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ACC Suspends Head Official From FSU-Miami Game


Florida State fans make no secret of their disdain for the officiating in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Blown calls, non-calls and bizarre calls have all been the norm- in the minds of Seminoles fans, at least- for a couple of seasons.

So it will be with some satisfaction that 'Noles fans read this. Per an earlier statement by ACC commissioner John Swofford:

"The entire officiating crew that presided over the Florida State at Miami game will receive letters of reprimand, while David Epperley (crew chief and referee) has been suspended for one game for failure to properly administer the 10-second runoff rule at the end of the first half."

After Saturday night's FSU-Miami game- a game that was so poorly officiated even ABC commentators Kirk Herbstreit and Brent Musburger commented on it- Swofford and the ACC had no choice but to act.

You cannot let your officials become a national joke. Whether or not that's already happened is debatable, but in the minds of many fans around the conference (including those in Durham and Blacksburg this week) that ship has already sailed.

The entire crew got reprimands, but the crew chief was suspended for one of the most egregious brain-farts in recent memory. Under 10 seconds in the half, after a Florida State penalty, Jimbo Fisher had to explain to referee David Epperley that he could negate the obligatory ten-second run-off with his last remaining timeout. 

Even then, another official on the crew had to confirm it for him. By that point three quarters of Miami's team was already in the tunnel and the game was delayed temporarily just to get the teams back on the sidelines.

Dustin Hopkins ended up connecting on a field goal to put FSU up 13-10 at the half, a field goal that wouldn't have occured had Jimbo Fisher not been aggressive in correcting Epperley. 

"They were running off the field, and I screamed at him that I had a time out and they can't take [time] off," said Fisher. "That's why I saved the timeout for penalty situations like that. You can do that. That's a rule. Finally, they had to bring them back." 

Credit Jimbo Fisher for not having an anuerism right there on the sideline.

This still won't be enough for many Seminoles fans, but it's more than the ACC has done in the past.

The ACC also suspended UNC LB Shakeel Rashad for a cheap-shot on Duke WR Conner Vernon. Rashad ran off the sideline as a late sub, hit Vernon (who was split out wide) in the back and then got in position. It happened right in front of the head linesman, Vernon had to be helped off the field and there was no call made.

On Monday morning the ACC tried to rectify that too. 




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