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Notre Dame: NCAA Says Correct Call Made Ending Irish-Stanford Game

Despite the controversy, NCAA officials say the referees got the call right.
Despite the controversy, NCAA officials say the referees got the call right.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Kevin McRaeFeatured ColumnistOctober 17, 2012

Lost in the drama of Notre Dame's victory-preserving goal-line stand against Stanford last Saturday, was the very legitimate question of whether or not the referees got the final call right.

Today, the NCAA is saying that, in fact, they did.

NCAA national coordinator of officials Rogers Redding told the Associated Press on Tuesday that, given the evidence, he "would have to let the call stand."

The call on the field was that Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor, did not cross the goal line and was stopped short, giving the Irish a 20-13 overtime win. 

Upon video review the play appeared much closer, and Taylor appears to have advanced the ball beyond the goal line after his initial progress was stopped. At the same time, it also appeared as though his elbow may have touched the ground before the ball crossed.

At best, the video evidence was inconclusive.

On the field, officials ruled that his forward progress had been stopped before crossing the plane, and that Notre Dame's victory would stand. 

That forward progress was stopped, and the play was over before the ball advanced over the goal line, can be seen by the side judge rushing towards the play before Taylor made his final reach for the touchdown.

''He's not going to charge in unless he's sure in his mind that the play is over," said Redding

"That's another indicator that the play is dead."

The controversy has simmered for the past few days, with many feeling that Stanford was cheated out potential game-tying touchdown. 

But the NCAA says that is not the case and has now defended the referee's decision.

It hardly matters to the No. 5-ranked Irish, who have the win in the bank, and return to the field this Saturday when they host the BYU Cougars at Notre Dame Stadium.

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