Davie reviews Saturday's close calls
By Tim Casey
Following Saturday's 26-22 loss to Michigan, the Irish faithful questioned the validity of the two penalties in the last two minutes that may have cost the Irish the victory.
Bob Davie took his gripes a step further.
"I had a personal phone call with Dave Parry [the Big Ten's supervisor of officials] and we talked about every play in that game that was of question," said Davie at Tuesday's press conference. "We have had all those discussions but they are not going to change what happened."
One play that Davie debated was the excessive celebration by Bobby Brown following the two-point that put the Irish ahead 22-19. Brown gestured toward the crowd, drawing a flag from the official.
"Do I think that Bobby Brown's was excessive in nature? No. Do I think he was taunting in nature? No," said Davie, "But by the letter of the rule he did something he shouldn't do. You hate to have it called in such a significant situation for our football team and for Bobby Brown. Bobby will have to live with that the rest of his life. He didn't make a proper decision; didn't think through the ramifications of what would happen if he did it.
"I talked to Bobby immediately when it happened," Davie continued. "And I have also talked to him throughout the weekend and obviously yesterday [Monday] at practice. Bobby told me that he hadn't slept since it happened; he is sick over it. But he took it like a man. He realized it was something that he made a poor decision doing, so what you do is you just learn from your experience and move on."
The magnitude of Saturday's game contributed to the enforcement of the excessive celebration penalty, according to Davie. While the NFL takes a lenient stance toward players celebrating after touchdowns, the NCAA hierarchy has decided to crack down on the celebrations.
"I think as much as I hate to be the guinea pig, so to speak, this was a nationally televised game, with huge ramifications, in front of 111,000 people on a big stage all across this country," said Davie. "I am sure college football players and coaches across this country are using that as an example. I hate to be the one to be made an example of, but I do think it is good for college football to eliminate all those things [celebrations]."
All told, Davie was satisfied by his discussions with Parry.
"As long as the mechanics were proper, that is all you ask," said Davie. "The play on the goal line-those mechanics were proper. They were standing right there looking straight down on that call. On Bobby Brown's penalty, the mechanics were there, that guy was standing right next to him.
"Anybody that writes and second guesses about all those calls, they weren't standing right there," Davie continued. "They made the call; that is how it is. I am satisfied because they answered the questions I had. That doesn't mean I agree with everything but I am satisfied."
• Jarious Jackson did not practice Tuesday due to a sprained big toe he suffered in the fourth quarter of the Michigan game. He will most likely be ready for Saturday against Purdue.
• On the injury front, linebacker Ronnie Nicks (ankle sprain) and Mike McNair (sprained arch) are doubtful for Saturday. Tight end John Owens (calf pull) will not play.
• With Joey Getherall out for three to four weeks with a separated shoulder, freshman Julius Jones will handle punt return duties on Saturday. Jones or Terrance Howard will return kickoffs alongside Tony Driver.
• Freshmen wide receiver Jamaar Taylor had an unfortunate accident last week. Following a Thursday night study session, Taylor's chain on his bike came undone, flinging him over the handlebars. Initially, Davie feared Taylor would need surgery on his knee, but at Tuesday's press conference, Davie confirmed that surgery was not necessary. Taylor is out indefinitely.
All Sports Stories for Wednesday, September 8, 1999