Birmingham, Alabama (AP) -- The Southeastern Conference has suspended
officials from last weekend's Arkansas-Florida game after the crew was
involved in its second controversial call of the year.
Marc Curles' crew called a personal foul on Arkansas defensive lineman
Malcolm Sheppard in the fourth quarter as the Gators were rallying for
a 23-20 victory. The league said there was no video evidence to support
The same group of officials called the LSU-Georgia
game earlier this month, which included a late unsportsmanlike conduct
penalty the league said shouldn't have been called.
series of calls that have occurred during the last several weeks have
not been to the standard that we expect from our officiating crews,"
SEC commissioner Mike Slive said Wednesday. "I believe our officiating
program is the best in the country. However, there are times when these
actions must be taken."
SEC associate commissioner Charles
Bloom said this is the first time the league has publicly suspended a
football crew like this.
The SEC says the crew will be
removed from its next scheduled assignment Oct. 31 and will not be
assigned to officiate as a crew until Nov. 14.
The league said the crew's bowl assignments could also be impacted.
entire crew shoulders responsibility for each play. I have taken this
action because there must be accountability in our officiating
program," Slive said. "Our institutions expect the highest level of
officiating in all of our sports and it is the duty of the conference
office to uphold that expectation."