How high does the body count have to get before the SEC does something about the integrity of its officiating? You don't need to be a graduate of Mike Slive's vaunted "accountability program" to know the crew that "officiated" the UGA/LSU game and the ARK/UF game could screw up a one car funeral.
Like the LSU game, this blunder wasn't what the legal profession calls "harmless error." The penalty, which the SEC concedes is not supported by any video evidence, gave the Gators the ball on the Arkansas 10-yard line. On the next play they tied the score at 20.
Tony Barnhart adds his voice to the call for a serious discussion about officiating. To his credit, he quickly dismisses conspiracy theories that the SEC is purposefully trying to help its unbeaten teams stay alive. He blames the league's philosophy instead.
I’m talking about a mindset. It’s the same mindset that looked at A.J. Green’s incredible catch and celebration with his teammates and thought SOMETHING had to be called. It’s the mindset looked at LSU’s Charles Scott, looking briefly to the stands after a touchdown run, and thought SOMETHING had to be called.Accountability starts at the top. If Rogers Redding worked for me, I'd call him into my office for a critical evaluation of his job performance. Whatever curative steps Redding took in the wake of the UGA/LSU game were demonstrably ineffective. Does he have a plan to fix the problem? "If it's not there don't call it" is not guidance. It's a meaningless platitude.
As someone who watched college football for a long time, there seems to be an attitude that officials are more concerned about NOT calling stuff. It seems to me that when in doubt, you DON’T throw the flag. To me, it’s much worse to call something that is NOT there than fail to call something that MIGHT be there.
The integrity of the league has been called into question twice in the same month, and Mike Slive needs to take affirmative, public action to assure players, coaches and fans from each of the SEC member schools that the SEC is committed to having officiating commensurate with league's reputation for high quality competition.
Could Lil' Natch really be any worse?