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DISPUTED CALL IN SEC SHOWDOWN STANDS

The call stands.

Bobby Gaston, the Southeastern Conference chief of officials, said Monday that the line judge was in the right spot to make the call when he allowed Florida's late touchdown to stand in the Gators' 27-23 win over Tennessee on Saturday.

Line judge Al Matthews ruled that Florida's Jabar Gaffney had possession of the ball in the end zone long enough for a touchdown.

"(Matthews) ruled on what he saw, and my observation is, at this stage at least, I don't have any fault with what he did," Gaston said.

Jesse Palmer's 3-yard pass with 14 seconds left went to Gaffney, who had the ball for an instant before it was knocked away by the Vols' Willie Miles.

The play has generated a great debate, with Vols coach Phillip Fulmer and his players believing the pass was incomplete, and Gators coach Steve Spurrier saying the call could have gone either way.

Gaston said the same rule about possession -- "the holding or controlling of a live ball" -- also applied to Travis Henry's touchdown that gave Tennessee a 20-17 lead. The ball came loose after he fell across the goal line.

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