Upon further review, replay officials are inconsistent

October, 13, 2009
10/13/09
10:19
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller


It appears "irrefutable video evidence" is refutable. Until it isn't.

Pac-10 director of officials Dave Cutaia told the Arizona Daily Star that replay officials acted correctly when they allowed the game-winning interception return to stand in Washington's 36-33 win over Arizona on Saturday.

The discussion, mostly coming from the Arizona side of things, centers around whether Nick Foles' pass late in the fourth quarter hit the ground as it deflected off receiver Delashaun Dean's foot and into the hands of linebacker Mason Foster.

The meat of Ryan Finley's story:

Pac-10 rules dictate there must be "sufficient, viewable camera angles that provide undeniable proof that a correction to the call is necessary."

Cutaia said that standard was not met.

"It's harder than convicting in a criminal trial, in a way," said Cutaia, a retired police chief. "To convict, you need to convince 12 people that it's beyond a reasonable doubt. To overturn a call, it has to be beyond all doubt."

Cutaia conceded than an overturned first-quarter Washington fumble might have been incorrect because video replay did not prove enough to change it.

In other words, one set of standards -- the correct one -- was assiduously applied once. But not in another instance.

If any team can understand how Arizona feels it's Washington. The Huskies got jobbed by the inconsistent application of the replay booth -- or the non-use of it -- at Notre Dame.

What is most concerning about many of these cases of bad officiating, whether it's Oregon-Oklahoma in 2006, or Georgia-LSU this season, or the aforementioned two cases, is that the home team most frequently seems to benefit from the calls.

It might be complete coincidence, but a paranoid sort might wonder whether some officials are influenced by their environment.

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