Thursday night’s Big 12 showdown between Iowa State and Texas came down to the wire, with the Longhorns pulling out a desperately needed road victory, 31-30.
However, most watching the game both in Jack Trice Stadium and at home believe coach Mack Brown’s squad never should have had the chance to score the go-ahead touchdown with less than a minute left. On the game-winning drive, it appeared that running back Johnathan Gray fumbled the ball away and into the hands of Cyclones linebacker Jeremiah George.
Upon review, the ruling that Gray was down before he lost the ball was upheld. ISU coach Paul Rhoads was understandably livid, and ranted about it during his postgame press conference.
Not even 24 hours later, the Big 12 has issued a statement regarding the non-fumble. The league’s supervisor of football officials, Walt Anderson, defended the replay official’s ruling. He basically stated there wasn’t indisputable video evidence to overturn the ruling made on the field.
“The ruling made on the goal line play was that the runner was down by rule with the ball,” said Anderson in the statement. “Because of that ruling, instant replay is allowed to review the play, which it did. Had the ruling on the field been forward progress, the play would not be reviewable because the goal line was not involved. The Replay Official looked at all five views available for this play: Line Feed, Goal Line cart, Press Box angle, Sky Cam, and Opposite End Zone camera. He correctly determined there was no indisputable video evidence to confirm that either the ruling on the field was correct, or that the ball was loose prior to the runner being down. By rule when there is not indisputable video evidence to confirm or change the call on the field, the ruling stands.
“On this play, the covering official ruled the runner was down and still had control of the ball. There is no question the runner ends up on the ground, and there is no question that eventually an Iowa State player ends up with the ball. However, after reviewing the video evidence it is impossible to tell with certainty when the runner loses control of the ball and at that point was he down or not.
“The conference would acknowledge in this unique situation if a mistake were made, but we do not have the video evidence to prove that one occurred.”
What are your thoughts on the statement?