Barnhart: Call was Worst Piece of Officiating

Posted Oct 6, 2009

Former AJC writer Tony Barnhart is disgusted by the SEC's excessive celebration penalty.

Barnhart on excessive celebration penalty: Simply stated, the excessive celebration penalties called in Saturday's Georgia-LSU game represented the worst piece of officiating that I have seen in my three decades covering the sport. The SEC defended the call on (Charles) Scott and that more clearly defines the problem. It’s not the officials, the problem is the rule. It is time to get rid of it. The rule was put in years ago to penalize taunting and unsportsmanlike acts, a noble goal but it has morphed into something that is draining the joy and passion out of college football, which is what we all love.


Lenn Robbins: They tell them not to look for it yet in the same sense the rules committee is making it a point of emphasis. They are saying we want this stuff out of the game. So I don’t see how you can talk out of both sides of your mouth. Don’t say publicly they want this out of the game, but then tell your officials don’t really look for it. Of course they are looking for it.

Brian Jones: Look for it, but call what exists, not what you imagine.

Jones:…What really disheartens me is the fact that they are the SEC, they issue an apology, but that apology doesn’t take that loss off my schedule or my win/loss column. That doesn’t go away. Thank you for the apology, but I lifted all those weights and did all that practice, but I still got a loss.

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