There was a slight hint of disappointment in his voice.
Georgia head coach Mark Fox was asked if he brought up what happened at Texas A&M in front of the NCAA Men's Basketball Rules Committee during its recent offseason meeting.
Fox responded with a quick, “Yes.” But by the way he sounded, Fox sure seemed to wish he and the rules committee could have found a resolution on the matter.
Fox noted how tough it is for multiple people to reach one solution on an end-of-game timing error. Against Texas A&M, the Aggies rallied to go up by one with Georgia facing one final possession. But with 5.6 seconds left to play in the game, the clock inexplicably stopped.
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The Bulldogs went through their offensive set and got the ball to forward Yante Maten. Maten went up for a shot and was fouled. When it was realized the clock stopped, officials went to the monitor and used a stopwatch to time the play. More than 5.6 seconds elapsed before the foul and Texas A&M was awarded a win.
“There’s no good solution to it,” Fox said. “We obviously didn’t come up with one. When timing errors occur there’s not a good solution to fix it. And there are arguments on both sides. You don’t want to play time of the game over again.”
Fox admitted how tough it is to come to a consensus on what should be done in situations like this.
“In football, the game cannot end on a defensive penalty. So if the clock expires on a defensive penalty, the game cannot end and you play (an untimed down) with no time on the clock,” Fox said. “So they really just play one play. In basketball, in any game not specific to ours, if the offense was hurt by a timing error, should they be allowed a chance to play that possession again? There was a lot of debate on both sides and we didn’t come up with a good solution.”
While Fox and his colleagues on the rules committee were unable to craft a new rule on end-of-game timing errors, the SEC did receive approval from the NCAA on a collaborative replay initiative, similar to what was used in football this past season.
Fox is in support of a centralized replay team at the SEC offices in Birmingham, Alabama, with an off-site official who could help get a call from a replay correct.
While collaborative replay wouldn't have helped Georgia's end-game situation against Texas A&M, Fox said it would have played a part in getting other aspects of that game right.
But of course, going into detail on any particular calls from that game would risk a fine from the SEC.
“It would have had an impact on that game, most certainly,” Fox said.