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