More officiating goodness

While you’re stewing over the Penalty (if I capitalized the Celebration, I might as well do the same thing for that), check out this clean hit that concluded the Notre Dame-Washington game (h/t EDSBS)…

and compare it to this incredibly flagrant violation by Reshad Jones in the OSU game.

Not that it’ll ever happen – there are too many little fiefdoms to be protected – but the NCAA ought to insist on a central officiating body for all of D-1.  There’s simply too much at stake in some cases to justify the almost random application of the rule book that we see from week to week.


UPDATE: Count Vince Dooley in the break-a-few-eggs-to-make-an-omelet school of thought with regard to the excessive celebration rule.

“Over a long period of time, it’s done well,” Dooley said. “There is too much individualism. It’s a team game. It’s hard for these guys because they see what the NFL players are doing on Sunday. I think it’s controlled college football for 15 years. The rule is good. It hurts when it goes against you, and it’s great when it goes for you.”

If only A.J. would quit watching so much damned TV and focus more on being the best player he could be, things never would have come to what they did Saturday night.


UPDATE #2: And if you really want to get pissed off, make sure you watch this version of AJ’s catch.


UPDATE #3: Oh no, he di’int!

The excessive celebration penalty against Georgia’s A.J. Green late in Saturday’s game with LSU should not have been called, the SEC supervisor of officials has told

Rogers Redding, the SEC supervisor of officials, said Monday that after reviewing video of the play, “I’ve concluded that it was one that we probably should have let go.”

Probably. So I guess he’s not completely sure. But they feel terrible.

“We tell our guys not to go looking for this stuff but if it’s right in your face, you have to call it,” Redding said. “He (the SEC official) is beating himself up pretty bad over this one.”

I’m guessing there are more than a few folks who would be happy to pitch in if he needs help.

Look, it’s not like this guy missed a crucial call. I can understand feeling ripped up inside about something like that. But he made this one up. I’ve got no sympathy.


UPDATE #4: Back to Dooley

Vince’s verdict on the attempt to curtail celebration: “It’s good for college football, even though there were times when it hurt me …  But I can defend it when people say, ‘It’s a stupid rule.’ “

With all due respect, you’re missing the point, Coach.  It’s not a stupid rule.  It’s a rule that’s applied stupidly.


Filed under College Football, The NCAA

31 responses to “More officiating goodness

  1. SilverDawgFrank

    Well, I’ll be damned. What a great idea, Senator.

    Suppose even a blind Dawg finds a bone now and then.


  2. Dboy

    Perfect senator. I noticed the same thing. Please NCAA consistency!!! Thanks for the post.


  3. Dboy

    I saw the ESPN highlight rhat showed the players fall / recover, and the reciever clearly had a concussion. (I’m very familiar with these things by profession). Should have been a penalty, and was a truly dangerous hit.


  4. Dog in Fla

    The SEC refs Monday morning special teams debriefing and assignments meeting, 5 October 2009.

    Head ref to LSU v. Georgia crew: “Excellent work! You’ve made The SEC, Mike the Tiger and some parts of Vegas proud but other parts not so proud.”

    LSU v. Georgia crew: “We did our best, thanks. We feel that everything we do is right even when it’s wrong. Our motto is that is that if you can affect the game, just do it! That’s what we’re there for. How can it be entertainment without us?”

    Straws drawn and the short-strawed Georgia v. Tennessee crew talks among themselves:

    “Okay, keep your spirits up.”
    “Why can’t we do the night game in Baton Rouge when everybody except us is wasted?”
    “Because it’s more dangerous than Mardi Gras.”
    “Maybe year after next.”
    “Okay. Let’s not worry about that game. Who do we go after first in our game, Evil Richt or Lane?”
    “Who do you want to go after first?”
    “Doesn’t really matter as long as the calls even out.”
    “Are you sure?”
    “No, but who cares?”
    “The players?”
    “They can’t say. Gag order.”
    “The coaches?”
    “They can’t say. Gag order.”
    “Who knows?”
    “Who cares who we go after first?”
    “All right then, which one of us is responsible for flagging every special teams play?”
    “No, me, I want it!”
    “This game starts too early.”
    “Who is going to throw flags on touchdown plays?”
    “Okay. All of us will.”
    “Go home. Get some rest. Ice your throwing arms and shoulders.”
    “We’ll meet up Friday night just to go over this plan again so no one forgets.”
    “Why don’t we just pull an all-nighter because the game starts so early?”
    “Don’t forget to bring your Oakleys.”
    “Who do we punish more, Evil Richt or Lane?”
    “Don’t worry about it. We’ll punish them the same amount.”
    “Who cares? It’s a Saturday morning.”
    “If it’s Saturday morning, is there still a penalty for bringing the wood?”
    “Only if you can call it on Georgia. That’s been a longstanding tradition in The SEC.”
    “Bringing the wood is always a penalty against Georgia but never against any team that knocks a Georgia player unconscious.”
    “That’s just the way it is.”
    “Okay, let me see, if EB KO’s a Georgia player, no penalty but if Reshad Jones KO’s a Tennessee player, automatic personal foul penalty and if you think you can get by with it, and you can because it’s Neyland, eject him.”
    “And if Reshad celebrates add on another 15 yards for excessive celebration. Make it cumulative. Make it hurt.”
    “Can we penalize Cox for having red hair?”
    “No. That’s discrimination. Can’t penalize him for hair color but keep a close eye on where you want the tackle box to be so you can penalize him for intentional grounding.”
    “Can we penalize A.J. because he is too good?”
    “Yes, but don’t call it that, call it excessive celebration.”
    “I thought we only penalized Georgia for excessive celebration when they scored a touchdown.”
    “With Georgia, there is always an exception to the rule. Remember that and you’ll do just fine.”
    “Why is what Reshad does a penalty on Georgia but not a penalty for an Auburn, an Oklahoma State or a Notre Dame player when they KO somebody?”
    “Has an opposing team ever been penalized for knocking out a Georgia player? Of course not, it’s a contact sport.”
    “That’s just the way it is. Stop worrying about it and asking so many questions.”
    “But won’t it adversely effect Georgia?”
    “Of course it will. That’s the whole point!”
    “What if Evil Richt complains?”
    “Automatic 15 yard penalty for being out of the coaches’ box and not respecting his elders.”
    “What if he’s older?”
    “Don’t worry about the details.”
    “Can we red card Evil Richt?”
    “Don’t worry about it. Wrong sport and we’re making his life miserable enough as it right now anyway. He’d probably like to get ejected but we want him to stay around so he can watch what’s happening to Georgia in person and not have to go to the tape.”
    “Wait a minute, if we call it laying the lumber, bringing the wood and excessive celebration can we penalize Georgia 45 yards?”
    “No. As much as we would like to, laying the lumber and bringing the wood is a distinction without a difference as of yet anyway but the home office is trying to get us cleared for even that one but just for use against Georgia.”
    “What about Lane?”
    “Penalize his ass, too.”
    “But the primary target is Evil Richt.”
    “Why do we have to do this game?”
    “Because we drew the short straw.”
    “Besides this is our intro music and these are our special retro uniforms so it will make it all worthwhile. Especially for Evil Richt and Lane.”


  5. Chuck

    Maybe we should just play flag football. 😡


  6. D.N. Nation

    OK, some mainstream voices in college football are saying it, so I’ll say it.



  7. “Any delayed, excessive, prolonged or choreographed act by which a player (or players) attempts to focus attention upon himself (or themselves)”

    So by that definition one could argue that scoring a touchdown is deserving of a flag.


  8. SCDawg

    Reshad has one foot only about an inch above the ground on that hit. The ND tackler had both feet at least a foot off the ground.

    So much for race or racial stereotypes.


  9. keith

    I am disappointed to read Dooleys comments. I guess because he was a proponent of the rule, he has to stand behind it.

    Just total BS though.


  10. Left to Right

    Wonder if coach Dooley could define “jiving” for us?

    Or does he just know it when he sees it?


  11. HVL Dawg

    Dooley = attention grabbing whore. Flag him.

    He has no official capacity and should not be making comments.


  12. SilverDawgFrank

    No, flag Barbara. Seen and heard her do some taunting.


  13. Of course Dooley would say that; he was the chair of the NCAA rules committee when that rule was put in.

    I’m patiently waiting for this crew to get a Florida game or two so that I can see Tebow get flagged 20 times for 300 yards in penalties for his excessive celebrations, which typically occur after a 7 yard run on 3rd and 4. By the standard used by this crew, I don’t really see how the Florida offense could ever move forward down the field on any given drive.


  14. Legatedawg

    With all respect to our revered former Head Coach and AD, his is an exceedingly wrong-headed statement, composed in equal measure of stubbornness and stupidity in refusing to see what his brain-child has turned in to over the past decade and a half. And he should recall as well as anyone else that the original purpose was to get rid of outrageous TAUNTING of the other team.


  15. Re: Update #4 — No, it is a stupid rule. Let me count the reasons why:

    1. Because, as Spencer Tillman noted, it enables a ref to legislate on the field (which is not his job), rather than merely enforce legislation (which is his job).

    2. Because it is, by definition, subjective. That is, unless there’s a uniform definition for “excessive” that I’m unaware of. Just about every other penalty is binary in nature:

    Either he was off-sides or he wasn’t.
    Either he grabbed the facemask or he didn’t.
    Either he led with his helmet, or he didn’t.

    In each of those instances, at the very least, 10 people can look at the action on replay and likely arrive at the same conclusion. Not so with excessive celebration. Even today, after his boss conceded that it was a bad call, that ref could look at the video in #2 and still think AJ’s actions were excessively celebratory.

    3. Due to the subjective nature of the rule and the steepness of the penalty, it places any closely contested game squarely in the officials’ hands, and thus renders an amateur game ripe for corruption. Maybe the unfair application is a product of racism, either consciously or subconsciously. Maybe it’s anti-Georgia bias by a bunch of Tech grad refs, again either consciously or unconsciously. In the end, the nature of the bias doesn’t really matter. The problem is that the rule itself is a tool that enables a ref to exercise his biases and to do so capriciously and unaccountably. Ergo, it’s stupid.

    4. Who is hurt by excessive celebrations? You lead with your helmet and risk killing an opposing player, then, yes, 15 yards is fully justified and then some. What are we protecting with excessive celebration penalties? People’s feelings? 15 yards because feelings might’ve been hurt? Really? Again, stupid.

    5. Because it overcompensates. If you want to target taunting, fine. Call it taunting, and we can all pretty easily tell if the action is being directed at the opposing team or its fans, a la Sturdivant and the Gators in ’07. But nothing about what Charles, Green or Scott did had anything to do with the opposition, and yet they’re thrown in the same bucket as Sturdivant.

    I’m just getting warmed up, so let me know if you need me to continue, or if this is enough to go on.


  16. D.N. Nation

    Who is hurt by excessive celebrations?

    A: Urban Meyer and Les Miles’ precious, precious feelings. Someone break out the smelling salts.


  17. Hackerdog

    Richt should tell the refs that this will forevermore be a big deal.


  18. Ben Rockwell

    Why has no one said that such a call set up the possibility for LSU to score a go-ahead TD therefore setting up a Top 5 showdown in Baton Rouge next week? Also, folks keep talking about the call on AJ, but it doesn’t seem folks are talking about the call on Orson Charles earlier in the game.


  19. Don’t you guys see what just happened. Redding set up his guys to give timmy and his gator chomp free reign. After this “horrible, gutaching” mistake the ref made(according to Redding) they have all the justification they need to go completely lax on the rule the rest of the season. Especially for timmy the snipper.


    • Legatedawg

      Well, not reeeeally. He told David Hale today that he considered the call against Green to have been wrong (and invoked everyone’s sympathy for his porr little scumbag of an official, “He’s just beating himself up over this”). But he said that the calls on Orson Charles AND on LSU’s Charles Scott were justified. Scott, as I recall, simply raised his hands with index fingers pointed to the sky and said today that he did not intend to taunt anyone, he was just giving praise to Jesus. While I myself am not a religious man, I am certainly willing to respect the faith and beliefs of others, and I’ve seen this gesture often enough – UNpenalized – to believe him. Tebow’s antics, which have gone uncalled for three seasons now – are FAR more over-the-top and could not remotely be construed as any type of religious gesture. So it will be very interesting indeed to see what happens this weekend if he is cleared to play and indulges in his customary behaviour the first time he gets 5 yards for a first down.


  20. Rocketdawg

    What I want to know (and I was at the game so I don’t know if it was shown on TV or not) is why after LSU’s first TD (made the score 12-7) when one of their O lineman looked like he was auditioning for “So you think you can dance” there was no flag thrown. This A-hole was over about the 5 yard line in front of the students jumping up and down and acting like he was a WWE wrestler or something. This was after the Orson Charles penalty so it wasn’t like the seal hadn’t been broken already.

    Total and complete bullshit if you ask me……


  21. Daniel

    This is so easy. There is a gray area, but one side of the gray area is almost entirely inconsequential. Here’s how you do it:

    Err on the side of no-call.


    If you call celebration when there is none, you can ruin a game. If you fail to call celebration when it might be excessive, there is absolutely no consequence whatsoever.

    What possible downside could this have?


  22. bobafet7

    Brando’s out for Blood and I can’t seem to let this go

    hopefully they will take it out on the Vols


  23. keith

    The call on Orson Charles was actually a fair call. He was drawing attention to himself and that is outlined in the rule. He has done this a couple of times on long passes. Why celebrate the play? It’s not like it won a game or anything. It was just a long pass that he caught. Heck, it wasn’t even a TD. Act like you have been there before. But, if you are going to flag OC, then you have to start flagging Tebow and everybody else on the Gators that do the chomp.

    And the flag on AJ was pure BS.


  24. john

    Why are people even concerned with what Vince Dooley thinks anymore? He’s starting to remind me of Jimmy Carter . . .


  25. Dienekes Dawg

    Gene hit on the head: this “apology” by the SEC officials is now a free pass for Tim Tebow and everybody else UGA faces to celebrate as much as they want. They have taken away Mark Richt’s ability to argue for equal treatment during games. However, the effect on UGA players will last most likely through this season and perhaps beyond. Do you think Orson will forget about this when he his a junior?


  26. 69Dawg

    If Redding does not have a conflict of interest then there has never been one. No ref from a participating school can ref a game because of the per se conflict but the head of officials can be from our most hated opponent and it’s ok. This is madness and Redding should be fired. He should have never been given the job in the first place. Bobby Gaston, a Tech grad had overseen a long history of screwing us (Jasper Shanks non fumble comes to mind) sure he suspended the crew but we lost the damn game and Tech won. To add insult to injury Gaston hand picked his successor Redding another Tech guy and the SEC sees nothing wrong with it. We are not alone in our suffering Ala and Auburn long big rivals of GT also get the treatment from Redding’s minions. The Revenge of the Nerds is never pretty.

    In closing screw Redding and the horse he rode in on.


  27. 1. This video added 20 points to my blood pressure. It is the first absolutely exonerating evidence I have seen. And Redding says his guy “probably should have let it go.” Probably? Holy $&@#! Is there any question… at all?

    Dooley needs to acknowledge the truth… the rule was enacted because of Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin. What those guys were doing in the late 80’s was the borderline similar to what Terrell Owens has been doing for the past 10 years. They would taunt and draw attention to themselves in the extreme. What is getting flagged now is teenagers’ justified exuberance. Why? Utter horse crap!


  28. Correction… most excessive celebration flags I have seen were merely justified teenage exuberance. AJ Green didn’t even behave exuberantly. He was as calm and subdued as anyone could be under the same circumstances. In other words… if you wanted to find a video to show kids how to “Act like you have been there before”… this would be a perfect example. Hey Redding… There’s your “teachable moment” you freaking moron!