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A spokesman for the organization in charge...

A spokesman for the organization in charge of referees for the East Carolina-Southern Mississippi game last Saturday admitted that an improper call led to Southern Mississippi’s 23-21 victory but that no provisions exist for the outcome cannot be reversed.

The controversy arose with East Carolina ahead, 21-20, in the final seconds. Southern Mississippi receiver Lyneal Alston took an apparent lateral and threw a touchdown pass as time expired. But it was ruled that Alston had received a forward pass, making a second pass attempt illegal.

Since a game cannot end on a penalty, East Carolina was given the choice of enforcing the penalty or letting the touchdown stand. Southern Mississippi received another play, and Rex Banks kicked a game-winning, 31-yard field goal.

However, East Carolina officials said that Alston’s knee was on the ground when he threw his pass, thereby ending the game before the penalty was called. That point was admitted by the referees’ association.

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