DESTIN, Fla. — Upon further review, fans in Southeastern Conference football stadiums will get a chance see the same video instant replay officials look at when trying to make a decision on a disputed call.
Commissioner Greg Sankey announced the decision Friday during the final day of the SEC Spring Meeting.
The video will be shown on in-stadium video boards while the review is in progress. Previously, fans could only see the television network feed. No determination has been made as to how many views of a particular play can be shown.
The move is the latest attempt by the SEC to provide a more fan-friendly environment in its stadiums where attendance has plateaued or dropped in recent years.
The good hands conference
The SEC has approved the purchase of a conference-wide insurance policy to protect schools against losses they may incur from the cancellation and/or postponement of football games.
The policy would help defray costs such as those incurred by LSU when its 2015 season opener against McNeese State was canceled because of bad weather. At the time, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said the cancellation would cost LSU $1.2-3.2 million in ticket refunds alone.
The conference also approved a change concerning interrupted games, saying that a suspended game will not be resumed if it is determined by the referee and the commissioner that the game can not “reasonably” be completed by 1:30 a.m. The commissioner at his discretion may extend that deadline.
Under the previous rule, a suspended game could not be resumed after midnight local time or two hours after the suspension, whichever was later.
No move on alcohol sales
The bar is still closed for most fans attending SEC football, basketball and baseball games.
Sankey said the conference took no action to allow alcohol sales in the general seating areas of its stadiums, arenas and ballparks. Currently, alcohol sales are restricted to club seats and suites.
LSU is in support of expanding alcohol sales, but Alleva predicted earlier in the week the policy wouldn’t change.
“We talked about it,” Sankey said. “We will continue to talk about it. I don’t think we are divided at all. There are just different perspectives.”
Men’s golf format change
Two days of match play has been added to the SEC men’s golf championships, mirroring how the NCAA team championship is decided. The move will add a day to what has been a three-day tournament.
In 2015, LSU won the SEC golf championship at stroke play and won the NCAA championship at match play. The Tigers qualified for NCAA match play again this year but were eliminated in the quarterfinals by host and eventual champion Oregon.
The SEC voted to continue the use of an independent medical observer in the press box for all SEC football games. … Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart is replacing Alleva on the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, commonly known as the NCAA tournament selection committee. Alleva’s five-year term expires this year. … As announced earlier, the SEC will now release fiscal year revenue figures in October instead of at the Spring Meeting after a review by the conference’s executive committee. … SEC coordinator of football officials Steve Shaw said longtime referee Tom Ritter is moving from the field to the instant replay booth. Ritter has been involved in several controversial calls during LSU games.
Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter, @RabalaisAdv.