The Atlantic Coast Conference has suspended both the on-field officiating crew and the replay official for allowing Miami’s game-winning kickoff return to stand during last night’s game against Duke.
The ACC determined at least four errors contributed to the officials’ failure of duty:
- The replay official erred in not overturning the ruling on the field that the Miami player had released the ball prior to his knee being down. If called, this would have ended the game.
- The on-field officials erred by failing to penalize Miami for an illegal block in the back at the Miami 16-yard line. If called, the ball would have been placed at the Miami 8-yard line and the game would have been extended for an untimed down.
- A block in the back foul was called at the Duke 26-yard line. After the officials conferred, which is appropriate, they correctly determined that the block was from the side, which resulted in the flag being picked up. The replay official was not involved in the decision to pick up the flag; however, the referee did not effectively manage communication and properly explain why the flag was picked up.
- In addition, the on-field crew failed to penalize a Miami player for leaving the bench area and entering the field prior to the end of the play. This foul would not have negated the touchdown because it would have been enforced as a dead ball foul.
The officials involved have yet to respond, though we imagine “we were blinded by the play being too awesome” is a fair excuse.