ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit believes one major college football team really got screwed by the referees last weekend.LSU star safety Devin White had a controversial targeting call during last week’s win, which will force him to miss the first half of next weekend’s game against No. 1 Alabama.The call has been widely criticized. LSU fans are putting up billboards to protest the call, too.Herbstreit addressed the incident during his recent podcast.“The guys upstairs have to save that,” Herbstreit said on the Herbstreit and Fitzsimmons Podcast.“They did not. And now LSU has to deal with trying to play against Tua (Tagovailoa) without Devin White which would be like Georgia taking Roquan Smith out of their defense from last year. Sure, they’ve got a really talented player behind him but not Devin White, not the way he’s playing with Phillips next to him. They are playing at an elite level. He’s their alpha. He’s the guy that gets them right. They look in his eyes and believe in him.”Herbstreit expanded:“I’m not an LSU fan,” Herbstreit said. “I’m not a ‘this isn’t fair jumping up and down.’ But I’m going to say, objectively and fairly, that was a terrible call. I should preface that by saying, on the field, give the official or referee who’s standing within 10 feet of the hit, you have to give him a break. He made the right call on the field. I’m not telling you there should be a change in the rule. Here’s what the rule is. The guy on the field makes the call because he sees the quarterback get knocked back and he thinks the contact was in a grey area. Just to be safe, I’m going to make the call. No problem. Make the call. Now we send it upstairs. That’s your safety net.“… If you go back and watch that tape, the reason I’m upset about this is Devin White probably had to be retrained on how to hit a quarterback when he blitzes. He’s probably worked really hard with Dave Aranda on where to hit him to try to get low. You can’t get too low. If you get too low, that’s a penalty. Don’t get too high. Here’s our launch point. If you really go frame by frame, you can see that the upper chest is where the first, initial contact is. His hands come through and follow through and it gives that look that his head is being sent back and then he goes down. The official upstairs should have said it’s a 15-yard penalty, roughing the passer, waive off the targeting and give them a 15-yard penalty, automatic first down, let’s play the next play. Devin White stays in the game.”Alabama and LSU are both off this weekend before meeting in Baton Rouge, La. next weekend.The Crimson Tide and the Tigers are set to meet next Saturday night at 8 p.m. E.T. on CBS.
1 June 2007The situation in the Middle East remains volatile and tense, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned the Security Council today, with fresh clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the resumption of fighting at a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon. Briefing Council members in a closed-door session after returning from Berlin, where he took part in a meeting of the principals of the diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East, Mr. Ban said he has spoken to several regional leaders to try to help alleviate the situation.He noted that the Quartet voiced support for the ongoing bilateral talks between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, as well as regional efforts – particularly the Arab Peace Initiative – to find a solution to the conflict.The Quartet, which comprises the UN, the European Union, Russia and the United States, decided to meet at an undetermined location in the Middle East on 26 June or the day after to continue the momentum of international peace efforts, Mr. Ban’s spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters.Quartet members will meet with Israelis and Palestinians and will then hold a separate meeting with members of the Arab League to follow up on the Arab Peace Initiative, Ms. Montas added.In northern Lebanon, fighting has again resumed between Lebanese army forces and Fatah al-Islam gunmen entrenched in the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp near the city of Tripoli.The shelling today has been heavier than on previous days, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) reported, and it has meant the agency is unable to obtain first-hand information on the latest conditions for civilians living in the camp.UNRWA estimates that about 5,000 people remain at Nahr el-Bared, less than two weeks after the deadly clashes erupted in a camp that was home to about 31,000 people. Most refugees fled to Tripoli or the nearby camp of Beddawi during lulls in the fighting.