There are conflicting accounts of what happened in the final minutes of the Sept. 16 football game between Oklahoma and Oregon in Eugene. But those with knowledge of the controversial decisions and the replay process said it appeared to unfold this way:
1. Oregon scored a touchdown to cut Oklahoma's lead to 33-27 with 1:12 remaining in the game. Oregon kicker Luke Bellotti
lined up for an onside kick attempt. Replay official Gordon Riese
communicated to his assistant, Roger Judd
, that the ensuing call would automatically be a reviewable play regardless of who recovered.
2. The kick bounced high off the Autzen Stadium turf, and in the scramble for the ball, an official on the field blew his whistle, believing Oregon's Patrick Chung
had recovered. Officials signaled that it was Oregon's ball with 1:06 left.
3. As per his duties as replay official, Riese radioed referee Dave Cutaia
and said he wanted to review the play. Riese had questions about whether the ball had traveled the required 10 yards before being touched and whether it had been first touched by an Oklahoma player, as ruled on the field.
4. The network production team rushed to prepare video feeds and then sent them to Riese and Judd. The replay officials received the feeds but struggled with technical aspects of the equipment. The replay booth does not have access to the over-the-air broadcast, so officials did not see the angles that fans at home saw. All the officials watched was a single angle being played on the Autzen Stadium monitor for fans.
5. After a delay of several minutes, Cutaia radioed to ask Riese if he had a decision. Riese, who had been admonished by the Pacific-10 conference last season for taking nearly four minutes to review a play, said, "I didn't get a view. Dave, there's no way I can overturn this."
6. Cutaia then announced there was "conclusive evidence that an Oklahoma player touched the ball first." The ruling on the field stood. Read More | Comment »