Big 12

Will college football follow NFL’s lead on reviewing pass interference?

College football is happy that the NFL is going to be the guinea pig when it comes to reviewing pass interference.

The NFL made changes following a missed pass interference by the Los Angeles Rams against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship game.

Greg Burks, the Big 12’s coordinator of officials, seemed lukewarm at best on the college game following suit.

“I think in the long run we will have to see how it works for the NFL,” Burks said at Big 12 Media Days on Tuesday at AT&T Stadium.

“The Canadian Football League has used instant replay for pass interference for a few years now and in talking to those folks it’s not been successful.

“Here is the reason: On judgment plays, whether it be holding or pass interference, there is a level of restriction on every one of those plays. Does that level rise to where we now have an advantage or a disadvantage? When you watch a play on film, a judgment play, whether it’s holding or pass interference, you are going to see, yes, there was contact here early. So you still have to make a judgment on did it impede this player from making a play? So it’s a slippery slope when you get into judgment areas.”

The NFL’s latest rule states that pass interference reviews after the two-minute warning of each half and during overtime will be initiated by the replay official. The replay official will only stop the game when there is “clear and obvious visual evidence” that a pass interference penalty may have occurred.

At the end of the day, college football is happy to take a backseat on this matter. The NFL may be opening a can of worms.

“I don’t know where technology is going,” Burks said. “I know that I trust the judgment of our officials when it comes to those type of plays. When you go to replay and you say did he step out-of-bounds? Did he get a foot down with possession, did he reach the line to gain? Those are pretty easy things in the sense that it’s yes or no.

“When you watch pass interference, it’s not yes or no. It’s varying degrees. It is my opinion that we leave that in the hands of the officials. The NFL, I’m glad they’re going first on this and we will see how that works for them and what conclusions they reach. I’m happy with the college rule where it is right now.”

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram