Thursday's Big 12 showdown between Texas and Iowa State ended in controversial fashion (with Cyclones coach Paul Rhoads blasting the officiating after the game. Texas running back Johnathan Gray appeared to fumble at the goal line, with Iowa State linebacker Jeremiah George's recovery sealing the game. It did not seal the game.
Big 12 Supervisor of Football Officials Walt Anderson has responded with a statement.
The ruling made on the goal line play was that the runner was down by rule with the ball. Because of that ruling, instant replay is allowed to review the play, which it did. Had the ruling on the field been forward progress, the play would not be reviewable because the goal line was not involved. The Replay Official looked at all five views available for this play: Line Feed, Goal Line cart, Press Box angle, Sky Cam, and Opposite End Zone camera. He correctly determined there was no indisputable video evidence to confirm that either the ruling on the field was correct, or that the ball was loose prior to the runner being down. By rule when there is not indisputable video evidence to confirm or change the call on the field, the ruling stands.
On this play, the covering official ruled the runner was down and still had control of the ball. There is no question the runner ends up on the ground, and there is no question that eventually an Iowa State player ends up with the ball. However, after reviewing the video evidence it is impossible to tell with certainty when the runner loses control of the ball and at that point was he down or not.
The conference would acknowledge in this unique situation if a mistake were made, but we do not have the video evidence to prove that one occurred.
With little time remaining on the clock and Iowa State holding on to a 30-24 lead, Gray appeared to fumble the ball at the goal line. Gray was ruled down on the field, however, and the referees confirmed the call on review even though replays seemed to suggest otherwise.
Texas would score two plays later, giving it the 31-30 lead -- which it would hold on to for the win.