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Larry Scott institutes changes to Pac-12 football replay system

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott speaks during the Pac-12 NCAA college basketball media day Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott took the podium at Thursday’s men’s basketball media day and introduced changes to the conference’s replay system for football in wake of a report that a third party helped change a call.

One day before the press conference, a Yahoo article revealed that a third party allegedly overruled a controversial targeting call in the Washington State-USC game on Sept. 21.

“What’s been reported was of significant concern to me,” Scott said. “Our conference has a deep commitment to the integrity of officiating.”

The play of concern was at the end of the third quarter when USC quarterback J.T. Daniels, a defenseless player, was drilled with forcible contact to the head by WSU linebacker Logan Tago. Though called targeting on the field, Pac-12 general counsel and senior vice president of business Woodie Dixon singlehandedly overruled the decision made by the officials at the stadium replay booth and the conference’s command center, according to the report.

Although there has been a significant uproar from this report, Scott didn’t deny Dixon’s involvement with the command center.

“He has been involved in support for our replay officials and discussion about replay decisions,” Scott said. “Upon reflection, I think that was a mistake.

“We mixed administrative oversight and leadership with real-time replay reviews. Moreover, we allowed for ambiguity about who makes the final call.”

Scott did say, however, that Dixon was simply offering his opinion, and the officials took that as a directive.

Going forward, Scott said there will be major changes to the conference’s replay system.

“We will conduct a thorough review of our process,” Scott said. “Administrative personnel will no longer be allow to interfere, effective immediately. We want to eliminate any ambiguity from that.”

The Pac-12 is one of four major conferences, along with the Big 12, SEC and ACC, to have a replay center at its home office.

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