DEMAREE: Spring Game Instant Replayed

Given the many concerns down through the years about the SEC officiating the Wildcats have received at inopportune times in ball games, it is apropos that the first instant replay trial run in the SEC was conducted at the UK spring game. The Cat fans send their overwhelming gratitude for the SEC office's sensitive concerns.

Matt Smith and his partner associated with a company out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania brought in his dog-and pony show to Lexington to test the instant replay system the SEC is contemplating adopting via a vote in May at the SEC meetings in Destin, Florida.

Their main focus is on video editing software primarily for coaches for scouting, reviewing game tapes and breaking down film.

Recently they have gotten involved in the replay area with the Big East, The Big Ten and the SEC. They have been to spring games at Miami and Clemson in the ACC, and they were at South Florida last week and Rutgers today in the Big East, as well as UK. The Big Ten's maiden voyage with instant replay was last season.

One of the major concerns of going to the instant replay in college football was will there be enough cameras to make it effective and what will be the cost. The replay feed will come from a local feed from a production truck.

"ESPN might give us a few (cameras)," head of SEC officials Bobby Gaston said, CBS might give us six. Today we have got 4 because we are using the Diamond Vision truck. He said the number of cameras available would depend on who's telecasting the game. In Kentucky's case where not all of the games are telecast, what happens?

"If it is a non-scheduled televised game, then we are going to have to buy it from a pay-per-view outfit," Gaston explained. "I don't think we will use the Diamond Vision truck unless it turns out the other is more expensive. ESPN has offered us a deal to where it cost $20,000 a game to instant replay a game that's not being televised.

"They will come in and set up a truck and sell it on ESPN.com so a person with a lap-top can get the game. And whatever revenue they get, they will turn it back towards the cost. They have found out that it will cut it down ten or eleven thousand dollars of the original deal."

It will depend on whether UK gets the first or second string broadcast team as to how many cameras will be available. You guessed it! Kentucky football is still the redheaded stepchild in the SEC.

Brad Davis of the SEC office will be in charge of purchasing the equipment need and Gaston will be in charge in the officials that will make the determination on a blown or controversial call on the field from the booth. Gaston said those people would be ex-officials that know the rules, such as Astor Sizemore of Hazard or Ben Oldham. Oldham said he would probably fan out across the SEC and not at KY since he resides here.

"A few coaches are asking for one stop," Gaston said, "and if that becomes unanimous, then we will give the coaches one stop." We ask Gaston will this reduce the number of calls you get on Monday after games?

"I doubt it," he said. "I think it will probably satisfy the fan to know the plays are being reviewed. The Big Ten found a kind of calm over the fans to know it was being looked at again. We are excited about the possibilities!


AllWildcats Top Stories