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4 January 2008
OVC to Have Instant Replay
at Its Disposal Next Weekend

Al Muskewitz
Star Sports Writer

Reprinted here in its entirety.

JACKSONVILLE By next weekend, all 11 schools in the Ohio Valley Conference will be equipped with replay technology to help game officials with a close call that major conferences have been using for several years.

OVC officials mandated their schools have replay technology in place shortly before Christmas and hoped it would be wired by this weekend's games, but the delay was created by the holiday and the availability of technicians to install it.

As of Thursday's meeting of OVC athletic directors in Nashville, where details of the system were finalized, only about half the schools in the league had the technology in place.

Those who do can use it now, but every school in the conference is expected to be on line by Jan. 12.

"We're fully committed to this," OVC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said Thursday.

To this point, replays in OVC games typically have been confined to games that were televised.

The commissioner announced the mandate for courtside instant replay technology for all Dec. 21 one day after Jacksonville State and Murray State both lost conference games that involved controversial timing issues at the finish.

The Gamecocks' loss to Southeast Missouri ended when the final 1.9 seconds appeared to expire before anyone touched an inbounds pass in the court of play. The game officials ruled Will Ginn's baseball pass was tipped by SEMO defender Brandon Foust at the source which Foust concurred but JSU coach Mike LaPlante was still looking for evidence of it Thursday.

"(On the game tape) it was difficult to tell," LaPlante said.

The OVC will follow NCAA guidelines for its replays. Generally, they are used to correct scoring and timing errors.

Game officials used a replay in last year's JSU-Eastern Illinois game at Pete Mathews Coliseum to sort out an altercation on the floor.

"It's legislation they've always had in place before, but it wasn't mandatory," LaPlante said. "As long they get it right, that's all you care about. If they're able to utilize videotape at the end of a game and get something right, that's going to make the game better.

"The officials are trying to do the best that they can under the circumstances and so if they have access to video, then I think that's only going to be a good thing."

OVC officials said they don't foresee the replay being used in football anytime in the near future.

Next: Jacksonville State at Austin Peay, Saturday, women, 5:15 p.m.; men, 7:30 p.m.; 91.9 FM, 97.9 FM

About Al Muskewitz

Al Muskewitz covers golf and Jacksonville State University sports teams for The Anniston Star.

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