With California and No. 22 Northwestern tied at 27 early in the fourth quarter on Saturday, Bears defensive end Chris McCain hit Wildcats quarterback Trevor Siemian in the backfield after a completed pass to Christian Jones. After referees reviewed the play, McCain was flagged for roughing the passer, ejected from the game under the new targeting rule, and subsequently suspended for the first half of this week's Portland State game.
[REACTION: Dykes, McCain Chime In]
On Monday, the Pac-12 Conference announced that, as a result of a "failure in the replay process," McCain will be allowed to play during the entirety of this week's game against the Vikings.
The conference stated that, "because of a technical failure and resulting breakdown in communication, the play in question was not actually reviewed after the replay official was made aware that McCain had been ejected for Targeting."
Because the targeting penalty was not reviewed at the time, the conference reviewed the play and determined that McCain should have been reinstated into the game. The review confirmed that the roughing the passer penalty was properly enforced.
[PRACTICE: Treggs Feeling Good as New]
Under NCAA Rules, ejections for Targeting that are confirmed by replay are not reviewable by the Conference or NCAA. However, this instance proved a very narrow exception because the ejection was not actually confirmed by replay.
The conference's release stated that the the Pac-12 "has been in communication with the National Coordinator of Officiating and both parties are in agreement that under this limited exception, the Conference should reinstate McCain."
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As a result of the play, the Pac-12 has examined the technical issues that caused the breakdown in communication. The technical issue, the conference said, "has been resolved, and the Conference has disciplined the replay crew for the breakdown in the process."
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