After being ejected for a very questionable - now deemed to be incorrect - targeting foul, Chris McCain has been fully reinstated for Saturday's Portland State game. The Pac-12 office sent out a press release late Monday evening, acknowledging the error, during the middle of Cal football practice:
Walnut Creek, Calif. - The Pac-12 Conference announced today that as a result of a failure in the replay process, California defensive lineman Chris McCain is allowed to play during the entirety of this week's game against Portland State. McCain was called for a Roughing the Passer and Targeting penalty in the fourth quarter of the Golden Bears' game against Northwestern on Saturday, and by rule, was ejected from the game and disqualified for the first half of Cal's next game.
However, because of a technical failure and resulting breakdown in communication, the play in question was not actually reviewed after the replay official was made aware that McCain had been ejected for Targeting. Because the Targeting penalty was not reviewed at the time, the Pac-12 Conference has reviewed the play and determined that McCain should have been reinstated into the game. The review confirmed that the Roughing the Passer penalty was properly enforced.
Under NCAA Rules, ejections for Targeting that are confirmed by replay are not reviewable by the Conference or NCAA. However, this circumstance provided a very narrow exception because the ejection was not actually confirmed by replay. The Pac-12 has been in communication with the National Coordinator of Officiating and both parties are in agreement that under this limited exception, the Conference should reinstate McCain.
The Conference has thoroughly examined the technical issues and breakdown in communication. The technical issue has been resolved, and the Conference has disciplined the replay crew for the breakdown in the process.
McCain and Coach Sonny Dykes both gave comments after practice (see video):
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Coach Dykes was also asked about the status of Brendan Bigelow and Khairi Fortt, who had both left Saturday's game against Northwestern with unconfirmed injuries - reportedly concussions. He clarified that Fortt's injury was not as serious, and that he is expected to practice without limitation as early as Tuesday. Bigelow's return timetable, on the other hand, is less certain.