BIRMINGHAM, Ala. | The Southeastern Conference has suspended officials from last weekend's Arkansas-Florida game after the crew was involved in its second controversial call of the year.
Referee Marc Curles' crew called a personal foul on Arkansas defensive lineman Malcolm Sheppard in the fourth quarter as the Gators were rallying for a 23-20 victory. The league said there was no video evidence to support the call.
The same group of officials called the LSU-Georgia game earlier this month, which included a late unsportsmanlike conduct penalty the league said shouldn't have been called.
The SEC says the crew will be removed from its scheduled assignment this weekend and will not be assigned to officiate as a crew until Nov. 14.
The league said the crew's bowl assignments could also be impacted.
The full news release from the Southeastern Conference is below:
The officiating crew from Saturday's Arkansas at Florida football game will be removed from its next scheduled assignment on Oct. 31 and will not be assigned to officiate as a crew until Nov. 14, Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive announced Wednesday.
“A series of calls that have occurred during the last several weeks have not been to the standard that we expect from our officiating crews,” said Slive. “I believe our officiating program is the best in the country, however, there are times when these actions must be taken.”
Following each weekend, the conference office reviews games from the previous week, using video replays as well as interviews with officials, coaches and administrators.
“While only a few calls have been identified, the entire crew shoulders responsibility for each play. I have taken this action because there must be accountability in our officiating program,” added Slive. “Our institutions expect the highest level of officiating in all of our sports and it is the duty of the conference office to uphold that expectation.”
In addition, there will be an impact on eligibility for post-season bowl assignments for the crew.