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Top SEC Ref Says Officials Handled The LSU-UT Game Correctly

SEC Coordinator of Officials Rogers Redding says the end of LSU-Tennessee game was handled correctly by league officials.

As we — and many, many others — have stated today, the rulebook does not state that the umpire has to hold up play for a long period of time before marking the ball ready for play.  In the officials’ view, Tennessee had time enough to get set.  With 13 men.

Just imagine if the umpire had stood over the ball and:

1.  Waited for Tennessee’s coaches to count their players.
2.  Waited for Tennessee’s coaches to signal two of those players off the field.
3.  Waited for those two Tennessee players to get off the field.

Time would have expired in the game and it would be LSU fans screaming today.

Also, according to The Baton Rouge Advocate, Redding said that flagging LSU center T-Bob Hebert for taking off his helmet at game’s end would have been “irresponsible.”  Vol fans have now viewed replays and found that Hebert’s helmet was removed a second before Tennessee recovered the errant snap.  Therefore, his helmet removal took place before the end of the game.

Again, can you imagine officials:

1.  Noting the helmet being taken off and the fact that it came off a second before the fumble was recovered (amid the chaos of those last seconds… as they tried to watch the ball)?

2.  Deciding a game based upon one player removing his helmet because he thought the game was over?

As we noted this morning, the league got enough bad press last year for impacting the outcome of a game with a bad celebration penalty tossed near the end of LSU’s contest with Georgia.  There was no way in the world they would have thrown a flag in that situation on Saturday.  Nor should they have.  If the refs negatively impacted that game in Athens, this offense — occurring on the final play of the game — would have been even worse.

Also, as we pointed out this morning, local television stations caught Tennessee players racing onto the field at game’s end and some of them tossed their helmets in celebration.

Now, some Big Orange fans believe that should be a case of live-ball foul on Hebert / dead-ball foul on the Vols… but I think it’s actually a case of common sense. 

To think that officials would change the outcome of a game based on one player tossing his helmet — because he thought the game was over — is downright silly.

And I’ll guarantee you this:

If Tennessee is knocking on the goal line next Saturday in Sanford Stadium and an umpire stands over the ball and allows the clock to run out as Georgia’s defenders run on and off the field, you can bet Vol fans will have a whole different view of this rule and how it should be enforced.

UPDATE — Redding appeared on Tony Barhart’s radio show today and said regarding the helmet toss: “We’re always going to all that immediate, initial, spontaneous burst of emotion.  These are teenagers that are playing a game that is very emotional.  It would be so technical and so over-officiating to have called anything like that at the very of the end of the game.”

On an interesting sidenote, four members of Saturday’s crew were among those suspended by the league last season.

 


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  1. [...] of all, as John Pennington notes, four of the officials on the field calling the LSU-Tennessee game were members of the Curles crew [...]



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