Swofford: Ref made 'judgment call' in Syracuse-Duke game
By STEVE REED
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The ACC commissioner said Monday that Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim won't be disciplined after he came onto the court to protesting a key charging call during the Orange's 66-60 loss at Duke over the weekend.
Commissioner John Swofford said he agreed with Boeheim's ejection during Saturday's game and noted the charge was a "judgment call" by officials.
Swofford wouldn't say whether official Tony Greene made the right call when he whistled Syracuse's C.J. Fair for charging with 10.4 seconds left, leading to Boeheim's brief fit of rage. Duke won 66-60.
Swofford said the call is not something the conference will review.
"We don't second-guess judgment calls that officials give. They have to make them all of the time," Swofford said following a football press conference in Charlotte. "That's probably the toughest call in basketball to make, even with the way it's changed. I think it's made a little easier with the rule change, but it's still a tough call."
Under the revised block/charge rule put into place before this season in men's basketball, a defensive player is not permitted to move into the path of an offensive player once he has started his upward motion with the ball to attempt a field goal or pass. If the defensive player is not in legal guarding position by this time, it is a blocking foul.
Previously, a defender had to be in legal guarding position when the offensive player lifted off the floor.
Syracuse and Duke fans will surely argue for years whether Duke's Rodney Hood had his feet set before getting the charge call to go his way.
Syracuse had the ball, down 60-58, when Fair drove for an apparent tying layup - and a potential blocking foul that could have put the Orange up by one. Instead, the basket was taken away and Duke sealed the win by sinking three technical fouls as Boeheim headed to the locker room.
"You are going to have 50 percent of the people who think it was the right call, and 50 percent of the people who think it was the wrong call," Swofford said.
There was no doubting the way Boeheim felt about it.
"I just thought that was the worst call of the year, that's all," Boeheim said Saturday night. "I hated to see the game decided on that call."
Swofford said the decision to eject Boeheim was handled correctly, saying "I think Jim would agree with that."
He hasn't spoken directly to Boeheim, but Swofford did talk to Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross about the incident. Swofford relayed the message to Boeheim that, "It would be good to stay in the bench area. (But) he knows that."
Syracuse joined the ACC in basketball this season, coming over from the now-defunct Big East. The two Duke-Syracuse games have garnered a lot of attention for the ACC in what is a budding rivalry.
"A little drama is not all bad in the whole scheme of things," Swofford said with a laugh. "We've had a lot of drama throughout the history of this league, particularly in basketball. That is part of what makes it the great basketball league it is. And Syracuse adds tremendously to our league."