Fowler: ACC's Swofford won't comment on Duke-Syracuse foul call

sfowler@charlotteobserver.comFebruary 24, 2014 

ACC commissioner John Swofford would not say Monday whether he thought the controversial call at the end of the Duke-Syracuse game Saturday night was right or wrong, but he did say: “It was a great day for the ACC.”

“A little drama’s not all bad in the whole scheme of things,” Swofford said in Charlotte during an interview Monday. He was in the Queen City to announce that the ACC football title game would remain in Charlotte for the next six years, through the 2019 season.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim was ejected after throwing a tantrum when Syracuse’s C.J. Fair was called for a charge instead of Duke’s Rodney Hood for a block with 10 seconds to go. Fair’s layup went in and a no-call would have meant the game was tied. A foul on Hood would have given Fair a chance at a go-ahead free throw.

I thought that by the new charge-block rules that Hood should have been called for a block and that Boeheim had a very legitimate point. But I also thought Boeheim did his team a big disservice by losing his cool, getting two quick technicals and erasing what was still a small chance at winning Saturday’s night game.

Swofford said of the call: “The block-charge is the hardest call there is to make.... It’s one of those bam-bam calls. It’s a judgment call by the official. Most of those you’re going to have 50 percent think it was right and 50 percent think it was wrong... I think the officials handled the situation after that entirely correctly.”

Swofford said he wouldn’t give his own opinion on the call itself. He did laughingly say he had communicated with Boeheim through an intermediary -- Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross – and mentioned in that conversation that Boeheim might want to stay in the coaching box the next time around.

In general, though, Swofford seemed to not be bothered by the ruckus, saying, “It sure garnered a lot of attention. Those two Duke-Syracuse games have been terrific games for those two programs and for the ACC. A great new rivalry has been developed right out of the chute.... So you just move on.”

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