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College Football/Replay official calling a penalty


Nebraska/Iowa game.  Nebraska ran a option to the right and Martinez pitched what appeared on replay to be a forward pitch past the line of scrimmage.  No penalty was called on the field.  A first down was awarded to Nebraska.  Prior to the next play, the pressbox official requested a "review of the previous play."  After review, Nebraska was penalized for a forward pass past the line of scrimmage.  The ball was brought back and Nebraska had a lost of down.  Is this correct??  Can the pressbox official call for a review when no penalty was called on the field??

Rather than give you a very technical explanation of the replay rules which can be complicated to articulate, I offer this layman's approach that should make it easier to understand other replay situations in the future. The simplest way to generally understand the the college replay rules is that Replay can get involved when there is a "line" involved (i.e. side line, goal line, end line, line to gain, line of scrimmage).  In the play you describe it sounds as though replay was reviewing whether the ball was thrown beyond the line of scrimmage/neutral zone [NCAA Rule 12-1-2-c).  This is an illegal forward pass if thrown from beyond the neutral zone and is penalized 5 yards from the spot where the pass was thrown and it results a loss of downs.  So it sounds correct.  Replay does not review "for fouls / penalties"

As a side note the the Big Ten officials and their supervisor of officials are outstanding.

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Vic Winnek


Liability Issues (Legal & Insurance) arising from coaching, playing, refereeing, product liability; Football injury cases.


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