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Andy Katz | Correspondent | December 29, 2017

SEC to start monitoring plays out of Birmingham office

  The SEC's instant replay system will attempt to improve accuracy.

The SEC will attempt to cut down on video replay review time and improve accuracy by offering instant monitoring of plays out of its conference office in Birmingham.

The system, which will have access to six on-site angles on any given play, could allow game officials to bypass communicating with the television production truck, which could speed up the review process.

The SEC will start using its monitoring system Saturday with the beginning of conference play.

“We will have more angles than ever before,’’ SEC coordinator of officials Mark Whitehead told Friday. “But the officials must make the call on the floor first.’’

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The review system will only be for plays that are reviewable with the replay monitor under NCAA Playing Rule 11. Whitehead said the system will be similar to the NBA’s replay monitoring. SEC officials visited the NBA office in New Jersey to go over how the system works.

Whitehead said once the call is made and a review is called for, the lead official will go to the courtside headset. On the other end will be former longtime official Terry Moore, who is now the coordinator of men’s basketball replay for the conference. By the time the official is on the headset, Moore can tell the official to specifically look at angle B, C, or D, or however it is specifically labeled. Moore has worked in the international stage, as well, working with USA Basketball.

Whitehead said this will cut down on when game announcers wonder why it’s taking so long for a review.

“Sometimes officials monitors aren’t functioning properly or they can’t get the producer to pull it up quickly,’’ said Whitehead. “This will eliminate some of those problems. It will be quicker and faster. But it’s still the officials call to make.’’

Whitehead said officials will still be told what replay is being used over the air by the television crew, if it’s one that they aren’t seeing. Whitehead said the SEC had access to four angles a year ago, but now each school has six at its disposal for the conference office. 

Whitehead said an example is an official could call a 2-pointer instead of a 3-pointer but need to go check it. He said Moore could tell the official immediately which angle to see to quickly confirm or change the call.

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“The (game) official will still look at it and make the final determination,’’ said Whitehead.

The NCAA will be watching how this is handled.

J.D. Collins, the NCAA's coordinator of men's basketball officiating, said the SEC’s “efforts will be watched closely by the rules committee for data. Were they more accurate? Were they more timely? If so, other conferences with resources may get involved. I am watching the process with high interest to potential future impact.”

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