BYU football: Misinformation involving suspension of replay officials

Published: Thursday, Oct. 14 2010 6:29 p.m. MDT

PROVO — The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting three replay officials who worked the BYU-San Diego State game last Saturday have been suspended for one game, but league officials have not confirmed any disciplinary action of any officials working that game.

The newspaper identified two of the three members of the video crew in the booth as Chad Bunn, a video coordinator the media identified as a "technical advisor" and Reno, Nev., resident Mike Angelis, the "head replay official" as two of the three who received the sanction.

Bunn, who is employed by the Mountain West Conference as a video-replay expert during the league's basketball tournament and is the full-time video coordinator for BYU's athletic department, did not return phone calls or inquiries to confirm the action Thursday.

Duff Tittle, BYU associate athletic director, had this response: "Replay officiating systems, including who is assigned to work games, are arranged by the Mountain West Conference. You will need to direct all questions regarding instant replay to the MWC."

When the Deseret News inquired of the conference, Javan Hedlund, the MWC associate commissioner, had this one-sentence response: "The Mountain West Conference is engaged in an ongoing review of all components involved in this situation."

The San Diego media are reporting Bunn's role, but there is no explanation if he had any part of a review of a controversial play late in the game in which BYU defeated SDSU 24-21. The play involved a fumble by BYU junior running back JJ DiLuigi, which officials on the field ruled was not a turnover. Review officials in the booth upheld the ruling on the field and BYU eventually completed the drive for its last touchdown of the game.

Video replay shown to the TV audience and media in the press box showed DiLuigi lost the ball before his knee touched down, which is considered a fumble. An issue in the controversy is whether officials on the field blew the whistle and ended the play before the fumble occurred, something that is done on occasions to protect an offensive player whose forward progress is halted.

A separate issue, not under scrutiny in this case, is a no-call on the play against SDSU tacklers who appear to grasp DiLuigi's facemask on the controversial play.

BYU and Bunn became the subject of heated, sometimes vitriolic chatter on radio sports talk shows in San Diego the past 48 hours, and Bunn and his role were questioned extensively on radio programs in Utah on Thursday without any comment from BYU, Bunn or the league.

On Tuesday the MWC sent out a press release that explained the league is looking into complaints over the officiating of the BYU-SDSU game, and explained details of actions and roles by the officiating crew on the field, the communications, video equipment and role of all replay officials would be evaluated after interviews of those involved have been conducted.

e-mail: dharmon@desnews.com

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