Les Miles spoke with SEC coordinator of officials Steve Shaw to get clarity on some questionable calls made by referees in LSU's loss to Alabama on Saturday.
Miles voiced his displeasure after the game with a handful of decisions made by the officials, particularly the personal foul called on Vadal Alexander late in the fourth quarter. Miles said Shaw clarified the processes referees go through when officiating a game, and accepted the review Shaw makes when evaluating officials' performances.
"He did a great job explaining the mechanics and how they looked at things," Miles said. "There seemed to be a way in which he viewed these calls that would allow his guys to do a better job. I appreciate very much the candidness with which he described each call. I'm comfortable with how he saw it. My team will enjoy that review."
Miles stopped short of pinning the loss on the referees, though many in his fan base have certainly made that leap. A lot of the focus has been on the Alexander penalty. Though the LSU offensive lineman did shove Alabama defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson, Miles and other players suggested after the game that Alexander was certainly not the only one at fault.
That play was one on a long list of situations Miles discussed with Shaw.
"What has to happen in making those calls is the official must see the whole play," Miles said. "He can't make a partial call. It's gotta be the whole play. That call certainly upon review could have been made in a different way. There were some personal fouls that appeared to happen there, not necessarily on that play, but we talked about the responsibility of safety, and there's a good quality understanding with what's expected of the officials and I'm going to get my guys to comply. I'm very satisfied with how Mr. Shaw reviewed each and every call."
Miles expressed appreciation for Shaw explaining the referee's viewpoints from those decisions.
"Feedback from the coaches is the key piece," Miles said. "I was fortunate to spend 20-plus minutes with Steve Shaw and I was very comfortable with the things he said and how he saw it. My team will be as well. It's not a change of score, but it becomes confidence when you realize that's how it's supposed to be done, and this is what we're going to do as we go forward. That is a key piece in developing week after week better officiating, and they're doing that. People will be people. There are strengths and weaknesses. As long as we're being officiated by people, they're going to make mistakes."
Miles will also make the point to his team that they could've taken the game out of the officials' hands had they executed better at certain points.
"What was the score of that game?" Miles asked rhetorically. "If that sucker would change you would see a completely different guy at the podium. I recognize we finished second, and we can do better, and that does not leave out the officials."
Les Miles speaks to SEC officials coordinator
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