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The unsportsmanlike conduct penalty enforced against BYU Saturday was an interpretation of Rule 9-2-3-c, a rule that relies upon the referee's discretion and interpretation of what constitutes an "unfair act."

It states--


"ARTICLE 3. The following are unfair acts:

...c) An obviously unfair act not specifically covered by the rules occurs in a game (emphasis added).

PENALTY-The referee may take any action he considers equitable, including assessing a penalty, awarding a score, or suspending or forfeiting the game (emphasis added)."


As an unsportsmanlike conduct foul, if a penalty were to be assessed, it would be 15 yards, as it was in the Air Force game.


Rule 9-2-2-b also cites as an "unfair tactic" any "tactic associated with substitutes or the substitution process...used to confuse opponents."


As for the officiating memo to which Bronco Mendenhall referred after the game, here it is.

Clearly, play #2 in the memo is the play that most resembles the play BYU ran yesterday; the same play BYU ran for a touchdown against Utah last year (although Hall was moving away from his sideline in the Air Force game, and toward his sideline in the Utah game).


While one can argue about the "unfair" or "deceptive" nature of the play BYU ran on Saturday, it is a play that relies upon the impression that the quarterback is visibly uncertain or is otherwise attempting to make some sort of adjustment before the play. In reality, there is no offensive confusion or adjustment, and the play is designed to catch the defense "napping" or relaxing, once viewing the quarterback's motions.

Yes, the play worked last year and was not flagged, but there is a good chance that such a play will be flagged in the future, depending on the referee's perception and interpretation.

That being the case, if the coaches want Harvey Unga to get the ball on a direct snap, they may need to be more "direct" about their intentions going forward.


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