Toledo requests Big East vacate Syracuse’s victory, replay call ‘an injustice’Written by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Still reeling from a missed extra point which was awarded to Syracuse despite being looked at by instant replay, the University of Toledo called a press conference on Sunday to request that the Big East vacates Syracuse’s 33-30 victory on Sept. 24. Had the extra point not been awarded with 2:07 remaining, Toledo’s 20-yard field goal as time expired would have given UT a 30-29 victory instead of forcing the game to overtime, where the Rockets eventually lost.
“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 Toledo Athletic Director Mike O’Brien. “I want to make certain 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 unprecedented 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.”
Toledo Head Coach Tim Beckman watched the game on the plane back to Ohio following the game as the Big East coordinator of football officiating Terry McAulay released a statement claiming the officials ruled the play incorrectly. McAulay claimed that the replay official “mistakenly focused his attention on the sideline angle, which proved to be distorted” and that he was “confident that our officiating staff will learn from this situation in order to prevent a reoccurrence.”
That wasn’t good enough for Beckman, who read to the media the e-mail he sent to Big East Director of Communications Chuck Sullivan.
“This is an incorrect call, so what is getting done about it?” Beckman wrote. “Admitting is one thing, correcting is another. I believe in the end of the regulation the score 30-29 is the right call.”
Beckman said he spent the night watching football and taking phone calls and decided that he needed to write the following letter to the Big East:
“I am here to fight for our Rocket football team,” Beckman wrote. “70 players made the trip to Syracuse and they played extremely hard to be successful in the end. 70 players that are a part of a Mid-American football program that takes pride in being built around honesty, trust and accountability. 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 injustice.
“The use of instant replay is there to make a call right and is only there for an officials use. This has now affected the Rocket football team in two of the last five games it has played dating back to the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl loss. In the last five years, schools have been stripped of wins, championships and national titles due to poor decisions. I believe it is now time for the officials and conferences to stand up when they admit they are wrong.”
Beckman said that as of this afternoon, he has not received a response regarding either e-mail.