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Monday, October 03, 2005

Review is wonderful, but it exacerbates the frustration that comes with blown calls, especially blown calls that are reviewed. Michigan was driving against Michigan State up 31-24 and in makeable-but-not-automatic field goal range when Chad Henne dropped back to pass on third down and was hit when throwing. This is the relevant section of the NCAA rule book:

When a Team A player is holding the ball to pass it forward toward the neutral zone, any intentional forward movement of his arm starts the forward pass. If a Team B player contacts the passer or ball after forward movement begins and the ball leaves the passer’s hand, a forward pass is ruled regardless of where the ball strikes the ground or a player (A.R. 2-19-2-I).
This is the play:

Henne's hand was clearly going forward and the contact comes after the hand moves forward. By the rulebook, it is an incomplete forward pass. Whether or not he intended to tuck the ball again--unlikely since you can see a wide open Mike Hart at the edge of the frame--is irrelevant since it's impossible to tell once contact occurs. The review official does not know the rulebook and turned a fairly comfortable Michigan lead into a tie game. He's not just more incompetent than your average official, he's more incompetent than your average fan and thus has no business being employed by the Big Ten for purposes of video review.

Sorry, but this stuff drives me nuts, and that call wasn't even close.