You can see the pictures in this fan shot about what happened on the field of play, but what does the rule book say about passes and reviews. After the jump are the rules from the NCAA rulebook which you can download for free.
The ruling on the field was that the Team B player hit Team A player after forward motion had begun.
The referee made the call under section 2-19-2-b, as such it was considered a forward pass. Since the referee ruled that it was a forward pass, then 7-3-2-f probably does not apply. The reviewing official then used 12-3-2-e to say the play was not reviewable.
It could be argued that the initial call was incorrect thus it was a backwards pass thus moving the subsequent ruling to 7-2 (pp FR-71) but 12-3-2-e says the play is reviewable only for recovery of a loose ball or reversing an incomplete pass. The question is if the reviewing official can reverse a call based on section 2-19-2-b?
How would you make the call?
from the Rule 2 DEFINITIONS (p FR-35):
Section 19. Passes
ARTICLE 1. Passing the ball is throwing it. A pass continues to be a pass until it is caught or intercepted by a player or the ball becomes dead.
Forward and Backward Pass
a. A pass is forward if the ball first strikes the ground, a player, an official or anything else beyond the spot where the ball is released. All other passes are backward passes. When in question a pass thrown in or behind the
neutral zone is forward rather than a backward.
b. When a Team A player is holding the ball to pass it forward toward the neutral zone, any intentional forward movement of his hand or arm starts the forward pass. If a Team B player contacts the passer or ball after forward movement begins and the ball leaves the passer’s hand, a forward pass is ruled regardless of where the ball strikes the ground or a player (A.R. 2-19-2-I).
c. When in question, the ball is passed and not fumbled during an attempted forward pass.
d. A snap becomes a backward pass when the snapper releases the ball (A.R. 2-23-1-I).
and from RULE 7 / SNAPPING AND PASSING THE BALL (pp FR-72 and FR-73)
Section 2 Backwards Pass and Fumble
During Live Ball
ARTICLE 1. A ball carrier may hand or pass the ball backward at any time, except to throw the ball intentionally out of bounds to conserve time.
PENALTY—Five yards from the spot of the foul; also loss of down if by Team A before team possession changes during a scrimmage down (A.R. 3-4-3-III) [S35 and S9].
Caught or Recovered
ARTICLE 2. a. When a backward pass or fumble is caught or recovered by any inbounds player, the ball continues in play (A.R. 2-23-1-I).
1. Rule 8-3-2-d-5 (Team A fumble on the try).
2. On fourth down before a change of team possession, when a Team A fumble is caught or recovered by a Team A player other than the fumbler, the ball is dead. If the catch or recovery is beyond the spot of the fumble, the ball is returned to the spot of the fumble. If the catch or recovery is behind the spot of the fumble, the ball remains at the spot of the catch or recovery.
b. When a backward pass or fumble is caught or recovered simultaneously by opposing players, the ball becomes dead and belongs to the team last in possession (Exception: Rule 7-2-2-a Exceptions).
After the Ball Is Snapped
ARTICLE 3. No offensive lineman may receive a hand-to-hand snap.
PENALTY—Live-ball foul. Five yards from the previous spot [S19].
Out of Bounds
ARTICLE 4. a. Backward Pass. When a backward pass goes out of bounds between the goal lines, the ball belongs to the passing team at the out-of-bounds spot.
b. Fumble. When a fumble goes out of bounds between the goal lines:
1. In advance of the spot of the fumble, the ball belongs to the fumbling team at the spot of the fumble (Rule 3-3-2-e-2).
2. Behind the spot of the fumble, the ball belongs to the fumbling team at the out-of-bounds spot.
c. Behind or Beyond Goal Line. When a fumble or backward pass goes out of bounds behind or beyond a goal line, it is a safety or touchback depending on impetus and responsibility (Rules 8-5-1, 8-6-1 and 8-7) (A.R. 7-2-4-I,
A.R. 8-6-1-I and A.R. 8-7-2-V-VI).
ARTICLE 5. When a backward pass or fumble comes to rest inbounds and no player attempts to secure it, the ball becomes dead and belongs to the passing or fumbling team at the dead-ball spot.
Section 3. Forward Pass
Legal Forward Pass
ARTICLE 1. Team A may make one forward pass during each scrimmage down before team possession changes, provided the pass is thrown from a point in or behind the neutral zone.
Illegal Forward Pass
ARTICLE 2. A forward pass is illegal if:
a. It is thrown by a Team A player whose entire body is beyond the neutral zone when he releases the ball.
b. It is thrown by a Team B player.
c. It is thrown after team possession has changed during the down.
d. It is the second forward pass during the same down.
e. The passer to conserve time throws the ball directly to the ground (1) after the ball has already touched the ground; or (2) not immediately after controlling the ball.
f. The passer to conserve time throws the ball forward into an area where there is no eligible Team A receiver (A.R. 7-3-2-II-VII).
g. It is thrown from in or behind the neutral zone after a ball carrier has gone beyond the neutral zone.
PENALTY [a-g]—Five yards from the spot of the foul; also loss of down if by Team A before team possession changes during a scrimmage down (A.R. 3-4-3-IV and A.R. 7-3-2-II) [S35 and S9].
h. The passer to conserve yardage throws the ball forward into an area where there is no eligible Team A receiver (A.R. 7-3-2-I).
[Exception: If the passer is or has been outside the tackle box he may throw the ball so that it crosses or lands beyond the neutral zone or neutral zone extended (Rule 2-19-3) (A.R. 7-3-2-VIII). This applies only to the player who receives the snap.]
PENALTY—Loss of down at the spot of the foul [S36 and S9].
from Rule 12 INSTANT REPLAY (pp FR-101 to FR-102
3. Reviewable Plays
ARTICLE 1. Reviewable plays involving a potential score include:
a. A potential touchdown or safety. [Exception: Safety by penalty for fouls that are not specifically reviewable.]
b. Field goal attempts if and only if the ball is ruled (a) below or above the crossbar or (b) inside or outside the uprights when it is lower than the top of the uprights. If the ball is higher than the top of the uprights as it crosses the end line, the play may not be reviewed.
ARTICLE 2. Reviewable plays involving passes include:
a. Pass ruled complete, incomplete or intercepted anywhere in the field of play or an end zone.
b. Forward pass touched by a player or an official.
c. Forward pass or forward handing when a ball carrier is or has been beyond the neutral zone.
d. A forward pass or forward handing after a change of team possession.
e. Pass ruled forward or backward when thrown from behind the neutral zone.
1. If the pass is ruled forward and is incomplete, the play is reviewable only if there is clear recovery of a loose ball in the immediate continuing action after the loose ball. If the replay official does not have indisputable video evidence as to which team recovers, the ruling of incomplete pass stands.
2. If the replay official reverses an incomplete forward pass ruling and the ball is recovered, it belongs to the recovering team at the spot of the recovery and any advance is nullified.
Dead Ball and Loose Ball
ARTICLE 3. Reviewable plays involving potential dead balls and loose balls include:
a. Loose ball by a potential passer ruled a fumble.
b. Loose ball by a passer ruled incomplete forward pass when there is clear recovery in the immediate continuing action after the loose ball.
1. If the replay official does not have indisputable video evidence as to which team recovers, the ruling of incomplete pass stands.
2. If the replay official rules fumble, the ball belongs to the recovering team at the spot of the recovery and any advance is nullified.
c. Live ball not ruled dead in possession of a ball carrier.
d. Loose ball ruled dead, or live ball ruled dead in possession of a ball carrier when the clear recovery of a loose ball occurs in the immediate continuing action.
1. If the ball is ruled dead and the replay official does not have indisputable video evidence as to which team recovers, the dead-ball ruling stands.
2. If the replay official rules that the ball was not dead, it belongs to the recovering team at the spot of the recovery and any advance is nullified.
e. Ball carrier’s forward progress with respect to a first down.
f. Catch or recovery of a fumble by a Team A player other than the fumbler before any change of possession during fourth down or a try.
g. Ball carrier in or out of bounds. If a ball carrier is ruled out of bounds, the play is not reviewable, except as in Rules 12-3-1-a and 12-3-3-d.
h. Catch, recovery or touching of a loose ball by a player potentially touching a sideline or end line.
i. A loose ball touching on or beyond a sideline, goal line, or end line, touching a pylon, or breaking the plane of a goal line.