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SEC officiating crew suspended after Florida-Arkansas debacle

Just got this press release in my email inbox. Wow! A side note to this story: I spoke with UF offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert on Tuesday and he told me that the infamous personal foul call on Arkansas that led to UF's touchdown should not have been called. Guess Gilbert was right.

SEC FOOTBALL OFFICIATING CREW SUSPENDED

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (October 21, 2009) -- The officiating crew from Saturday’s Arkansas at Florida football game will be removed from its next scheduled assignment on Oct. 31 and will not be assigned to officiate as a crew until Nov. 14, Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive announced Wednesday.

“A series of calls that have occurred during the last several weeks have not been to the standard that we expect from our officiating crews,” said Slive.  “I believe our officiating program is the best in the country, however, there are times when these actions must be taken.”

Following each weekend, the conference office reviews games from the previous week, using video replays as well as interviews with officials, coaches and administrators.

“While only a few calls have been identified, the entire crew shoulders responsibility for each play.  I have taken this action because there must be accountability in our officiating program,” added Slive.  “Our institutions expect the highest level of officiating in all of our sports and it is the duty of the conference office to uphold that expectation.”

In addition, there will be an impact on eligibility for post-season bowl assignments for the crew.

-jo-

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