In wake of Pac-12 'mistake,' other Power Five conferences confident in their replay procedures

Nick Bromberg

As the Pac-12 makes changes and launches a review after a “mistake” in its instant-replay process during a game between Washington State and USC, the four other Power Five conferences are confident in their replay review procedures.

Yahoo Sports reached out to the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC on Thursday after revealing Wednesday night that a Pac-12 executive overruled a targeting call in the Sept. 21 game. While officials on the field and in the Pac-12’s instant replay command center both ruled that Washington State LB Logan Tago’s hit on USC QB J.T. Daniels was both targeting and roughing the passer, Pac-12 senior vice president Woodie Dixon disagreed. He called into the replay center and overruled the call, which was changed to roughing the passer without a targeting penalty. Because there was no targeting, Tago stayed in the game.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott called the decision and its process a “mistake” on Thursday and said conference officials will no longer have any role in the decision-making process. Scott also said the conference would be launching a review after the conference had “allowed for ambiguity about who’s got the final call and who makes the ultimate decisions in replay review.”

The ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC say there is no such ambiguity in their conference’s replay decision-making. The SEC said its three replay officials were the only ones in its video command center who interact with the official in charge of instant replay at the stadium.

“Since the SEC began using the collaborative replay process in 2016 it has operated consistent with NCAA rules which allow only for a replay official to reverse a ruling based on video evidence,” a conference statement said. “The SEC has no conference personnel that participate in the decision-making process. The SEC has three fully trained instant replay officials in the video center that collaborate with the instant replay official in the stadium. The instant replay official in the stadium has final authority to overturn or confirm/stand an officiating call on the field.”

A spokesperson for the ACC told Yahoo Sports the conference was “confident” in its replay decision-making.

“There is no staff involvement outside of our officiating coordinator, those that are trained in officiating replay, and our replay coordinator in the decision-making process,” Big 12 associate commissioner Bob Burda told Yahoo Sports.

Those three conferences, along with the Pac-12, have collaborative replay systems where replay officials are stationed in a video center and monitor any calls that need to be reviewed. The Big Ten has instant replay officials stationed at each game and those officials work with the officials on the field for replay calls.

“We believe strongly in the value of well-trained officials on the field, complemented by consistent, in-stadium replay review with strong procedural controls and accountability for those individuals trained and hired as independent contractors to fulfill these responsibilities,” Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement. “We think it’s appropriate for conference officiating staffs to oversee in-stadium officiating and review processes, however, communicating, influencing or otherwise directing officiating decisions from the conference office, in our view, adds little-to-no value, while raising issues of substance and perception. We have made a policy decision based on communication with our institutions, and after considerable thought, not to engage in this third level of review for the aforementioned reasons.”

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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