first_imgUSC's JT Daniels takes a hit to the head by Washington State's Logan Tago.ESPNRefereeing in the Pac-12 has long been derided as among the worst in college football. Considering the push for improved player safety, the Sept. 21 game between USC and Washington State was a pretty embarrassing performance.There were at least two instances in which referees missed what appeared to be clear targeting calls on quarterback hits, one on each side.In the NFL, there has been an outcry over the new rule about illegal hits on quarterbacks. However, no one can watch these hits from last months game and think they weren’t extremely dangerous. Yahoo! Sports has uncovered a report that states that a “third party” led to a no call for targeting after a Washington State hit on USC’s JT Daniels.The play took place at the end of the third quarter. Daniels had already given himself up, when Wazzu’s Logan Tago made a head-to-head hit.Exclusive: Document shows untrained “third party” overruled controversial targeting call in Pac-12 game, writes @PeteThamel. https://t.co/ZNtygQKnc0 pic.twitter.com/4LxOdw3NOg— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) October 11, 2018Yahoo! obtained a document that shows that while multiple officials thought the play warranted a targeting call, a “third party” led to the decision being reversed.In the next section, the call was deemed “correctly handled.” From that document:“ROF was RPS on the defense but an extra hit by WSU 45 with a blow to the head had to stop the game to review the hit. The QB was on one knee when #45 came from the outside, lowered and lead with his helmet to the head of the QB. Both the replay booth and the Command Center agreed this was a targeting foul but unfortunately a third party did not agree so the targeting was removed and we went with the ruling on the field of RPS with no targeting. This didn’t play well on TV. Reversed my stoppage for TGT to not TGT.”According to Pete Thamel’s report, that third party was Woodie Dixon, a Pac-12 executive.Targeting wasn’t called and Tago stayed in the game. The replay report obtained by Yahoo Sports states that “unfortunately a third party did not agree” with the call. That “third party” was Pac-12 general counsel and senior vice president of business affairs Woodie Dixon, Yahoo Sports sources have confirmed.Dixon oversees football for the conference but is not a formally trained official. Dixon telephoned in his opinion that the play wasn’t targeting, sources said. According to the report, his opinion overruled both the trained officials in the stadium replay booth and in the league’s command center.Obviously, someone who is not a trained official shouldn’t have any real say here, especially on blows to the head. It is a horrendous look for the Pac-12.Commissioner Larry Scott released a statement denying that Dixon was the decision maker on the play, calling it a “misperception.”Amazingly, the same game featured an even more blatant uncalled targeting on the other side. USC’s Porter Gustin got away with a huge helmet-to-helmet hit on Wazzu QB Gardner Minshew in the fourth quarter.This was the hit that was missed last night. It’s a dangerous play that’s inexcusable to miss https://t.co/v0nNGd0hcK pic.twitter.com/Cwg8lCHkN7— Brian Floyd (@BrianMFloyd) September 22, 2018A targeting call there would have given Washington State a new set of downs from the 10-yard line late in the game. Gustin, a star defender for the Trojans, would have been ejected for the second straight game due to a targeting call. Instead, Washington State had to settle for a game-tying field goal attempt, which was blocked, sealing the USC win.[Yahoo! Sports]last_img read more