PHILADELPHIA, JAN. 14 -- After further review -- much, much further, as it turned out -- the Big East Conference was unable to pacify Boston College Coach Jim O'Brien with its explanation of Saturday's shot clock-replay fiasco that marred an important Eagles' possession in their 61-56 loss to Georgetown at Capital Centre.

Art Hyland, the Big East's supervisor of officials, said today that after consultation with the NCAA Rules Committee, he had determined that the play in question did not qualify as a "correctable error." So, while O'Brien was told the Eagles were wronged, he also was informed the referees could not have rectified the mistake even if they had been able to verify it with television replays.

The Eagles were trailing, 57-56, with about two minutes remaining when forward Doug Able put up an air ball on a turnaround jump shot. Boston College retrieved the rebound and reset its offense, but the 45-second shot clock was not reset as it should have been; the Eagles, initially unaware of the mistake, ended up taking a desperation shot that missed and ricocheted out of bounds to Georgetown.

Only then did O'Brien question the clock situation. Referee Jody Silvester consulted a television monitor but wasn't shown the proper replay. According to Hyland, Silvester could not have given the ball back to Boston College at that point, anyway.

"Once that ball has been shot, you can no longer correct that mistake," Hyland said. "The only way it could have been corrected is if {the clock} had gone off with {the Eagles} still in possession, or if they had called timeout to have it looked at. . . . It's unfortunate, but that's the way it has to be.

"It's a situation that's not specifically addressed in the rule book {and} it took some digging to get an interpretation on it."

O'Brien, who spoke today to Hyland, Big East Commissioner Michael Tranghese and NCAA officiating coordinator Hank Nichols, said: "I've been told it's not a correctable error. Well, that's easier said than accepted. I would still like to know why that clock was not reset."

O'Brien contended that such a potentially game-turning decision should not be left up to a shot-clock operator, who normally is hired by the host school. He suggested that perhaps the college rule should be changed to the NBA standard, in which the clock is reset only on a shot that touches the rim.

"That way, {the shot-clock operator} doesn't have to make a decision about what's a shot and what's not a shot," he said. "It would be a simple matter of whether the ball hits the rim or not, and that's harder to mess up."