ACC makes call to use replay for '05 season

League will use system that Big Ten had in 2004

College Football

February 16, 2005|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

Feel like your favorite Atlantic Coast Conference football team was the victim of a bad call by the officials last season? If it happens again in 2005, you might want to hesitate before expressing your outrage. Upon further review, that call might be reversed.

The ACC announced yesterday that it will use instant replay next season, experimenting with a system similar to one the Big Ten used in 2004.

The proposal by the league's athletic directors was approved unanimously at the conference's winter meetings. The NCAA Football Rules Committee voted last week to allow conferences to use instant reply on an experimental basis for the 2005 season.

"I think it is a step in the right direction," said Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen, who experienced instant replay in the NFL during his four years as an assistant coach with the San Diego Chargers. "The more you can do to let the games be decided on the field without the possibility of human error, the better it is for the league."

Under the proposed system, coaches could not challenge calls like they do in the NFL, and teams would not lose a timeout if a ruling went against them. A technical adviser watching the game from the press box would notify officials on the field if he saw a questionable call, and then play would be stopped while the call was reviewed using video from the television broadcast.

"To me, the Super Bowl and its success with instant replay is the perfect example - they got it right, and that is what is most important," Friedgen said.

Not all decisions would be subject to review. The league said a call could only be overturned if there was "indisputable video evidence," and the system would be put in place mainly to review things like scoring plays, incomplete passes or too many men on the field.

Penalties like clipping, facemasking and other judgment calls would not be eligible for review. Against Clemson last season, Maryland cornerback Gerrick McPhearson was flagged for pass interference in the final minute of play, helping the Tigers eventually score the go-ahead touchdown. The league later apologized to Friedgen, admitting that the referee had incorrectly flagged McPhearson, but it's unlikely that call would have been reviewable under the new system.

ACC commissioner John Swofford said the league would consider making subtle adjustments allowed within NCAA guidelines.

"The system that was used by the Big Ten this past season received very positive reviews and had minimal impact on the flow and length of the games," Swofford said in a statement. "Everyone connected with college football, whether you are a fan, coach, player or official, wants a correct ruling on the field, and we believe that this is another step in the right direction of enhancing the quality of officiating and fair play."

The Big Ten used instant replay in 57 games last season, and 21 of the 43 calls that were reviewed were overturned.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

UM 2005 schedule

Date Opponent (TV) Time

Sept. 3 vs. Navy-a TBA

Sept. 10 Clemson TBA

Sept. 17 West Virginia TBA

Sept. 24 at Wake Forest TBA

Oct. 1 Virginia TBA

Oct. 8 at Temple TBA

Oct. 20 Virginia Tech (ESPN) 7:45 p.m.

Oct. 29 at Florida State TBA

Nov. 12 at North Carolina TBA

Nov. 19 Boston College TBA

Nov. 26 at N.C. State TBA

a-at M&T Bank Stadium

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