North Carolina

Ref turned his back on UNC’s Joel Berry during game; ACC ‘addressing it internally’

North Carolina’s Joel Berry II (2) and Luke Maye (32) react as time expires and Florida State begins their celebration after defeating North Carolina 81-80 on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at the Tucker Civic Center in Tallahassee, Fla.
North Carolina’s Joel Berry II (2) and Luke Maye (32) react as time expires and Florida State begins their celebration after defeating North Carolina 81-80 on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at the Tucker Civic Center in Tallahassee, Fla. rwillett@newsobserver.com

Ted Valentine got the nickname “TV Teddy” for being a demonstrative basketball referee.

Valentine might have taken it a step too far in the second half of North Carolina’s 81-80 loss at Florida State on Wednesday night.

With UNC trailing 70-67 at 7:33 in the second half, junior guard Kenny Williams threw an outlet pass from the free-throw line near the Florida State end of the floor to senior guard Joel Berry near midcourt.

The ball went out of bounds and back to FSU. The replay showed that Florida State wing Terance Mann grabbed Berry’s left arm as Berry was trying to run down the floor.

Berry tried to talk to Valentine, and likely explain what had happened, but Valentine would have none of it.

After Valentine whistled the play dead, Berry picked up the ball and slowly walked towards Valentine on the baseline under UNC’s basket. Valentine put up both hands palms out, as if to motion “stay away.”

Before Berry could get close enough so Valentine could hear him over the crowd noise, Valentine turned his back to Berry and crossed his arms while Berry continued to talk.

“We are aware of what occurred and are addressing it internally,” is the statement the ACC released to the media on Thursday.

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It’s standard protocol for officials to explain a call to a player or coach during a stoppage in play. Valentine is considered one of the better officials in the country and has worked in the Final Four.

Since Bryan Kersey replaced John Clougherty as the head of ACC officials, Valentine has worked more ACC games.

The ACC almost always handles any kind of reprimand or punishment for officials internally.

Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio

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