It’s Official: Refs should not dictate any game

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 31, 2004

One last long paragraph about bowl game statistics, and then we’ll move on to some more interesting subjects.

Football officials from the Pac-10, ACC, Big East, Mountain West, Big 10, SEC and C-USA conferences were assigned to officiate three bowl games. MAC and Sun Belt Conference officials worked one bowl game, while WAC officials were assigned two.

When the number of penalties called against both teams in each bowl game was considered, the Pac-10 officials were far ahead of the field with 20.3 per game, followed by ACC officials who flagged the teams in bowl games they officiated 17.3 times per game.

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SEC officials were down in eighth place with an average of only 8.7 flags per game, followed closely by C-USA and Sun Belt officials.

Reader Kyle Doyel from central Tennessee has advised me Pac-10 officials led the nation during the regular season with an average of 16.4 penalties called per game.

SEC guys trailed by almost three a game and ranked eighth &045; right about in the middle of the pack &045; when compared to all NCAA Division I-A officiating groups.

I have been around the college game many years, and I know if a supervisor of officials has his group calling that many violations, they are actually taking over the game.

Pac-10 teams were the most heavily penalized during the regular season but were flagged fewer times during their bowl game than were teams from the SEC, Big 12 and ACC and were about even with the Big 10.

It is apparent Pac-10 officials are trying to force their teams to play the game like the officials think it ought to be played.

It is hard to put all of the blame on the officials, since their assignments depend on the grades given them by their supervisors.

While on the subject of over-active officials, I read Sunday of the Ole Miss-Arkansas basketball game that Rebel coach Rod Barnes was planning a complaint to the SEC about the officiating crew in that game.

It seems the Rebels were whistled for 33 fouls as compared to 19 for the Hogs. The result was Arkansas shot 53 free throws, making 48, while Ole Miss went to the line 19 times, making 13.

Arkansas made only four field goals the entire second half yet scored 45 points.

Are the Rebels that poorly coached and the Razorbacks that well coached that such a disparity would exist?

As a contrast, Saturday’s Mississippi State-LSU game had just 32 fouls called against both teams.

Serious golfers might have noticed a recent article in The Arizona Republic by John Davis noting several changes to The Rules of Golf, which happens every four years.

One change in particular was brought about because of an obvious injustice in 2000.

Since golf is mainly a self-officiated sport, the more common sense written into the rules the better the game will be.

Regular golfers will be well advised to bone up on this and other changes so they, too, can make it official.

Al Graning is a former SEC official and former Natchez resident. Reached him at AlanWard39157@