to -- with the SEC central office. But where's the fun in that?

He is learning that discretion is the better part of valor
Boy Wonder defers on the topic of his reprimand.

"As hard as it is for me to do, I’m not getting into it," Kiffin said with a grin. "I’d like to."

Mike Slive is watching you.

Redding on the Florida 'touchdown'

And then if the video review conclusively, 100 percent, absolutely, no uncertainty, takes you to say 'No, that's wrong', then you overturn it. And so the replay official felt like, and I feel like having looked at the video, that there just — you can see some shots and you can put together some things that make it possibly look like, but if you listen to the language people are using — 'Well, I think that was a fumble' or 'I think that was a touchdown' or 'It looked like to me that —', and that's not good enough.

One more time: The hand goes backward and the ball is in it. When the hand crosses the goal line, the ball is not there. I don't know how much more definitive you can get. I don't think it was a fumble; it was a fumble.

Private executions are much better
National coordinator of college officials David Parry -- who I must say is doing a heck of a job -- isn't happy with this whole idea of "public accountability."

Officials are evaluated by their conferences every week and it is not uncommon for them to be penalized for poor performances, Parry said. But usually the punishment is doled out behind close doors and not announced to the media.

"They are held accountable," said Parry, who was Big Ten coordinator of football officials for 19 years before being hired by the NCAA as the first national coordinator in 2007.

The point here is that private accountability isn't really accountability at all, because we as fans don't know when bad calls are being handled correctly or not. Good ole boy punishment is the opposite of accountability. And when players are almost getting their heads ripped off -- as in the Southern Cal game -- a message has to be sent loud enough so that everyone hears it.

Fire the refs
Barnhart would have the conferences "get out of the officiating business." If nothing else, it might force some fans to put away their tin foil hats.

Hire the refs
Ching says it's time to make officiating a full-time job.

FLORIDA-GEORGIA

Florida defense healing
Given the performance of the Georgia offense in recent weeks, I can't imagine this is good news for the Dawgs.

Even though it's cooler for for you?
Alligator Army argues for removing the Florida-Georgia game from Jacksonville, though by his comments about traffic I can say mlmintampa has obviously never driven through Gwinnett County en route to Athens.

It won't happen any time soon
A new deal that would extend the neutral-site game to 2016 is "coming down to legalese," says a Georgia official.

Is it Urban Meyer's fault?
This is either honesty or an attempt to throw himself under the bus.

On Monday, Meyer indicated that he has changed plays or allowed for change during the course of a game, which, in his opinion, has affected the Gators production in the red zone. ...

"We have to hold to the plan," Meyer said. "Sometimes we're making a call that's not on the call sheet and that's my fault. We're going to stick to the call sheet."

It's plausible; if there's anyone who would be willing and able to call unplanned plays from his head that draw on Tim Tebow's perceived strengths, it would be the guy who came up with the playbook to begin with and who believes Tebow is one of the best of all time.

OTHER NEWS

Kiffin likes Spurrier
Boy Wonder says nice things about the opposing coach this weekend -- and still appears to not realize the difference between doing something before firing your verbal darts and just firing your verbal darts. (Then there's the whole thing about being flat wrong.)

Kiffin admitted to laughing at some of the South Carolina coach's legendary verbal digs at the Volunteers.

"I think he's hilarious. I think he always has been," Kiffin said. "I think the way that he acts is great for football and it's great for the league." ...

"But I guess we're not supposed to do those anymore."

It's progress of a sort, I suppose.

Pumping gas?
Moe Brown thinks that's unlikely.

"I didn't find much humor in that at all. Actually, I took it kind of personally," Brown said Tuesday. "I'm a South Carolina native, as well as a student here at the University of South Carolina. I'm a 3.2 finance/marketing major, and I feel I'm very intelligent. The last thing I'm going to be doing is pumping some gas after I get through at the university here."

For the record: Yes, Kiffin said it. The coach's defense -- essentially, I'm too young to have even thought of that quip -- doesn't work when the player who supposedly made it up is half his age.

Don't Bet On It!: Around the SEC
The Mayor tackles the non-Cocktail games this week.

Dez Bryant ineligible until 2010
It doesn't appear that Oklahoma State will face the possibility of vacating the Georgia win, though the article doesn't specifically say that.

Police nab suspect in killing of Jasper Howard
ALLEGED ALLEGED ALLEGED -- the man's name is John William Lomax III, but again these are all allegations.

NCAA still subject to law
The Florida Supreme Court's ruling is the latest rejection of the Association's belief that it is above the law, though the NCAA is nothing if not persistent.