OK, I finally got us an answer on the officials-talking-to-reporters issue. Few things I’ve written in the Morning Meeting this year have gotten more follow up request, so I took the question to SEC coordinator of officials Steve Shaw this week.
“We are working hard to be more transparent. We are making comments where we need to, to clarify concerns or issues, but I am not sure we are ready yet to go to open pool reporter in every game,” Shaw said.
If you don’t recall, my suggestion was to make the lead official available to reporters, or one pool reporter, after every SEC football game. While stopping short of making that happen, Shaw and the SEC have promised to be proactive in addressing any concerns media members or fans might have about plays in a game.
“If (plays that happened earlier this year in the Wisconsin-Arizona State game or Clemson-North Carolina game) had happened in SEC games, that night you would get some kind of statement or release or ruling from the SEC and/or Steve Shaw about what happened,” SEC communications director Chuck Dunlap said. “It wouldn’t sit until Sunday afternoon.”
Shaw certainly was very frank with me in discussing the targeting foul called on Brison Williams against UCF last week, and he offers a good explanation for not putting his officials in front of media members after every game.
“You really want to go back and get a good review of the video,” Shaw said. “Without being able to go back and review the video, what you might get is what they saw and what they were reacting to but not the whole picture. We have really worked hard in the SEC, if there are questions coming out of the day from an officiating perspective, we try to answer them from here. We don’t do that in a vacuum. We talk to the crew, we talk to our replay guys. We review the video.”
Now we know.
Around the SEC:
Alabama has now had four suspenions in two months. This columnist wonders if it's a sign of cracks in The Process.
Kentucky still has nightmares about its last trip to South Carolina, not to mention Steve Spurrrier in general.
"I see the last time (UK) went down there to South Carolina was not a very good outcome," first-year coach Mark Stoops said, "and the yardage was, wow, that was tough."
How many plays could we see in the Ole Miss-Auburn game? Hugh Freeze's all-time high in 117 snaps in a game, and Gus Malzahn isn't afraid to run 100. Should be fun.