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View from the 'ville
Thursday, January 8, 2009

By Al Myatt

Rush to judgment by review crew?

By Al Myatt
All rights reserved.

The question was raised by ESPN color commentator and former Notre Dame coach Bob Davie as to whether the fumble return by Kentucky for the deciding touchdown in the Liberty Bowl was properly reviewed.

The play in question, which propelled the Wildcats to a 25-19 victory over East Carolina, was under the purview of the Big Ten video crew working the game in the replay booth.

Pirates running back Norman Whitley fumbled the ball that was picked up by Kentucky's Ventrell Jenkins and returned 56 yards for a score with 3:02 remaining in the game.

The play came just moments after a review overturned a Kentucky return for a score after ECU quarterback Patrick Pinkney lost the ball. The previous review determined that Pinkney had possession of the ball when his left knee was down and therefore there was no fumble on the play.

Replays showed that Jenkins' knee was down as he gained control of the ball on the play that resulted in the go-ahead points for Kentucky.

Davie speculated that the review crew had looked at the play to determine if Whitley was down before the fumble — which he was not — but had not watched to see if Jenkins' knee was down with possession of the ball prior to his return.

The replay also showed that Jenkins appeared momentarily to grasp Pinkney's facemask as he stiff-armed the Pirate quarterback on the return. To my understanding, a facemask penalty is not a reviewable situation.

The intent of the video replay system is to get the calls right that it is allowed to correct. We don't know if the crew did a thorough job on the play that produced a Kentucky win.

Pirates coach Skip Holtz was nonetheless proud of his players' efforts and gave due credit to Kentucky.

The accomplishment of a Conference USA championship in 2008 should not be diminished by the bowl outcome or the questionable circumstances that led to the postseason result in Memphis.

Jags packing his bags at BC

Former East Carolina assistant Jeff Jagodzinski is out as football coach at Boston College after two seasons, two ACC division titles, and two bowl trips because he defied an ultimatum from Eagles athletic director Gene DeFilippo and interviewed for the New York Jets head coaching vacancy.

Former Pirates head coach Steve Logan was serving on Jags' staff as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Where the situation leaves Logan is unclear. DeFilippo has said that he would name an interim coach in the near future.

That could possibly be defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani, who directed the program briefly when Tom O'Brien left BC to become head coach at N.C. State.

Logan returned to coaching two years ago to help Jagodzinski in his first head coaching assignment and the arrangement seemed well-suited for Logan's talents.

It will be interesting to see if Logan has interest in the Eagles' head position now that his friend and associate has been deposed. DeFilippo would be wise to give Logan consideration based on his experience and success at ECU. There is a possibility that Logan's allegiance to Jags would prevent him from seeking command at BC.

DeFilippo may not be interested in Logan because of his ties to Jagodzinski. DeFilippo said Wednesday that the Eagles would look within the program as well as outside of it for Jagodzinski's successor.

Logan's proven ability as an offensive coordinator would keep him in demand if he chooses to remain in coaching. Logan had developed a niche in sports talk radio in the Triangle area before heading to Boston. He possibly could return to doing that.

Logan was an offensive coordinator for the 1991 ECU team that went 11-1 before Bill Lewis left for Georgia Tech and former ECU athletic director Dave Hart promoted Logan to head coach. Phil Fulmer, who went on to become head coach at Tennessee, also interviewed with Hart.

McCarthy revives Pirates again

Don't ever count Mack McCarthy or his Pirate basketball teams out.

Taking a four-game losing streak into its Conference USA opener with Tulane on Wednesday night, ECU turned back the Green Wave 69-66 in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.

James Legan had 12 of his 15 points in a second half run that gave the Pirates a working margin and allowed them to hold off Tulane down the stretch.

"I thought we did enough things defensively that allowed us to win," said McCarthy, whose second-year club helped itself by hitting 27 0f 33 free throws for 81.8 percent. "Probably the key to the game was getting Robinson Louisme in foul trouble."

The 6-foot-10 Louisme came into the game averaging 9.5 points as the Wave's second leading scorer and 6.8 rebounds.

He played just 11 minutes against ECU, scoring only five points and grabbing just two rebounds.

"We attacked the rim and we kind of challenged our guys to do that," McCarthy said. "I thought we also did a nice job of getting to the free throw line and we out-rebounded them (38-31), too. Part of that was with Louisme out of the ball game we were a little bit better matched up."

McCarthy has shown the ability to get ECU out of tailspins. A 91-62 loss at Texas-El Paso late last season extended an ECU losing streak to five games but the Pirates regrouped under McCarthy's direction and won three of their last four C-USA regular season contests.

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01/08/2009 03:32:17 AM


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