SEC's Gaston admits official missed call in 'Bama-LSU game
Nov. 15, 2004
SportsLine.com wire reports
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The Southeastern Conference's supervisor of officials said an LSU player should have been called for pass interference on a pivotal interception against Alabama.
Side judge Blake Parks didn't call a penalty when Corey Webster picked off a pass in the end zone after pushing down receiver Keith Brown early in the third quarter.
"Let's just report it as I'd rather it have been called," said Bobby Gaston, who oversees SEC officials.
With the Tide leading 10-6, Webster returned the interception to the LSU 44. Alabama wound up losing 26-10.
Gaston said that Parks' vision was obscured by Brown and he couldn't change position because he was responsible for goal line coverage.
"If you look at it, he's straight-lined and has a hard time seeing the push and he can't call something that he doesn't see," Gaston said. "With the mechanics (positioning) that we use, we should have gotten that play.
"It just so happens that the receiver and the defender were straightlined down the goal line from where he was. That's no excuse for us not being able to see it."
Referee Penn Wagers led the officiating crew in the Alabama-LSU game and also the crew that erred in handling the clock late in the Tennessee-Florida game, a mistake that allowed the Volunteers more time to drive for a game-winning field goal. But Parks was not part of that crew.
Gaston said he had not received a tape of the play from Alabama, but planned to call Crimson Tide coach Mike Shula and apologize for the mistake.
The Associated Press News Service
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