TOLEDO, OH - University of Toledo athletic director Mike O'Brien said on Sunday that he has made a formal written request to Mid-American Conference Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher asking that he request the Big East Conference to vacate Syracuse's 33-30 overtime win over Toledo on Saturday and award the victory to the Rockets.
The controversy began late in the contest following an apparently missed extra point by the Orange with 2:07 to play. Officials on the field ruled the extra point good, giving Syracuse a 30-27 lead. Replay officials reviewed the extra point and confirmed the ruling on the field. Toledo tied the score, 30-30, on a last-second field goal, and the Orange won in overtime, 33-30, on a field goal of its own.
However, Big East Conference coordinator of football officiating Terry McAulay later issued a statement that both the officials on the field and in the replay booth ruled incorrectly on the play. McAulay blamed the mistake on the replay officials looking at replays from sideline cameras instead of the more accurate end zone camera, and said he was "confident that our officiating staff will learn from this situation in order to prevent a reoccurrence."
"I requested of our Mid-American Conference commissioner, Jon Steinbrecher, that he contact the Big East Conference relative to yesterday's UT-Syracuse game, and ask that the win be vacated and awarded to the University of Toledo," said O'Brien. "I want to make cetain that everyone is aware that this was not a missed holding call. This is about a call that was missed on the field--that happens. However, the opportunity was given to the replay officials to correct it, and it was not. The play was reviewed by the Big East Conference and they indicated that it was an incorrect call and put out a statement to that effect.
"I realize this is most likely unprecented," O'Brien continued. "(But) I think it's important we show our football team that we truly support them, that we show our football coach and his staff we're here for them and support them and tell our fan base that it wasn't a situation where the University of Toledo just lays down."
UT head coach Tim Beckman said that while errors are part of the game, the use of technology brings a different expectation.
"The game of football has numerous human errors throughout a game--players, coaches and officials are all a part of these. That's football. But when you add technology to a call, and it is not used properly, it is an injustice. The use of instant replay is there to make a call right."
O'Brien said that he has not received a reply from either the MAC or the Big East regarding the appeal.
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