Southland Conference officials to implement a first for FCS football

FRISCO, Texas — The Southland Conference board of directors Wednesday approved the used of full NCAA instant replay to its home football games beginning this season.

The action was taken during the final season of the league’s spring meeting here.

Coverage of games, instead of the limited method of halftime review for first-half targeting fouls that was recently approved by the NCAA.

“The board, based on the input provided by our football coaches and athletic directors in recent weeks, was very firm in its approval of full instant replay at our stadiums,” Southland commissioner Tom Burnett said. “While there are numerous details ahead and some challenges to work through, the presidents were ready to get the process started and ensure our league was at the forefront of replay usage at the Division I Football Championship Subdivision level.”

The Southland Conference is the first FCS league to fully commit to having all games utilize instant replay. The NCAA Division I Football Championship has replay for its playoff games, and a number of other FCS leagues have implemented replay only for televised games. Within its longstanding officiating consortium with the Big 12 and Mountain West conferences, the Southland will draw from the pool of replay officials already being trained.

The university presidents also confirmed that the 2015-17 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will remain committed to the Leonard E. Merrell Center in Katy, Texas.

The Southland board moved on the immediate implementation of full replay for football, regardless of television The presidents unanimously supported extending the conference basketball tournament’s run in Katy, where the event had been held since 2008. “The membership has expressed a strong level of approval with the tournament’s location, the venue, the experience our teams are enjoying, and the local support provided to the conference,” Burnett said.

In other news, 2015-16 championship sites were selected, including soccer and volleyball at Central Arkansas, tennis at Stephen F. Austin, and softball at McNeese State. Also, a computerized football ratings system, the NCAA Simple Rating System (SRS) will be integrated into the conference’s tie-breaking procedures in the case of two teams tying for the championship (and NCAA automatic bid) if the tie cannot first be decided in the numerous other competitive scenarios.


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