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Mike O'Brien: UT Accepts Ruling From Big East, NCAA on Syracuse Game

Courtesy: Toledo Athletics
Release: 09/26/2011
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Courtesy: Toledo Athletics
UT Athletic Director Mike O'Brien.
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TOLEDO, OH - University of Toledo athletic director Mike O'Brien said today that while he still feels the outcome of the Toledo-Syracuse game on Sept. 24 was affected by an officiating error, the University accepts the ruling by the Big East Conference Office and the NCAA Football Rules committee that the final outcome of the contest cannot be changed.

Responding to a statement released by the Mid-American Conference earlier this afternoon, O'Brien said:

"While we are obviously disappointed for the student-athletes, coaches and fans that an officiating error played a role in the outcome of our football game at Syracuse, we accept the ruling from the Big East and the NCAA Football Rules Committee that the final outcome of the game cannot be reversed. We appreciate the efforts of those who looked into this matter. We consider the matter closed and now look forward to the remainder of the Rocket football season."

The statement from Mid-American Conference Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher released earlier this afternoon read:

"Since the conclusion of the Toledo-Syracuse game, I have been in communication with Big East Commissioner, John Marinatto, along with Rogers Redding, Secretary-Rules Editor of the NCAA Football Rules Committee.  By rule once the game is declared over the score is final and there is no recourse to reverse an outcome. (Rule 1, Section 1, Article 3, Paragraph b of the 2011 NCAA Football Rules and Interpretations.)

"I share the frustration and regret with our Toledo coaches, student-athletes, administration and supporters of the Rockets football program.  Immediately following the game, Bill Carollo, Coordinator of Officials of the Midwest Football Officials Alliance (MAC, Big Ten, Missouri Valley), reviewed the play and was in contact with Big East Coordinator of Officials, Terry McAuley, and both officials agreed that the ruling on the field and replay official both failed to make the correct call. 

"As disappointing as this situation is, we are confident that proper action will be taken by the Big East Conference."

Toledo lost to Syracuse, 33-30, in overtime on Sept. 24 at the Carrier Dome. 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 on a field goal of its own.

Hours later, the Big East Conference Office sent out a statement saying that the wrong call had been made on the field and in the replay booth.

NCAA Rule Referenced: 
2011 NCAA Football Rules and Interpretations:  (Rule 1, Section 1, Article 3, Paragraph b, states, "When the referee declares that the game is ended, the score is final (NCAA Football Rules and Interpretations, page FR-15)."By rule, once the game is declared over the score is final and there is no recourse to reverse an outcome."

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