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Our Apologies To Chuck Bullough & Rick Neuheisel (Screwed By SPTRs)

<em>Dave Hirsch, Pac-10's vice president of communication: <a href="" target="new">Coach Rick Neuheisel was correct</a>.</em>
Dave Hirsch, Pac-10's vice president of communication: Coach Rick Neuheisel was correct.

We all saw it. The UCLA football team looked like bunch of clueless fools on national TV and to all of us who were at the stadium. In the first half near our end zone as Stanford was getting ready to snap the ball, our defense looked to be completely out of whack and running into each other. Everyone here blasted Chuck Bullough and Rick Neuheisel for running a disorganized mess of a defense based on that scene, which included yours truly:

Lack of organization on defense: Sensing a theme around here? Well what else would we call the situation when our defenders kept bumping into each other pathetically trying to sub in while Stanford guys were set and ready to go. It goes back to the basic job responsibilities of Chuck Bullough, which is to have his defense organized and being aware of game situations. From what we saw last night he failed at it a very basic level. I don't have the advantage of watching tape on last night's game. However, it was easy to pick out how Bullough often couldn't make up his mind whether to change up from his base package while the Cardinal were in our red zone. Hence the total chaos during the subbing of defensive personnel.

Well it appears that it was the SPTR who screwed the pooch and in the process UCLA once again thanks to their typical, horrible officiating. From the LA Times:

Pacific 10 Conference officials have acknowledged that their referee crew misinterpreted a substitution rule during UCLA's game against Stanford on Saturday.

Dave Cutaia, the conference's coordinator of officiating, has spoken with UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel, said Dave Hirsch, the conference's vice president of communication.

The Bruins were penalized for an illegal substitution in the first quarter with Stanford on the UCLA 10-yard line. Neuheisel argued the call and later contended that since Stanford was in a no-huddle offense, the rules require referees to stand over the ball to allow UCLA to make substitutions.

Hirsch said the conference has told Neuheisel that he was correct.

CRN mentioned following the game that he had specifically notified the refs about that rule before the game. In other words he did his part as the leader of the team to put officials on notice (having scouted Stanford's tendencies) and yet the officials still screwed it up.

So all of us including yours truly owes an apology to Chuck Bullough and Rick Neuheisel so hard over that issues and accuse them of disorganization. It appeared they had it right all along.

The rule provides [Rule 3.5.4 (page FR 77)]:

e. While in the process of substitution or simulated substitution, Team A is prohibited from rushing quickly to the line of scrimmage with the obvious attempt of creating a defensive disadvantage. If the ball is ready for play, the game officials will not permit the ball to be snapped until Team B has placed substitutes in position and replaced players have left the field of play. Team B must react promptly with its substitutes.

PENALTY-Dead-ball foul. Delay of game on Team B for not completing its substitutions promptly, or delay of game on Team A for causing the play clock to expire. Five yards from the succeeding spot [S7 and S21]. The referee will then notify the head coach that any further use of this tactic will result in an unsportsmanlike conduct foul.

And here is an official interpretation [from 3-5 Article 2,  IX - page FI 21]:

IX. After the ball is ready for play and the umpire is in his regular position, Team A quickly replaces some players with substitutes, gets set for the required one second and snaps the ball. The umpire is attempting to get to the ball to allow the defense to match up, but he is unable to prevent the snap. RULING: The play is shut down, the game clock is stopped and the defense is allowed to substitute in response to Team A's late substitutions. No foul. The play clock is set to 25 seconds and starts on the ready-for-play signal. The game clock starts on the ready-for-play signal or the snap, depending on its condition when play was stopped.

So yeah, the refs screwed up big time. Because of their screw up UCLA had to waste a TO to get guys on the field. The penalty gave Stanford momentum, embarrassed our defense and led to a TD on the way of a 7-0 Cardinal lead. Thanks a lot SPTRs.

Well we sure hope all of you who came on here and specifically criciticzed the staff over that decision would be intellectually honest enough to issue your own apology to the coaches. Easy to vent and take cheap shots, lot harder to admit that all of us were totally wrong ... at least in this case.