Huskies Insider Blog

Judgments seem to differ on "judgment call"

The News Tribune has a follow-up story on the 15-yard celebration penalty that likely affected the outcome of Washington's 28-27 loss to BYU on Saturday.

In this one, David Parry, national coordinator for college football officiating, seems -- to me -- to misinterpret what game referee Larry Farina said after the game.

After the game, Farina said "it was not a judgment call." I think Farina clearly meant "the rule doesn't allow for interpretation, it's black-and-white that if he throws the ball we have to call the penalty." However, Parry interpreted Farina's statement to mean Jake Locker's actions were "so obviously against the rule and flagrant you have no option." No one who saw the play could possibly believe that. At least the "flagrant" part.

So, hmm.

(Parry also perpetuates what I see as a copout myth that "all calls are judgment calls." I think "judgment calls" mean calls where officials must judge intent. Intentional grounding may be the classic judgment call because it even has the word "intentional" in its name ... the officials just judge whether the quarterback's intent was to complete a pass or to throw an incomplete pass to avoid a sack.)

Applying all that to the Locker incident, Farina seems to be saying that the rule says you can't throw the ball high into the air, Locker did, therefore the officials can do nothing but call a penalty.

Whereas Parry seems to be saying that the officiating crew must have decided that Locker's actions crossed some line in terms of intent that turned it into taunting or excessiveness.

So, hmm, again.

(And, by the way, there was a similar excessive celebration call in the Arizona-Toledo game over the weekend.)

Meanwhile, Bob Stoops -- coach of UW Saturday opponent Oklahoma -- refused to be drawn into the controversy this morning. He said that the Oklahoma coaches make their players aware of the rule, but he wouldn't comment on the call from the UW game, although he acknowledged that he saw it.

More -- I'm sure -- to follow as we will get some time with Tyrone Willingham and the Huskies at noon today.