There was not lack of discussion about the controversial ending of LSU’s 73-71 victory against No. 5 Kentucky on Tuesday night, and now that discussion might turn into action.
A report from The Athletic citing a statement from the Southeastern Conference saying the league is looking to the possibility of making end-of-game plays wholly reviewable.
“The Southeastern Conference has been proactive in experimenting with collaborative instant replay and will recommend further exploration of the use of instant replay in game-ending situations, including the ability to evaluate basket interference,” the statement said. “The SEC will use its position on relevant committees to introduce discussion on video replay related to game-ending situations, and SEC Associate Commissioner for Men’s Basketball Dan Leibovitz has already initiated conversations with the NCAA National Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Officiating and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Editor on future use of replay in end-of-game situations.”
When asked about the potential rule change, LSU coach Will Wade said he didn’t like the idea of increasing the scope of official reviews beyond giving coaches a challenge they can use at any point in the game.
“I think we go to the monitor too much anyway,” Wade said. “I’m tired of everything going to the monitor all the time. I think the coaches should get one challenge, and if you want to save it for the end to use it on the a play like that, then use it on a play like that.”
Wade acknowledged that he and the Tigers came out on the winning end of a controversial call, but insisted he would maintain those views if he were on the other end of a similar call.
“The game just gets so slowed down when it goes to the monitor all the time. We were on the benefitting end of this one, and we’ll probably be not on the benefitting end of other ones. I’ve been on both sides. It’s kind of the way it goes. At the end of the year everything kind of evens out most of the time.”
Wade went on to call basketball an “imperfect game,” saying mistakes are made at every level from players to coaches to officials in every game.
He added that video replay has taken some of officials’ agency and judgement out of the game, something he views to be a negative.
“I look at officiating as an art,” Wade said. “It’s not necessarily just a job. I think they’re trying to turn it into just a black-and-white job. I think there’s an art to it. The best officials are good communicators. You can give them some leeway and you trust them. I think that’s how most coaches want it.”