Craig Remsburg column: Addition of video replay in NCAA hoops is a positive step forward

There are those who will say an incorrect call by a game official, referee or umpire is just something that happens, just part of athletics.

Don’t say that to former Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga, though, who was denied a perfect game by first base umpire Jim Joyce with an incorrect call in June of 2010.

Or, more recently, Boston Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava, who appeared to catch a fly ball by the Detroit Tigers’ Avisail Garcia long enough to record an out, but was ruled to have dropped the ball for an error.

The Tigers capitalized on the ruling and rallied to win the game.

As long as there are humans making game calls or rulings, there will be mistakes made. In both cases, Galarraga and Nava were victimized by bad calls proven conclusively by television replays.

It was not easy by both to forget and forgive. TV replays available to umpires in both instances would have reversed the calls.

Umpires in Major League Baseball will use a video replay to determine the validity of a home run call or non-call, but that’s about all replays are used for.

The NHL uses replays for coach’s challenges and the NHL will sometimes check a video replay to determine whether a goal is actually scored.

Now, the NCAA has expanded its use of courtside video replays in men’s basketball contests.

The association’s Playing Rules Oversight Panel has approved changes in the use of video replays when it comes to a shot clock violation, out-of-bounds ball deflections and specific time frames within which to review a 3-point field goal.

In addition, replays can also be used to see who committed a foul, if need be, and to determine the severity of an elbow blow above the shoulders.

Some of these new rules may be resented by NCAA basketball officials for undermining their authority and decisions they make in a game.

Second-guessing someone’s decision-making in the heat of the moment may not go well with those making the snap decisions.

But with today’s technology, why shouldn’t a TV replay be used to make sure a call is correct?

As long as the review doesn’t take more than a minute or so, it could be a useful tool to make things right.

Continual interruptions in a game for TV monitor replays would not be good, of course. That would only frustrate those attending the game and the TV audience.

But the NCAA’s decision to expand the use of courtside video replays to make sure correct calls/decisions are made is a good step toward that goal.

Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251.