Report on officiating errors in Outback kept secret

Florida coach Urban Meyer, right, has a heated discussion with umpire Rimas Kozica during the Outback Bowl. A report of mistakes made by officials will not be released.

The Associated Press
Published: Friday, January 13, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 13, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
A report on mistakes made by Conference USA officials during the Outback Bowl won't be made public, conference officials said.
Russ Anderson, a conference spokesman, said the report will be kept confidential according to the conference's rules for reviews of game officiating.
"We review the officiating in every football game in which we have a crew," Anderson said. "But we have never made those reviews public and won't this time."
He said the report has been shared with others, but declined to say identify who has received it.
Several calls by Conference USA officials during Florida's 31-24 win over Iowa on Jan. 2 were questioned, with much of the criticism surrounding an offsides call on an onside kick by Iowa near the end of the game.
Replays appear to show that no Iowa player was offsides and that the Hawkeyes should have kept the ball with just over 1 minute left in the game.
Gerald Austin, coordinator of the Conference USA officials, told the Des Moines Register last week that a penalty should not have been called.
Anderson said he didn't know if any member of the officiating crew had been sanctioned.
"The best we can do now is improve on the process for selection of officiating crews to make sure we are doing what we can to avoid these situations in the future," Iowa athletic director Bob Bowlsby said.
Coach Steve Spurrier says former defensive coordinator John Thompson, who has been on a leave of absence since last month, will not return.
School attorneys were working out contract details before the separation was final, South Carolina athletic department spokesman Steve Fink said Thursday. Thompson, the defensive coordinator at Florida in Ron Zook's first season, had signed a three-year contract worth $175,000 a season.
Thompson was one of South Carolina's co-defensive coordinators along with Tyrone Nix. But Spurrier turned the defensive signal calling over to Nix midway through the season.
Nix was named assistant head coach in November.
Spurrier announced last month that Thompson was not fired, but was on a leave of absence. He was not on the sidelines in South Carolina's 38-31 loss to Missouri in the Independence Bowl.
Thompson came to South Carolina after two losing seasons as head coach at East Carolina. He was one of Spurrier's first hires after he took the job in November 2004.
Lorenzo Booker, who led Florida State in rushing this past season, said Thursday that he will remain in school for his final year of eligibility.
Booker, who took a redshirt year his freshman season in 2002, said NFL talent scouts evaluated him as a likely third-round pick in the April draft, or possibly a late second-round pick if he tested well at next month's NFL combine.
"That's not good enough for me," said Booker, who is scheduled to graduate next December. "It motivates me to want to come back."
The 5-foot-11, 187-pound running back finished the season with a team-high 552 yards rushing, averaging 4.6 yards a carry. He also caught 38 passes for 328 yards and a pair of touchdowns in addition to the four he scored on the ground.
Booker, who acknowledged he was frustrated at times during the 2005 season with the Seminoles' inability to run the football, talked Wednesday with coach Bobby Bowden about his role on next year's team.
"He really wants me to be consistent as far as carrying the ball 15, 16 times and being productive with it," Booker said. "I'm not asking for 25, 30 carries a game."
Former Seminole great Warrick Dunn of the Atlanta Falcons also counseled Booker during his decision-making process.
"He understood my frustrations," Booker said. "He really didn't tell me to go one way or the other."
Rising sophomore Antone Smith, who ran for 188 yards as a backup to Booker and senior Leon Washington, will begin spring practice as the No. 2 tailback.
Booker's 1,773 yards rushing leaves him 12th on Florida State's career chart. He needs 306 yards to move into 10th place ahead of Washington.
Florida State, which won the Atlantic Coast Conference championship for the 12th time in 14 years, finished the season 8-5, ranked 23rd nationally.
Two underclassmen, linebacker Ernie Sims and cornerback Antonio Cromartie, have already surrendered their remaining eligibility at Florida State to enter the NFL draft.
Defensive tackle Baraka Atkins and wide receiver Ryan Moore are returning for their senior seasons at Miami, the school announced Thursday.
Atkins and Moore both spent the past couple weeks deciding whether the time was right to enter the NFL Draft.
WISCONSIN: Running back Brian Calhoun will skip his senior season to enter the NFL Draft.
Calhoun led the Badgers to the Capitol One Bowl this year. He became only the second player in Big Ten history to surpass 1,000 yards rushing and 500 yards receiving in the same season. He said the risk of injury was too great to play another season in college.
"It was time for me to make that jump," he said Thursday.

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