It was the call heard around the world. In the second quarter of the 2017 Music City Bowl, Kentucky running back Benny Snell was ejected for “making contact with an official.” However, what actually happened does not represent what that call implies. Check it out for yourself.
In a rare move, the officiating crew made a media appearance after the game. Kudos to them for answering questions, as Snell’s ejection was one of many tremendously questionable calls against both teams. How did they respond when asked about the call on Snell?
Music City Bowl referee Chris Coyte on Benny Snell ejection: "The player got up and grabbed my arms and pushed them away and contacted me. That’s a foul."— Adam Sparks (@AdamSparks) December 30, 2017
I asked Music City Bowl referee Chris Coyte if anything was said by Benny Snell that influenced the ejection beyond contact. He said, "No."— Adam Sparks (@AdamSparks) December 30, 2017
Absolutely. If a player grabs an official, he should be ejected. But...is that what happened here?
Looks like to me he put his hands on Benny pic.twitter.com/BTPfeoDtpf— Logan Kirby (@lkirbyyy) December 29, 2017
Um...so how did Snell respond to the incident after the game?
My passion for this game is out the roof , I don’t need help getting up. I can do that on my own. #snellyeah— MrSnell Ya Later (@benny_snell) December 30, 2017
Benny Snell was the best football player on the field tonight for either team. Yet, he was denied the opportunity to fight alongside his teammates in a bowl game they had worked so hard to earn. I was actually surprised that his response was so tame. When pressured to give a more emotional reaction, Snell got stuck on repeat.
Guess Benny Snell likes playing football. pic.twitter.com/SqLOTRQxFb— Joe Mussatto (@joe_mussatto) December 30, 2017
While complaining about officiating is certainly not a new thing, it seems that instant replay has done nothing but blur the lines on when and how those in stripes can be held accountable for their judgement. This Pac 12 crew did not make any friends from either fan base in Nashville on Friday, but who knows whether or not there will be consequences for their blatant mishaps.
The Kentucky Wildcats finish with a record of 7-6 for the second season in a row. It is difficult not to wonder if that would be 8-5 had Snell remained in the game.