February 9, 2006

Press box instant replay approved

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INDIANAPOLIS - Coaches would be allowed to challenge close calls and officials in the press box could stop games to review plays with instant replay under new NCAA rules that all Division I-A football teams and conferences would use next season.

An NCAA panel decided Thursday that a uniform video review system should be implemented in college football.

The NCAA allowed conferences to experiment with instant replay the past two seasons, allowing it to be used to review game officials' calls on the field. Most conferences used the booth review. Only the Mountain West Conference allowed coaches to challenge plays.

The NCAA Football Rules Committee approved one procedure for all schools and conferences that choose to use replay. The committee's recommendations will be considered by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel for final approval.

Under the procedure, head coaches would request reviews by calling timeout. If the challenge overturned the call on the field, the coach would retain the right to challenge later in the game and would not be charged a timeout.

If the call were upheld, the team would be charged a timeout and the coach couldn't challenge again. In the MWC, 35 challenges were made last season and the call on the field was reversed five times.

''That may not sound like a lot, but if you have five plays that could change the game if not corrected, that is a pretty strong percentage,'' said Charles Broyles, chairman of the committee and coach at Pittsburg State University. ''We thought that providing a coach's challenge would act as an additional safety net and give the coaches more involvement in the process.''

Besides coaches, the replay official in the press box would review all plays on the field and stop the game if a call were in question.

The official could stop play only if the call were on the reviewable list of plays and had a direct, competitive impact on the game, the panel said.

''We believe instant replay overall was a tremendous success,'' Broyles said.

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