Clemson's Third-Quarter Fumble Should Have Stood, According to Multiple Officiating Supervisors

By Kevin Harrish on December 30, 2019 at 6:03 pm
An official review.
Michael Allio-USA TODAY Sports

Multiple officiating supervisors agree the fumble and touchdown should have stood.

A pivotal replay review went against the Buckeyes on Saturday night when the replay booth overturned a third-quarter Clemson fumble that was recovered for an Ohio State touchdown, ruling the pass incomplete.

In the aftermath of the controversial call, multiple officiating experts agree that the call should not have been overturned, including Big Ten supervisor of officials Bill Carollo and national officiating supervisor Rogers Redding.

"I haven't talked to anybody who thought it was an incomplete pass," Carollo told CBS Sports. "To reverse it, it has to be really obvious."

Carollo was certainly not alone in his observation. Veteran NFL referee Terry McAulay was also publicly critical of the call, Tweeting that there was "absolutely no way replay should have reversed" and that "indisputable video evidence simply is not there."

"I think [the SEC would] like to have that [call] back," Another Power Five officiating supervisor told CBS.

The game was officiated by an SEC crew, but the conference has not released a statement on the call and SEC officiating supervisor Steve Shaw declined to comment. However, national officiating supervisor Rogers Redding said the call should not have been changed.

After the game, Fiesta Bowl official Ken Williamson stood by the call when questioned by a pool reporter.

"After the video, instant replay in the stadium as well as back at the video center, they both looked at it slow and fast and they determined when he moved, the ball was becoming loose in his hands and he did not complete the process of the catch," Williamson said.

Regarding the postgame explanation, Carollo said Williamson "Misspoke on that. The ball was not moving."

Carollo told CBS that he's talked to both Ryan Day and Shaw about the play. Carollo said that Day was indeed upset, but added that "He's a pro. Very professional."

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