February 14, 2005
Instant replay in the NCAA

The NCAA has approved a framework for instant replay in football games.

College football appears to be embracing instant replay. The NCAA's Football Rules Committee endorsed expanded use of the concept Wednesday after the Big Ten Conference successfully tested replay in 57 games in league stadiums last season.

Use is restricted to the regular season. The rules committee weighed and opted against availability to bowls, in part because an officiating crew from a conference that didn't use replay could find itself working a postseason game that employs it.

How replay is used will be up to each conference. Unlike the NFL's version, which permits coaches to challenge officials' calls during a game, the Big Ten format left challenges solely to a press box observer monitoring a game's television broadcast. He called the on-field timer, who stopped play while the call was reviewed.

"Some of the conferences ... I think they would like to use the referee on the field in some way," said Ty Halpin, the NCAA's liaison to the rules committee. "It's a lot of pressure to put (solely) on a person who isn't on the field.

"What the committee would like to do, if not in 2006 then as soon as it can, is have one standardized system that everyone uses."

Leagues must submit their plans for the 2005 season by June 1. In the meantime, the broader use of replay must be approved by an NCAA oversight panel that meets Feb. 24.

Remember the last time the NCAA allowed conferences to experiment with new features? It was the precursor to the shot clock and 3-point line in men's basketball. I still remember the ACC's ridiculously short 17'9" three-point arc, which was closer in than the top of the key. Made for an interesting season, that's for sure.

Anyway. I'm not sure how they're going to resolve the issue of replay at non-televised games - do you force every stadium to buy cameras and hire operators? - but as I generally approve of the replay review option, I think this is worth a try. We'll see what they do with it.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 14, 2005 to Other sports | TrackBack

Anyway. I'm not sure how they're going to resolve the issue of replay at non-televised games - do you force every stadium to buy cameras and hireo perators?

This is one of my major concerns. If you have a clash of two so-called "mid-majors" where they have trouble getting the proposed 15,000 per game in the stands and operate on a shoestring budget, where's the money to operate the equipment and pay the additional crew going to come from?

Posted by: Tim on February 14, 2005 8:29 AM

Yeah, I definitely have some discomfort with the idea, simply because I fear change when it comes to sports. Tradition is usually the way to go in these instances, but replay is something I tend to support. There is no reason why anyone should be screwed over by a bad call and this can prevent such a situation.

Let's hope they find a way to change it without altering the game too much.

Posted by: Andrew D on February 14, 2005 3:27 PM

Just because a game isn't televised doesn't mean it's not being taped. I'm sure a lot of teams have their games recorded, which would mean the only issue would be how good the recording was and how quickly it was available for use by officials.

I'm torn. I like the idea in theory, but I can see it being an added expense that'll be hard for a lot of teams to pay for. The "have nots" shouldn't have to wonder if good officiating only goes to those who can afford it.

Posted by: Sue on February 14, 2005 9:20 PM