When we last touched on the epic brouhaha surrounding the BYU -San Diego State botched replay debacle, we predicted that the BYU administration would issue a terse "no comment" in response to SDSU's requests for clarification, but that the Mountain West itself would have to reveal its findings to preserve any kind of integrity ... and to keep the Aztecs and Cougars from spening the entire next offseason at each other's throats.
Sure enough, the expected BYU response ("Insinuations that any locally contracted member of the MWC replay team influenced the replay ruling or did not follow Conference protocol are inaccurate. The University will have no further comment on this matter ") came down almost immediately. And as of yesterday, though their findings weren't released directly, a letter from MWC commissioner Craig Thompson to the SDSU president's office obtained by the San Diego Union-Tribune has made the results of the conference's investigation public:
The Mountain West Conference determined that the botched replay call resulted from the “combined human error” of all three replay crew members who worked the booth for that football game against San Diego State Oct. 9. The three-man crew included two BYU alumni who didn’t notice or “weren’t sufficiently aggressive” in pointing out that conclusive video evidence of the controversial play was available and on live television in their booth ...The nuts and bolts of the breakdown: head replay official Mike Angelis apparently became too focused on one particular (inconclusive) replay of J.J. Di Luigi 's obvious fumble, and the two BYU-affiliated replay staffers failed to either notice or provide Angelis with the better view.
The revelation of BYU alumni working for the league in the replay booth raised concerns at SDSU of a conflict of interest. In his letter, Thompson stated that the MWC “was convinced no malfeasance had occurred and that a combined human error was as the root of the missed replay call.” He stated the league still has confidence in these crew members.
The league suspended the three replay staffers for one game “because they had failed to communicate effectively as a unit and did not successfully utilize the information available to make a correct decision,” Thompson stated in the letter.
Why those staffers did not will obviously be a matter of discussion in San Diego for a long, long time to come, and the conference's belated decision to ban school employees from working the replay booth for their school's games was obviously a horse-out-of-the-barn moment. But if the MWC has explained where the breakdown occurred and has cleared them, there's nothing else SDSU backers can really ask for.
That's not going to keep them from asking anyway, of course. For anyone convinced that "malfeasance" was indeed behind the video mistakes, this conclusion to Replaygate likely won't come remotely close to providing satisfaction. But with all three official parties (SDSU, BYU, and the MWC) having commented and sworn not to comment again, it's fair to say this is the conclusion Replaygate has reached.