Tuberville Excited About Instant Replay Experiment

Auburn, Ala.--Count Tommy Tuberville as a strong supporter of the Southeastern Conference's decision to experiment with using instant replay to review controversial rulings this football season.

The conference's head coaches gave their approval of the measure earlier this year. On Wednesday the league's athletic directors gave it a thumbs up and on Thursday the SEC's presidents approved the experiment.

"We voted on it as coaches at the convention in Louisville back in January," Tuberville says. "We are all for it. I am on the national rules committee and I think there are 10 of us. We listened to everybody.

"What is going to happen, people who want to do instant replay are going to have to submit to the rules committee the rules of how they want to do it," Auburn's head football coach notes.

"We basically set the rules that are going to have to be done like the Big Ten, but they can deviate a little from it in each conference and kind of experiment with it. After this year there won't be any more experimentation. There will be basically instant replay for everybody and everybody will be going to the same rules."

The exact details on the use of instant replay in the SEC will be worked out at the conference's annual spring meetings in Destin, Fla., May 31-June 3.

"Through every meeting and discussion with our coaches, athletics directors and presidents and chancellors, the use of instant replay received overwhelming support," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. "Our officials make every effort to get each call right. Instant replay will go a long way in helping them accomplish their goal."

Tuberville is an enthusiastic supporter of the experiment. "I think it will be fun," the coach says. "It will give the coaches, players and all the fans a little bit of confidence that if a play is really messed up it will be overturned."

The Auburn coach said there were several rulings on 2004 plays when AU players were ruled out of bounds on potential TDs that would have been potential instant replay reviews that would have favored the Tigers last season.

"I think it is good," Tuberville says. "I think last year the Big Ten had 48 plays that were reviewed and 23 or 25 were overturned.

"We listened to the Big Ten people down at Key West (rules committee conference) and they were really encouraged by how the entire game went knowing that only 48 plays were reviewed, but actually every play was looked at by another official in the box," Tuberville says. "Everybody was convinced at the end of the game that it was a well officiated game and I think it gives everybody confidence, even the officials on the field, no matter what happens the play is going to be called right.

"There are not any judgement calls," Tuberville adds, noting that calls like pass interference will not be overturned." It is mostly just stepping out of bounds, fumbles--those type of things."

SEC officials plan to review last year's football games and study plays that would have been subject to review to prepare them for the 2005 experiment.

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories