Alvarez on instant replay pilot program

The Big Ten announced Thursday morning that the league would implement a pilot program for the use of instant replay in select games this season. Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez stated Thursday that he is in favor of this step and would favor a cost-efficient use of replay.

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Big Ten coaches, in fact, voted previously to implement a style of replay, but conference athletic directors did not approve the measure. Under the proposal the coaches ratified, a supervisor of officials would watch a monitor during all televised games. When a egregious officiating error occurred, the supervisor would buzz the time keeper, who would notify the referee and tell him to overrule the call on the field.


"You have a time keeper keeping time down there, so he buzzes him, calls the referee over and says, ‘overrule that. I had a clear view. You missed it,'" Alvarez said. Somebody may be out of position and they are blocked and they can't see it and there were at least a handful of those last year. And it doesn't cost a lot of money.


"That was proposed and as coaches we voted to try that in the league and the directors voted not to."


Alvarez said that the preliminary assessment of instant replay was a step in the right direction. He favors instant replay, but only if it falls within universities' cost guidelines and is a relatively minor factor in the flow of the game.


"I think (the pilot program) is a step forward," Alvarez said. "None of (the Big Ten coaches) want to sink millions of dollars into instant replay like the NFL. If we can do something which is cost efficient and correct a flagrant play or a flagrant call, something that helps the game and helps the kids, then why not do it. And it doesn't slow the game down. It is not about when you contest it or anything like that. It is an obvious missed call and you stop the game and go.


"Cost wise, it couldn't be implemented like the NFL and I think that is what everybody expects and none of us can afford to do that—the whole league and the rest of the country. We talked about a 45-second clock and there were some leagues that couldn't afford the clock let alone instant replay and that was voted down because of that.


"As long as (replay) is reasonable I have no problem with it."


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