Irrefutable means never having to say you’re sorry.

If you want to put your finger on the real problem with the inconsistent level of officiating plaguing college football that we continue to see and rail about seemingly on a weekly basis, check out this wonderfully useless statement from Verle Sorgen, the Pac-10’s point man for its replay officials, who, in response to a question about what constitutes irrefutable proof (the amorphous standard by which a replay guy has grounds to overturn a ruling on the field), had this to say:

… I called Verle Sorgen, director of instant replay for the league, and he gave me an emphatic explanation. He said there must be irrefutable proof that the original call was wrong.

Sogren said if you gathered 100 college football experts in a room to look at the play, 99 of them would have to come to consensus.

Too bad there’s only one guy in that replay booth.  If that’s your standard, why even bother to have a review at all?  But that’s Sorgen’s point.  After all, remember that this didn’t constitute irrefutable proof for the replay official.

You may also remember Sorgen’s response to that replay official’s decision.

Sorgen was quoted saying the lack of replay on Bernard’s fumble “wasn’t that egregious unless you are an Oregon State fan.”

You know what is egregious?  That this was irrefutable proof last weekend – in the Big Ten.

That’s some consensus you got there, fella.

There is one thing conference officials do respond to consistently.

There has to be a better answer than conference commissioners reprimanding coaches for criticizing officiating crews that end up getting suspended because the coaches were right about the refs being wrong.

Open-ended standards inconsistently applied from conference to conference and an overall lack of transparency in the review process make for a bad system.  Unfortunately, I’m not sure where the motivation to change things for the better would come from.


Filed under College Football

9 responses to “Irrefutable means never having to say you’re sorry.

  1. rbubp

    A bad system? In the BCS?

    Heresy, my friend, heresy. But at least we know this: if it’s a bad system in the BCS those bad boys will get right on that and get it fixed right away, ’cause they’re so serious about the integrity of the game.


    • I’m not trying to be one here, but I thought it was lame trying to link this problem to the BCS. Even if there were a playoff in place, this would still be an issue that needs correcting.


  2. Rbubp

    Yes, but Senator, the conferences oversee the officiating.

    Who is the BCS, man? The conferences. I’m not trying to say there’s a conspiracy, I’m just saying that these people aren’t much for accountability.


    • Totally agree with you about accountability. But any postseason format that involves subjective criteria is going to invite this kind of problem. That’s why I think the BCS concern is a red herring.


  3. Dog in Fla

    Slive, a long-time admirer of the primo officiating ‘work’ in the PAC-10 took a little trip to the West coast.

    After a brief layover at Area-51, where The SEC officials train, he flew to San Diego to visit the PAC 10 ref training center that also doubles as a so-called SEAL barracks at the Coronado Naval Amphibious Base to lift the architectural plans and engineering specs for the new SEC headquarters building in Birmingham.

    It is hoped that the design of the proposed headquarters building will add a little oomph to the Gag Order on The SEC head coaches who bitch and moan about getting shafted with bad calls all the time…


  4. Rbubp

    The BCS is not just about bowls. It’s a conglomeration of representative conferences who are run by commissioners. They have annual spring meetings to sort out their business, which, for example, last year resulted in consideration of admitting the Mountain West to the club.

    The conference commissioners ARE the BCS. There is no distinguishable difference.


  5. dudetheplayer

    I hadn’t seen that OSU/Wash call until just now.

    That has to be one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen an official make… ever.

    What a joke.


  6. Bobby Fenton

    Sorgen should be fired immediately for making that comment for 1) being so incredibly cavalier while at the same time 2) being utterly and completely fucking in the wrong about the call.


  7. Carruthers

    I would think the motivation for improving would be to avoid being made fun of by the onion, glad PWD pointed this out.