SEC responds to Mark Richt on controversial calls in South Carolina game


Let it never be said that Georgia head coach Mark Richt is slack on due diligence.

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Just days after Georgia’s heartbreaking loss to South Carolina, Richt sent a request to the SEC offices to review tapes of a couple of controversial calls that had occurred during the course of the game.

The SEC has responded to Richt, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the results are not unsurprising.

On the first down play at the 4-yard line that was ruled intention grounding by quarterback Hutson Mason, the league officials say the referees got it right.

During his weekly news conference, Richt shared what the league said about the grounding call:

"“I don’t know how much detail I’m supposed to give on these kinds of things. I will say on the grounding call, they say … if the ball has a reasonable chance of being caught, whether or whether not a defender deflects it or not, it would not be grounding. But they think the ball, as it was being delivered, had no reasonable chance of being caught.”"

While many fans may not agree with that assessment, in the spirit of the rule, the officials did get it right.

But what about that ghastly holding call that negated a 57-yard touchdown run by tailback Todd Gurley?

While Richt was less inclined to share the response from the league, its obvious by his reaction that it was indeed an incorrect call.

"“The rest of them, I’m not going to get into. I’ll say this about (SEC coordinator of officials) Steve Shaw: He’ll shoot you straight and he’ll say exactly what he thought. Many times he’ll say, ‘I don’t know if this was a quality call.’ … If there’s an explanation needed, he’s always there.”"

According to the AJC report, a source with familiarity with the communications between Richt and the SEC offices indicated that there should have been no penalty called on offensive lineman Brandon Kublanow.

So what does all this mean for Georgia? Absolutely nothing, except perhaps a little personal vindication for Kublanow, and a smug nod from Steve Spurrier that you can’t take the win off the books.