Do refs. review tape?

Submitted by StephenRKass on September 22nd, 2010 at 11:32 PM

So, one common thread this week has been the lack of calls on OL holding against Michigan. It seems that Martin and Roh, in particular, have often been held.

Several questions come up.

  1. How much of this is homerism? I think not a lot, but it is human nature to say "we was robbed!"
  2. Can Michigan coaches bring this to the attention of Big 10 Officials?
  3. Is there someone in their secret refing catacombs who reviews the tape and reprimands refs who are regularly messing up and missing holding calls?
  4. Do refs who mess up and miss this call much better when refing a UM game in the future?
  5. Will things get better by Big 10 play, when refs know that they can expect OL to hold Martin and Roh et al?

I'm thinking that the refs begin to know who the killer DL and LB are, and as the season goes on, more holding calls and penalty calls are caught. I'm also thinking that egregious tape of missed calls, both with ND and UMass, will only help us over the course of the season. Someone has to see what's been happening, and change things. In a sense, the best thing that could happen vs. BG is continued holding calls missed by the refs, leading to an over compensation in OUR FAVOR for the Big 10 season, when we really need the refs to be fair, and catching what is going on.

With the relative lack of strength in our defense, we need all the help we can get. Going through the UFR, there were at least 50 yards in missed holding penalties against UMass. This could have made a significant difference.



September 22nd, 2010 at 11:36 PM ^

I pretty sure the refs are each judged on their performance.  Holding is one of those calls where it happens so often, and is not called, that it is hard to use as a measurement of a refs performance.  As they say, holding happens on every play.


September 22nd, 2010 at 11:50 PM ^

Banks is not being held . . . Martin is.

Ezeh isn't being held . . . Roh is.

There is no need to hold Banks. And it would be hard to hold Ezeh, since he isn't anywhere near the play action. However, Martin and Roh (and to a lesser degree, Kovacs and Mouton) are regularly making plays, and thus being "held" more. I'm wondering if Mike Martin will start to get "super star" treatment (think MJ, albeit different sport,) so that refs start assuming he is being held. After all, no one can stop him UNLESS they hold him.

Space Coyote

September 22nd, 2010 at 11:53 PM ^

And yes, they are usually employed elsewhere.  IIRC, it wasn't that long ago that NFL refs were in the same boat, but now they are salaried employees of the NFL.

In any case, NCAA Div-I refs get paid around 500-1000 dollars a game, depending on conference and so on.  They also get paid for review hours for film and such if I'm not mistaken.  

There was a push for a while to make them full time (surprise, surprise), not sure if a strong push still exists though.  I believe there is someone on Mgoblog that is a cousin or something of a college football ref, maybe he can chime in on this a bit more.

But to answer the OP, yes, they do look extensively at film, for reviewing themselves and for scouting future teams (so they know what to look for from particular players, formations, schemes, etc.).  Also, holding is very difficult to call, especially full speed while players are running all around you.  I think Michigan is being held a bit more than usual, but it's not out of this world more than usual.  I would like to see a few more flags thrown our way, though I think refs are more reluctant to throw a holding flag for a three man rush (most likely because it isn't as obvious to them, more players elsewhere, etc).


September 22nd, 2010 at 11:50 PM ^

In very limited instances, refs can make big differences (see Lloyd's extra seconds leading to Manningham defeating Penn State, or the State spike the ball that took no time off the clock leading to an improbable TJ Duckett touchdown for a win).

Still, I like how the Lions head coach (following controversial no TD Calvin Johnson game) saying that the day he complains about the referees is the day he doesn't need to be doing this anymore.  We don't need to be complaining about holding calls when we give up 37 points to UMass - I'm pretty sure there's something non referee related in that outcome.

Whether or not officiating will make a difference in a Big Ten game is another matter, but relatively unlikely in my opinion.  It is a game of inches, but we should focus on things we can change.


September 23rd, 2010 at 10:56 AM ^

It is a game of inches, but we should focus on things we can change.

For the record, "we" are just fans so we can't change anything. But we can bring attention to lousy officiating.

If you're using "we" in a player/coach sense, then I agree to some extent. Blaming failure on external issues isn't a way to get a team motivated to win.

But I don't think it's too much to ask to have the games be called fairly. If Brandon Graham is getting through the line every time and the only way an OL can stop him is by holding, then a flag should be thrown every time. Don't stop calling it simply because it's becoming tedious and ridiculous (as we saw much of last season). It's the rule. Enforce it, dammit.


September 23rd, 2010 at 12:21 AM ^

This isnt a situation where a final outcome is determined by the refs.. i feel like just 1 early holding call in the first quarter on a slighlty blatant hold on either of our guys will more than likely do the job of at least trying to keep them honest.. 

Not a lot you can do about not letting it go to the judges if they horsecollar you on the way by

This is Michigan

September 23rd, 2010 at 12:59 AM ^

In college baseball, the umps are graded by the coaches. The umps with the best grades at the end of the regular season move on to regionals and ultamately the College World Series. 


I am unsure if the coaches are actually doing the grading in College Football, but I assume that they are being graded by someone. The better the crew the better the bowl that they will ref.   


The umps are out there doing their best. I highly doubt any or little homerism takes place bc these umps will be graded down.

The Shredder

September 23rd, 2010 at 1:03 AM ^

As I have said before my cousin is a Big Ten Official and white hated the UCONN game and than was a side judge for Bama and PSU the following week. I can't even put into words how much extra time they put in. There is a Big Ten evaluator who watches the game and grades them and than after the game most officials watch the tape. If you suck enough you will be on the hot seat. The Big Ten self polices very well. They kick them slefs pretty good for missed calls but at that level it happens fast and things will be missed. Its easy to yell at the TV after five replays and zero field pressure. Trust me they know what they are doing... Unless they are Sun Belt Refs doing the 2005 Alamo Bowl.

Blue in sec country

September 23rd, 2010 at 11:09 AM ^

If the coaches thinks it's out of hand then they put together a tape showing the issues and send it in to the big ten. It been said before, you can call holding on every play if you wanted. It's part of the game, I'm sure we get away with a few things here and there.


September 23rd, 2010 at 11:49 AM ^

I am a HS official here in FL.  I am filmed every game and we are required to watch the film with our association position lead (in my case Back Judge).  The position lead grades me out on every game and if I am slipping or out of position I may loose my assignments and be downgraded to JV or whatever, not to mention out of the playoffs.  My association did the Plant (with Mich recruit Posada) vs. Manatee game on ESPN on opening week.

We have several former NCAA officials in our association (SEC, BigTen, Sun Belt and Patriot league to name a few).  We also have 1 ex- NFL official also, he is retired and does many Pop Warner games on Saturdays.

In general we are trained to "let them play".  We are trained to officiate at the point of some BS foul 35 yards behind the play are not usually called...unless it's a personal foul.  Holding is allowed (on both sides) in the free blocking zone unless a player is gaining an advantage by the hold.  There IS holding on every play BUT if it is not used to gain an advantage it is not a foul that is usually called.

Also, when a coach is screeming all day at my crew or in my does effect my officiating...AGAINST them.  I am human and if you cuss and swear and scream at me for the lousy play of your corner on that last pass interference...well...the next one that is borderline might just get called also.

You would not belive the things that are said to officials on and off the field.  We now have police protection at all varsity games.


September 23rd, 2010 at 1:48 PM ^

Are refs aware when there is an extremely good player on the DL or LB corps? Who is being held often because he is so good? Obv., holding happens all the time, and you can't call everything. Watching my son's 4th grade team play, you can see that the refs often just "let them play." But at some point, it has to be frustrating for BG or Martin to consistently be held, and to consistently have the refs choose not to call the hold. Are they just SOL all the time?

Also, what's up with Martin being given a "warning?"


September 24th, 2010 at 7:56 PM ^

We get "scouting" reports from our association.  They usually talk about types of offenses or special and trick plays or if the team is head and shoulders better than another in one aspect like "Big Ten recruited QB" or "SEC level RB".

During the game we every break in the action, we discuss what we are seeing and who to a BJ I do NOT EVER call holding on the line, that is the Umpire...but I do see it and I let him know if the LT is grabbing every play...then he can watch and catch it.


Many people do not realize that we have zones that we are responsible for and it is rare for one of us to over-rule a fellow crewmate out of our zone.  But we do talk and discuss to confirm the right call.

In HS we only have a 5 man crew in the NCAA they use 7, so they have some extra help.