Three West Coast officials suspended for faulty video review

Updated: January 31, 2005, 11:58 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco coach Jessie Evans got little solace Monday from the decision by the West Coast Conference to suspend three officials for improperly using video replay to disallow a 3-pointer by the Dons in a key loss to Saint Mary's.

The WCC suspended Thomas Wood, Tom Spitznagel and Chad Johnson one game apiece for their mistake in San Francisco's 68-64 loss Sunday that cost the Dons a share of first place in the conference.

"There's no vindication; still a little frustration," Evans said. "It impacts the game, what can you say. That's not the first time the referees have missed a call. You just hope it doesn't happen to you."

San Francisco's Dommanic Ingerson made a 3-pointer midway through the first half, and the officials initially counted it. But 4 minutes later, the officials disallowed the basket after conducting a video review that showed Ingerson's shot came after the shot clock expired.

Jack Ditty, the conference's coordinator of men's basketball officiating, said officials are allowed to use video review only on shots at the halftime buzzer or the end of a game.

"That's what I tried to explain to (Wood)," Evans said. "He obviously thought he knew the rule better than I did. Obviously not, but we have to live with it."

The NCAA does not allow coaches to protest a game because of an improper interpretation of the rules, which left Evans with little option other than arguing with the officials.

"I don't have a problem with looking at the monitor as long as you look at it in the sequence of play," Evans said. "You can't wait 3{ or 4 minutes later and then go back and review the call. If that's the case, let's go back and review all controversial calls."

Evans said he thought the call over whether the shot got off in time was "debatable," although television replays appeared to show the ball was still in Ingerson's hands when the clock ran out.

Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said he questioned the call immediately and didn't know that officials weren't allowed to use replay at that juncture of the game. But he added that since the disputed call came so early in the contest, it probably didn't have a big effect on the outcome.

"You play the time and score," Bennett said. "We played that score for the entire second half. I just think that's what happens. Maybe my opinion would be totally different if it was on the other end."

San Francisco had a 36-27 lead at halftime, but Saint Mary's rallied for a four-point win to retain sole possession of first place in the conference. The Dons dropped to fourth place with the loss.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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