PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Despite 13 team-generated proposals to alter the rules regarding the use of instant replay in the NFL, the league's Competition Committee issued a statement on Monday saying it "does not support the extension of the Instant Replay system to include a review of penalties," a strong indication that the system likely will remain relatively unchanged.
"While Instant Replay was designed to be an aid to on-field officiating, it is not the panacea that some believe it to be," the statement said. "The Committee, and senior Officiating leadership, believe the primary focus should be on improving the performance of the on-field game officials, which will lead to the goal of greater consistency."
The Lions proposed that all penalties be subject to review, a proposal that will be voted on at the league's owners' meetings this week.
"Not only would it be a significant philosophical adjustment, the Committee believes it would have unforeseen negative effects for on-field officiating," the statement said. "Instant Replay was not intended to replace the subjective judgment of an on-field official with the subjective judgment of a replay official [or, as described by one club executive, to simply add another layer of officiating to what already existed]. The system was created to correct officiating errors that dealt with objective facts, involving goal lines, end line, sidelines, the line of scrimmage, possession, and touching, rather than other on-field calls that are subjective in nature. Even using objective facts, the system's expansion over the years has led to complications in application."