Official who made controversial offside call in Cal-Notre Dame just worked another Notre Dame game
So much for a reported suspension.
The same side judge who made the phantom offside call on Cal in a Sept. 17 game against Notre Dame — one that reportedly resulted in a suspension and a private apology from the ACC — worked another Notre Dame game this past weekend. According to ESPN’s Roxy Bernstein, Matthew Fitzgerald (the official in question) was not part of his regular crew and instead worked Notre Dame’s game against North Carolina. Fitzgerald’s normal crew worked the Georgia Tech-UCF game.
Instead, he was part of crew assigned to Notre Dame at North Carolina. He worked a Fighting Irish game for the second consecutive week.
— Roxy Bernstein (@roxybernstein) September 26, 2022
The Golden Bears had a 7-0 lead in the second quarter, with Notre Dame driving to try and tie. Cal picked up a key third-down stop on its own side of the field to stall out the drive and Notre Dame settled for a field goal attempt — a kick that hit the upright and fell no good.
Cal was called offsides on the play, though, granting Notre Dame a first down and extending the drive. Two plays later, Notre Dame scored a touchdown. The Bears ultimately lost by seven — 24-17.
Bernstein reported over the weekend that the official who made the call had been suspended by the ACC. Per Bernstein, the league also privately apologized to Cal for what it said was an incorrect call. They did not, however, plan to publicly acknowledge the error.
“I don’t have a response,” said coach Justin Wilcox last week when asked about the call. “I don’t even know how to respond to that one.”
According to sources, ACC has suspended side judge from last Saturday Cal at Notre Dame who called Cal for being offside on this play. ACC apologized to Cal for error and admitted was bad call. As of now, they don’t plan on making public acknowledgment of error and punishment. pic.twitter.com/DYd8C0AFCD
— Roxy Bernstein (@roxybernstein) September 24, 2022
Apologizing for an incorrect call that directly aided one side, and then letting the official who made the call work a game involving that same team the very next week is quite the move from the ACC. This is becoming a weirder situation with each passing day.
Cal is 3-1 so far this season, with the only loss being to the Irish. The Bears beat Arizona this past weekend 49-31 to open Pac-12 play with a win. They play Washington State on Saturday.