SEC suspends Florida-Arkansas crew until Nov. 14

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The SEC has suspended officials from last weekend’s Arkansas-Florida game after the crew was involved in its second controversial call of the year.

Referee Marc Curles’ crew called a personal foul on Arkansas defensive lineman Malcolm Sheppard in the fourth quarter as the Gators were rallying for a 23-20 victory. The league said there was no video evidence to support the call.

The same group of officials called the LSU-Georgia game earlier this month, which included a late unsportsmanlike conduct penalty the league said shouldn’t have been called.

“A series of calls that have occurred during the last several weeks have not been to the standard that we expect from our officiating crews,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said Wednesday. “I believe our officiating program is the best in the country. However, there are times when these actions must be taken.”

SEC associate commissioner Charles Bloom said this is the first time the league has publicly suspended a football crew like this.

The SEC says the crew will be removed from its next scheduled assignment Oct. 31 and will not be assigned to officiate as a crew until Nov. 14.

The league said the crew’s bowl assignments could also be impacted.

“The entire crew shoulders responsibility for each play. I have taken this action because there must be accountability in our officiating program,” Slive said. “Our institutions expect the highest level of officiating in all of our sports and it is the duty of the conference office to uphold that expectation.”

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Comments » 36

UT4ever writes:

What a bunch of Suckers!!!

UT4ever writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witchy needs to give those Fools (no relation to Foolmer!) some serious Magic Herbs....they are probably Gators in disguise.....maybe Witchy can "herb" them back to normal, HOHOHO!!

Ironcity writes:

Better yet fire the guys!

UT4ever writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witchy give them Herbs to take Saban Mask off of wives, and also to take Foolmer mask off of them.....Bammer Wives love to look at Foolmer, bc/ they know they going to Destroy us with Foolmer as the coach, and they finally have a chance to get some action!! HOHOHOHO!!!

Jamey1210 writes:

I also heard that the play clock was expired before the Fl snap for the winning field goal. Did not see it for my own eyes so take it for what is worth. Would like to hear more about that call aswell though.

the10sevol writes:

"The SEC says the crew will be removed from its scheduled assignment this weekend and will not be assigned to officiate as a crew until Nov. 14."

...when they will be assigned to the game in oxford, miss. great.

GBO

ArealVolFan writes:

This is great. A. Because it was the right thing to do and it is about time the SEC took a stand on bad officiating. B.Because I had read on Volquest this was the crew assigned to the UT/Bama game. I don't know if that was true or not, but at least we know now we won't have to worry about it.

volsfootballtime writes:

Im not a florida or arkansas fan but i was disgusted at the calls at the end of the game. It was actually 2 15 yard penalties called on that drive to give florida the win. I was seriously thinking that wow!! this game is being decided by the officials. I think the penalty should be alot more serious though.

asleep#212036 writes:

Losing a potential plum bowl game assignment is much worse for those guys than a regular season game. OUCH! However, considering they made two bone-headed calls at critical moments in huge games and both flagged teams lost, I don't think it is unreasonable. The game should be about the players, not the refs. When the zebras decide they want to be the main attraction, the SEC needs to step up. Funny how we are finally coming to the table on that issue when all the other leagues (with the notable exception of the Big 12) have been suspending crews for years in similar situations. Usually it is a misapplication of the rules or messing up the clock that gets a ref in trouble. I don't know that I've ever heard of a crew being suspended for poor judgment calls. Oh well. Next game they call they probably won't drop a single flag! Go Vols!!!

GainesvilleVol1 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

They work for the SEC, and were told to let UF, as well as LSU vs Ga. win. In other words, on a close call, we want the favorite to get the benefit of the doubt. It's an inside job, so they suspend their own, probably with pay. Same instructions, different crew this weekend. It's all about the money, and undefeated teams are worth a lot more in the BCS. I don't think your bones are a match for the SEC's bean counters. UT will have to play a perfect game, make big plays and not show any emotion. Big game, but the stakes are bigger for Bama, and the SEC money shakers.

Prove me wrong on Saturday UT!!!! GO VOLS!!!

the10sevol writes:

maybe they can pick up some part-time work umping the baseball playoffs.

GBO

TheFuj writes:

I watched the game. FL got away with numerous o-line holds. I know one could call o-line hold on every play, but the crew seemed to call them on Ark., but not FL. Also, how many offensive pass interference calls were not called on that Cooper kid. Even announcers were commenting.

99gator writes:

the penalties were unfortunate.

i can think of three officials' calls/judgments in the last 10 years of florida-tennessee games that had more impact than the calls in the fl-arky game on saturday.

they were bad calls and unfortunate.

but, i'm sorry, they did not decide the game.

if florida would have been forced to punt or something and the penalties kept the drive alive, i would buy into that argument.

but, that's not the case.

if anyone wants, i'll name the three calls in florida-tenn games past and let everyone here decide if they were more influential than the penalties against arkansas.

CT_VOL writes:

There were actually 3 blown calls down the stretch that resulted in 2 scores for Florida and the win!

Ark back turned around and playing the ball got called for pass interference. In the end zone, no call for offensive interference when the receiver interfered with the ark back that had position on the incoming pass.

And above, the ark lineman was about to get hit by a Florida douche so he slammed him.

Refs gave Florida the victory. They should all be fired. Outrageous!

VolinCalif writes:

in response to volfromfla56_did_I_hurt_your_feelings:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It's the public notice that is putting pressure on Slive that is the only reason he is doing anything at all. Ark should have won that game and all watching knows that is true. As for SC/Al I would think cheating would require more than telling Al they can't do that again. SC also got hosed. As a golfer I know for a fact that little things like ball set up help, if nothing else mentally

VOLoom writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch_Doctor's act is as old as seven day house guests. Yawn.....

BSweet writes:

Glad Slime took a stand and suspended them. I'm tired of bad officiating being written off as part of the game. Who wins or loses should be decided by the players on the field, not the men in the zebra suits. As far as the game, what's done cannot be undone, but hopefully a message has been sent to all the other officiating crews.

thevoice writes:

in response to VFear:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Or damn.

HSVol writes:

When I say those calls, all I could think was that the SEC office wanted and needed FLA to stay undefeated and that the word had come down to make it so. Either that or these guys are dumb as sh*t and suck at their job. So rigged or incompetent...which is it?

amstelman writes:

Gotta give credit. The league took some action in a situation where normally nothing happens. Cred to Slive for at least doing something. You have to be shocked that any action was taken.

Pullingguard writes:

Finally, the SEC office has done something about poor officating... This should send a message to all the officating crews... This team really deserved to be suspended for longer period but at least the Commish made a stand..

HallowedHill writes:

Glad to see the league take action. This crew will draw a lot of scrutiny from this point forward. The bar has been set, hopefully the calls will improve.

GainesvilleVol1 writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey, I'm not saying Bama is not a better team than UT. They are well coached, and are deserving of the #1 status. I'm just saying this year, a couple of questionable calls have given the favorite's the chance to win the game, when in truth they should have lost. I don't know which UT team will play this weekend. At any rate, we are underdogs, and rightfully so. As for the losing season, Ole Miss, South Carloina, and the Kentucky games will decide that. You are right, however, that UF and Bama will play in the SECCG. I'm just saying both teams undedefeated is a much bigger selling point as far as the BCS goes. Hell, their already talking about a rematch in the NCG. Anyway, just my theory, but don't cancel any games, I need a reason to cook pork, and drink Jack Daniels :)

GO VOLS!!!!

DragonSlayer123 writes:

in response to 99gator:

the penalties were unfortunate.

i can think of three officials' calls/judgments in the last 10 years of florida-tennessee games that had more impact than the calls in the fl-arky game on saturday.

they were bad calls and unfortunate.

but, i'm sorry, they did not decide the game.

if florida would have been forced to punt or something and the penalties kept the drive alive, i would buy into that argument.

but, that's not the case.

if anyone wants, i'll name the three calls in florida-tenn games past and let everyone here decide if they were more influential than the penalties against arkansas.

Hey 99, i dont care to know which specific penalties those were in Tenn_UF matchups, but let me ask you this...was Tennessee or Florida ranked #1 in any of those contests?

And another thing that seems to be forgotten in this whole mess is THE most blatant missed call that DIRECTLY resulted in UF getting points that got them the win...the jersey-pull orchestrated by Riley Cooper against LSU that freed him for the 70+ yard TD. That play GAVE the Gators the win.

The refs are the "gift that just keeps giving" for the Gators.

Greer_Vol_22 writes:

"The league said there was no video evidence to support the call." BS! or they wouldn't be suspended. Why not just let them call PeeWee from now on??

murrayvol writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Regardless of what he heard the play clock had expired and it wasn't a close call. It was a full 3 count before the kick. I was watching the game. Were you?

I don't think the officiating crew was keeping time on the field.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to Plasticman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

so how is Slive looking out for Fla by suspending refs???????????????----------are you now suggesting he told the refs to make bad calls to help Fla???????

stop it people with the conspiracy theories---------makes you look rediculous

ClearVol writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Clearly Lane knows the rules of recruiting- No. 3 class in the country and climbing... "Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly"..

SouthALVol writes:

Just wondering...is this the same crew where the ref clotheslined the South Carolina player last year?

SouthALVol writes:

Finally found it. Wilber "Tackler" Hackett was not in that crew. Sorry for the mob mentality question, but I couldn't help but wonder.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Regardless of what he heard the play clock had expired and it wasn't a close call. It was a full 3 count before the kick. I was watching the game. Were you?

I don't think the officiating crew was keeping time on the field.

Sorry Mur, but search around for a CBS clip on Youtube. It shows 9 seconds left after the FG.

Oh, and to the Gator dweeb that yesterday said Mallet was over the line of scrimmage on his TD throw...nope, not even close.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why was Slive so quick to rise to meyer's defnese when Kiffin called meyer a cheater, but said nothing to either spurrier or saban during this past week when each called the other a cheater? Some of us in Tennessee consider Slive to be meyer's little rent-boy, and double standards of application like in this case helps to illustrate why.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to 99gator:

the penalties were unfortunate.

i can think of three officials' calls/judgments in the last 10 years of florida-tennessee games that had more impact than the calls in the fl-arky game on saturday.

they were bad calls and unfortunate.

but, i'm sorry, they did not decide the game.

if florida would have been forced to punt or something and the penalties kept the drive alive, i would buy into that argument.

but, that's not the case.

if anyone wants, i'll name the three calls in florida-tenn games past and let everyone here decide if they were more influential than the penalties against arkansas.

Your post is irrelevant.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No, thanks. We need the game experience to get our program to the point where it will beat yours. And we want to watch you lose this year, so we want all the games to be played.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to reyem060809:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

They'll be keeping score next September in Knoxville. don't look now, gator, but something is gaining on you.

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

Why was Slive so quick to rise to meyer's defnese when Kiffin called meyer a cheater, but said nothing to either spurrier or saban during this past week when each called the other a cheater? Some of us in Tennessee consider Slive to be meyer's little rent-boy, and double standards of application like in this case helps to illustrate why.

Excellent post. Also, Slive's not just in tight with Meyer but also with Florida's AD, Jeremy Foley (Foley's been in Gainesville since the 80s and can plot and scheme with the best of them). That's a threesome no respectable person would pay to see under any circumstances.

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