Big East Mum on Controversy at Syracuse - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Big East Mum on Controversy at Syracuse


West Virginia played out the remaining seconds of the game against Syracuse believing it had already tied the game against the Orange. However, Deniz Kilicli's shot that was blocked off the backboard once it already went off the backboard was not called goaltending.

The NCAA rules state the following in Rule 4, Section 34:

Section 34. Goaltending

Art. 1. Goaltending shall have occurred when a defensive player touches the ball during a field-goal try and each of the following conditions is met: Exceptions: Rules 10-3.6; 10-6.1.i

a. The ball is in its downward flight; and

b. The entire ball is above the level of the ring and has the possibility, while in flight, of entering the basket and is not touching the cylinder.Rule 4 / definitions            75

Art. 2. It is goaltending to touch the ball outside the cylinder during a free throw, regardless of whether the free throw is on its upward or downward flight.

Art. 3. When the entire ball is above the level of the ring during a field-goal try and contacts the backboard, it is considered to be on its downward flight. In such a case, it is goaltending when the ball is touched by a player.

Pay close attention to Article 3 above. Kilicli's shot clearly contacted the backboard prior to it being touched by a player.

I contacted Big East Associate Commissioner John Paquette seeking a statement about the missed call. Paquette responded that he had not seen the play because he was attending the Marquette at Villanova game. However, he did include the following, "Goaltending is a judgment call. I cannot recall ever issuing a statement on a judgment call."

I pressed Paquette for more. My reply pointed out that goaltending is a judgement call unless it involves the clear interpretation of the rules above involving a ball shot off the backboard prior to contact from another player.

I also asked Paquette for a possible statement from the Head Referee on that officiating crew explaining why goaltending was not called.

Paquette replied that at this point the Big East does not have any plans for a statement.

If goaltending was called on the play, the game would have been tied with about eight seconds remaining. Syracuse might have been able to win the game in regulation. It may have gone to overtime. Who knows? It sure would have been fun to find out.

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