It was another great day of college football, but one game had a little bit of controversy at the end of it. Washington's quarterback Jake Locker scored a touchdown late in their game with BYU to get the Huskies within a point. Locker then proceeded to throw the ball high in the air and draw an excessive celebration penalty. With the ball located on the 18 yard line, Washington could not convert on the extra point as BYU blocked it and won the game.
I have heard it all from people, the ref wanted to be the center of attention, Locker was just excited...etc. The official did not lose the game for Washington. He did not miss the block that got the kick blocked. He was not the kicker who got the ball off too slow or too low. He made a call based on a rule in the book.
All the talking heads and those calling for his head are wrong, the Official in that case was just following the rules. This year the NCAA made it a point of emphasis to all Officials to enforce this excessive celebration rule. In the rule it states:
After a score or any other play; the player in possession immediately must return the ball to the official or leave it near the dead ball spot.
Then the part that no one seems to understand:
(c) Throwing the ball high into the air.
Clearly Locker threw the ball high in the air, so high that it goes out of the picture. If you do not agree with this, do not get mad at the official. Get mad at the NCAA for having the rule. The official is just doing his job and enforcing this rule. If he didn't, there could be an observer there grading him and he could never work a game.
To all the talking heads that complained about this rule, Kirk Herbstreit, Mark May, Lou Holtz, Mel Kiper; you all need to learn the rules before you go spouting off. And if you still don't agree, next time your boss on ESPN tells you to do something on the air, be brave and don't do it. We'll see how happy he is after.