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Swofford: Ref made 'judgment call' in Syracuse-Duke game


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.

Duke Takes Rematch With Syracuse

"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."

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brothertuna February 24 2014 at 8:46 PM

I think it is ridicules that Boeheim wasn't suspended for his actions!!! A player would have been suspended for that game and the following game. Who do these coaches think they are and to even say that it was worse call he has seen makes me sick!!! Show some character coach! What are you teaching your kids!

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1 reply
gkruth brothertuna February 24 2014 at 9:12 PM

Brothertuna, your Tobacco Road address is too clear. Coaches protest and complain all the time, especially on a critical call like this.

How many charging calls were made that night? I'll bet that was the only one.

It illustrates, the ACC is Duke and UNC, and Tony Greene is being paid to keep it that way. No Big East carpetbagger is going to come in there and shake things up.

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streetlaw1 February 24 2014 at 7:42 PM

The block/charge call is made every game by the officials.There is nothing difficult about it.

Read the rule and then apply it. Neither offense nor defense gets an advantage.Where is the defensive player and where is the offensive player. What is legal guarding position and what is the airborne shooter?You have to know this stuff to make the call.

Most non officials do not realize the speed of the game and the need for training and experience. I guarantee the pundits cannot put on the striped shirt and call a game as it should be.

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sennas February 24 2014 at 7:35 PM

great game by ,IMHO the 2 best teams and the 2 best coachs in the game coach B messed up no doubt I am sure he knows that. Was it the right call?flip a coin on that the experts will argue that for a long time I think it should have been a "no call" but that's just my opinion .the one thing for sure coach b cost his team a chance to win
I enjoy watching these 2 teams play each oth its like watching 2 chess masters with live chess pcs.

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1 reply
patmcurran sennas February 24 2014 at 7:40 PM

Dukes coach is the most overrated coach in college basketball. He is a great recruiter and always has mainly McD's all americans and seldom gets to the final floor much less wins the national championship

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1 reply
rpterbet patmcurran February 24 2014 at 7:43 PM

Right! He's only won 4 National Championships!

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drweaks1 February 24 2014 at 7:35 PM

a blind man would have gotten that call right-enough said:)

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tspunky726 February 24 2014 at 9:53 PM

Swofford has it completely wrong...50% of the SU fans think they got it wrong, 50%of the Duke fans think they got it right...Most everyone whose neither thinks they got it wrong...especially when they made the SAME call the other way just a minute before in the game. I have been watching college basketball for over 30 years and Duke has ALWAYS gotten the final calls...remember the Leitner shot that NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN? There was a beligerent foul right before that shot that should have put that game away...nothing will probably every change, but good for Jim B for making a stand...it's now or never!

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1 reply
rfrazierlou tspunky726 February 24 2014 at 10:10 PM

I believe you're referring to the Kentucky-Duke with Christian Legithner[sic]

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ueguyk25 February 24 2014 at 7:33 PM

In case you missed it the Big East is certainly NOT defunct.

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Master Chef February 24 2014 at 10:12 PM

I think it is wonderful to have a pass time, but when it gets to this point its time to see a head doctor. Its a game!!! you are making millions off this stuff, you should be laughing your ass's off all the way to the bank!! Chilaxe people have real problems in this country, people are losing there homes, no food for there kids! and this is what is considered important?? REALLY? I got a good Idea, why doesn't this extremely over paid industry give back to this country, take one dollar from every ticket that is sold for every sports event every day and give it to the poor people the ones that fought for our freedoms, our vet's came back home to a cold side walk! they destroyed and broken spirits, they are legless, homeless, penniless, and the government they gave there lives for could give to *****!! how is this even possible? Washington runs on kick back, on big corporations Pharmaceutical pay offs, billions of dollars are taken in every day but we the people are starving losing everything we worked our entire lives for, and this is what makes the NEWS!! WAKE UP AMERICA

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3 replies
allpack2 February 25 2014 at 9:58 AM

I'm a Syracuse fan and I disagree with the call. But, stop letting the games come down to one freaking play! We have had too many games like this and we can't keep dodging bullets. I understand the way Boeheim reacted but it did cost a chance to win the game. Also, I am surprised that he blows it off and hasn't apologized or even hinted that he over reacted. Have a little class.

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lakers84 February 25 2014 at 9:57 AM


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Donald February 24 2014 at 7:23 PM

It's normally a combination of calls which leads to the type of meltdown with Boeheim. Jabari Parker actually charged into a Carolina player shortly before this call and no call was made. Refs will make mistakes, but they need to be consistent on their calls.

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