Unconscionable error by UVA coach Mike London could have proven costly late in Duke win

mike-london-ndVirginia coach Mike London picked up a 15-yard penalty after vehemently arguing a pass-interference penalty on a potential game-tying drive by Duke in the fourth quarter of the Cavs’ 42-34 win on Saturday.

The two penalties, taken together, moved the ball from the Duke 13 to the Duke 43. The Blue Devils were able to drive to the Virginia 36 before that drive fizzled, but the boost in field position helped them get the ball back at their own 37 in the final minute, and set up the crazy final seconds that had a fourth-down pass at the goal line fall incomplete.

Back to the sideline penalty: London was clearly trying to get the point across to officials that he thought the pass had been tipped at the line of scrimmage, which would negate any pass-interference penalty.

There was a booth review of the play, but the call was upheld.

Even had it been reversed, the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on London would have still been enforced.

“I thought the ball was tipped. It was pass interference that was called. When the ball is tipped like that, then there is no pass interference. But obviously, replay didn’t have a good shot at the tipped pass and so we argued the call, and it resulted in a penalty on the sideline,” London explained the situation to reporters after the game.

“We take responsibility for that and how we handle ourselves. Even though calls may be controversial or difficult to accept, we have to do a better job of managing ourselves, the coaching staff and the sideline,” London said.

– Story by Chris Graham

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