One of the most unbelievable plays in college football history should not have gone down the way it transpired.
The ACC announced on Sunday that it has suspended the on-field officiating crew, as well as the replay official and communicator, for two games following errors made on the game-deciding play of Miami's 30-27 win over Duke on Saturday night.
The conference put out a press release detailing the errors made on the controversial ending to the game.
According to the ACC, those errors were:
» The replay official erred in not overturning the ruling on the field that the Miami player had released the ball prior to his knee being down. If called, this would have ended the game.
» The on-field officials erred by failing to penalize Miami for an illegal block in the back at the Miami 16-yard line. If called, the ball would have been placed at the Miami 8-yard line and the game would have been extended for an untimed down.
» A block in the back foul was called at the Duke 26-yard line. After the officials conferred, which is appropriate, they correctly determined that the block was from the side, which resulted in the flag being picked up. The replay official was not involved in the decision to pick up the flag; however, the referee did not effectively manage communication and properly explain why the flag was picked up.
» In addition, the on-field crew failed to penalize a Miami player for leaving the bench area and entering the field prior to the end of the play. This foul would not have negated the touchdown because it would have been enforced as a dead ball foul.
During the play, officials threw a penalty flag on what looked like a block in the back, and then took more than nine minutes reviewing the play. At first, it had appeared a decision had been made, only to have an official offer a bizarre, "Correction, the play is still under review" announcement. In the end, the officials declared the play legal, the touchdown stood, and Miami won on an impossible dream of a play.
Despite the aforementioned errors by the officials, there was no statement from the ACC on reversing the outcome of the game.
The University of Miami's official athletic department Twitter account didn't take long to issue its official response ...