The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) suspended the officiating crew from this past Saturday’s Miami and Duke game. Despite the fact that the replay review rules were in effect, the entire crew managed to get the call wrong including the replay official.
This particular mistake could cost the Duke Blue Devils a chance at the ACC championship game. This also gives Duke a second loss this season, which guarantees the will have no shot at making the College Football Playoff. This single play could cost them more than that, including the prestige of having top recruits see them challenging for a national championship.
The ACC issued a statement concerning the final play of the game, and they also explained who was suspended and the reasoning behind it according to ESPN.
Replay official Andrew Panucci should have ruled Miami back Mark Walton was down before releasing the ball on one of the laterals. If the proper call had been made, the game would have ended in a Duke victory.
The on-field officials failed to penalize Miami for an illegal block in the back at the Miami 16-yard line. If called, the ball would have been placed at the Miami 8-yard line and the game would have been extended for an untimed down.
David Cutcliffe, the head coach for Duke, raised a particularly interesting question following his team’s defeat. Should his team be rewarded a victory? Have we gotten to a point where the stakes are so high when an error like this occurs that nothing is off the table? If a replay can be used to determine the outcome of the game, should we use it?
Cutcliffe seems to think so, and according to him, a “multitude” coaches that have reached out to him and agreed.
Unfortunately there is no mechanism that I know of in place to reverse an outcome of a game. I do believe there should be. If we’re going to use instant replay… All this occurred after everything had happened on the field. What instant replay is in place for is to get it right, and we did not get it right.
At least twice this year, Major League Baseball (MLB) apologized to teams for the replay official missing calls that potentially cost these teams their games. In May, MLB issued an apology to the Dodgers for a missed call. A ball clearly hit the ground in an up close replay. Yet, the replay official determined there wasn’t evidence to overturn it.
The second replay whiff occurred in a June game involving the Kansas City Royals and the Cleveland Indians. On what looked to be a routine double play, Jose Ramirez of the Indians was called safe at first. Understandably, to the naked eye, the play was close. However, with replay, everyone in the stadium saw that Ramirez was clearly out.
This begs the question of how far can we take this. Television has in place sensors that can locate every pitch a pitcher throws in baseball. Do we let replay in on balls and strikes even? If that is the case, why pay umpires the hefty salaries they are being paid?
It is easy to make the case that referees and umpires should be present just to keep order, but what do you think? Do umpires and referees need to take a backseat to replays? As far as the leagues go, do you think it should be possible to award a team like Duke the game after the teams go home? There is no easy answer to when and where replay should be used. The only sure thing is this will not be the last time the question is asked.
[Photo by ACC]