Time for Change: Replay Rules Need Tweeking

Matthew SmithCorrespondent INovember 8, 2009

CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 07:  A referee stands in the middle of four penalty flags that were all thrown on the same play during a rivalry game between the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels at Kenan Stadium on November 7, 2009 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Look, not everyone liked when the NCAA implemented replay several seasons ago, and now those people may have a legitimate case for change.

I am not saying remove replay from football, because I believe it is a good thing to have in all sports for the most part. I suggest a change to the system of how the replay works.

Right now, if a play is reviewed, a replay official, looks at the play and relays that call down to the referee on the football field. There are several examples that I could use, but I will use the one I saw most recently in the LSU-Alabama game from last night.

In the fourth quarter with LSU trailing by six, Patrick Peterson intercepted a Bama pass, but was ruled out of bounds on the field.

The play was reviewed in the booth. The replay CLEARLY (indisputably) showed Peterson got not one, but both feet in with possession of the football.

Instead of overturning the ruling on the field, the replay official said that Peterson did not catch the ball in-bounds. This is clearly not the correct call, which is why I request a change to the same system the NFL uses.

Why doesn't the NCAA make the official on the field look at the play, and use his judgement to make the correct call. The referee on the field was shown a divot made by Peterson in-bounds, but could not say anything because the decision was not in his hands.

If the referee could have seen the replay along with knowing about the divot, he could have made the correct call and possibly changed the outcome of the game.

Of course the NFL still has a replay booth, and I don't suggest the NCAA get rid of its, but everyone knows that, "two heads are better than one."

I hate that the NCAA is becoming more and more like the NFL, but this is necessary, because the NFL system works, and the NCAA system doesn't. Plain and simple.

It is time for change.