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C-USA suspends official after instant replay mistake

IRVING, Texas -- Conference USA on Monday suspended an
instant replay official who overturned a fumble by Houston's Jeron Harvey in the second quarter of the Cougars' game against Oklahoma
State this weekend.

Following a challenge by Houston coach Art Briles, the replay
official ruled that Harvey's forward progress had been stopped
before the ball was stripped by Oklahoma State's Rodrick Johnson
and recovered by the Cowboys.

Four plays later, Houston scored on a 27-yard pass from Kevin Kolb to Vincent Marshall to take a 24-17 halftime lead. Houston won
34-25.

The conference said in a news release that the play should not
have been subject to review because "a runner's forward progress
may only be reviewed to determine whether or not the forward
progress results in a first down."

Further, the conference said the ruling on the field was
correct. The suspended official was not identified.

"When we implemented instant replay, our goal was to get more
calls right, which we have," Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky said in the release. "In this case, by rule, the call on
the field should not have been reviewed, for which the instant
replay official will be suspended."

The conference did not give details on the official's
suspension, citing conference policy.

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said the mistake just
highlighted problems with replay.

"I don't like instant replay because I just don't think we'll
ever clean it up," Gundy said after the Cowboys' practice on
Monday. "I'd just as soon go with the ruling on the field and live
with it like we have in football for 100 years."

The call came one week after a Pacific-10 Conference crew
incorrectly awarded Oregon possession on an onside kick it had
illegally touched late in the fourth quarter against Oklahoma. The
Ducks went on to score the winning touchdown in a 34-33 win.

This time, the call came before halftime.

"That's not why we lost the game," Gundy said. "We couldn't
stop them and we turned the ball over late. That's why we lost the
game."

After others on the Oklahoma State sideline alerted him of the
situation, Gundy said he told the officials on the field that the
play was not subject to review.

"My only concerning issue is when we're on the field reminding
them this is not something that's reviewable and their response is,
'Well, the guy in the booth has the last say,'" Gundy said.

Gundy said he wouldn't necessarily support a system in
nonconference games where officials on the field were from one
conference and replay officials came the other team's conference,
nor did he have an opinion on an unaffiliated replay crew for all
games.

He said he thinks the system "puts a lot of pressure on the
officials."

"I think if you're unaware of the rules and you're in a
situation where you make the final decision, you could be from Mars
and I don't think it would matter," Gundy said.

Gundy said he didn't know if there was a way to fix instant
replay.

"The last thing I worry about is how they're going to clean up
instant replay, and I'm not trying to be sarcastic," Gundy said.
"I just think it's got a long ways to go. The last thing I'll say
about it is if we have a review and we have rules in place to make
it right and then we make it wrong twice in obviously two big
games, then it's not working, right?"