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Troy coach #039;vanilla#039; on instant replay

The National Football League has it. College and professional basketball has used it, and now the NCAA is giving football conferences an opportunity to use instant replay this 2005 season.

The Southeastern and Atlantic Coast Conferences have already put their hats in the ring to try instant replay, and Troy University head football coach Larry Blankeney said that he will be discussing instant replay with other members of the Sun Belt Conference later this month to decide whether to use instant replay this season.

"I'm for anything to make the game fair," Blakeney said during an interview with The Greenville Advocate following a Butler County Troy University alumni golf tournament. "When I heard that the NCAA was going to allow for instant replay, I was vanilla about it. I didn't get upset over it. Who knows. Maybe this will work and this will help the game."

The only problem that Blakeney has with instant replay is the pace of the game. The Trojans football coach of 13 seasons said that he hopes that the use of instant replay does not slow down the game too much. But he understands the use of it.

"The game has gotten faster and there are just seven referees out there to cover a large area," Blakeney said. "The game is faster and spread out, so it makes it harder to see."

The Big 10 was the first conference to experiment with the use of instant replay this past season. During the season, play was stopped in 28 of the 57 games, according to information on the conference's Web site. And out of those stoppages, there were 21 overturned calls.

"After a full season, we believe that instant replay adds to the effective administration of this great game of college football," Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said during a Dec. 2004 teleconference.

As far as slowing down the game, stoppages in Big Ten games were not as long as an average instant replay ruling in the NFL. The Big Ten’s average length of review was 2 minutes and 39 seconds, whereas an NFL replay averaged almost three and a half minutes, according to information from bigten.org.

Blakeney said that he hopes college referees don't take the use of instant replay as a personal attack on their ability.

"I hope it gives them a sense of security," the Trojans coach said. "If they don't see a play real well, then they have something to fall back on to make sure the right call is made."

The Sun Belt Conference has not made a decision regarding the use of instant replay yet.