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NCAA issues clear replay protocols after Pac-12 VP usurps replay official

Pac-12 Commissioner, Larry Scott, admits “mistake” in replay protocol.



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In light of a Pac-12 senior vice president stepping in to over-rule the centralized replay center in a game earlier this year, Steve Shaw, NCAA football rules committee secretary-editor, and Rogers Redding, national coordinator of football officials, have notified game officials that the replay official is the final authority in upholding or overruling a call on the field.

This comes after Woodie Dixon, Pac-12 general counsel and senior vice president for business affairs, called the Pac-12 centralized replay center in San Francisco and overruled a targeting foul on a USC player.

That news shocked the college football officiating world and damaged the Pac-12’s officiating credibility.

Yahoo Sports reports that Larry Scott, Pac-12 commissioner, in remarks delivered at a preseason basketball media availability, said on Thursday that the conference “made a mistake” in replay protocol. Yahoo reporter Pete Thamel quoted Scott saying, “We mixed administrative oversight and leadership with real-time replay review calls made by experts on the field, in the stadium, and in the command center. Moreover, we’ve allowed for ambiguity about who’s got the final call and who makes the ultimate decisions in replay review.”

Bill Richardson, Pac-12 replay coordinator, will advise on replay officials on rulings without any outside influence — which aligns with the NCAA national directive for centralized replay coordinators.

This addresses the immediate credibility issue brought on by the Pac-12 revelations. There is no word yet if the Pac-12 will take any further action in light of this public relations black eye. Neither Richardson nor David Coleman, the director of officiating for the conference, have commented publicly on the situation or any corrective action.

Mark Schultz is a high school football official, freelance writer and journalist. He first became interested in officiating when he was six years old, was watching a NFL game with his father and asked the fateful question, "Dad, what are those guys in the striped shirts doing?"