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They're At It Again


I'm sorry I missed that, I left my glasses at home.

The all wise sages at the NCAA with seemingly nothing else better to do are at it again. In their quest to always be searching for a "new and improved" version of college football rules, the NCAA announced Thursday that they will be conducting a year long study into whether instant replay calls should be decided on the field, or by an objective technical reviewer in the production booth.

This time though, the genesis for the investigation comes at the behest of John Marinatto, the Commissioner of the Big East Conference. Seems Marinatto wants the college rules to be more in line with the National Football League. Most folks do not see any problem with the Big East doing just that. After all every conference has the latitude to establish some of their own rules, including rules that goveren instant replay.

At the present time, none of the college football conferences have an NFL style rule regarding replay. Therefore in the college ranks, the decisions are up to the officials in the booth (who are suppose to act as impartial and unbiased arbitrator-judges). By contrast the NFL requires that the referee on the field review the replay and make the decision.

Does anyone besides me see a possible conflict of interest here? At least in some cases, allowing the guys on the field to police their own calls is akin to allowing the larcenist to pass judgement on whether or not he made the right or wrong decisions with his actions. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not calling anyone a thief. But the reason you have someone else make the call is simple, it's difficult for any of us to be an impartial judge of our own actions.

If it's so important for The Big East to have plays reviewed by the very guys on the field, whose calls are in question, then I say go for it. If the status quo is such a problem for the Big East, they could easily fix the situation in house. Let them pass their own replay rule change and if it works great, then maybe the rest of us can see the validity of the NCAA placing that requirement on a national scale.

Some reading this may be asking " What about inter-conference play? My first reaction to that is "Who cares?" But that is only because I have been getting a little frustated recently in what I see as NCAA meddling and nickpicking in areas they should just leave alone. Never the less, a possible answer might be for the conferences to use a version of the DH rule, that Major League Baseball has in place for the World Series. For example, if Syracuse played North Carolina, they could use the Big East rules one year and the ACC rules the next. If they only played a one game series, then the issue would be decided when the contract is signed.

If the Big East wants to be a mini NFL when it comes to rules governing their league, so be it. However, they shouldn't force their opinion on everyone else. As for the NCAA's interest in the matter, do we really want the blind to lead the blind? Their passing of an excessive celebration rule and it's enforcement by some refs, have demonstrated how unfair some of their 'newer rules' were applied just this past season.

College football is big time business, it needs to have some regulatory agency making sure evey one plays by the rules. The NCAA is and has been that agency. But why do the NCAA suits keep muddying the water, tweaking the rules, and making moves that allow the refs more influence over the outcome of the games? Why can't they allow the rules to be fixed unless there is some valid or pressing reason to make a change? Maybe somebody needs to justify drawing a paycheck.

Maybe not, but it appears that for whatever reason ... they're at it again.