Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

ACC Silence Only Adds to Suspicion

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

ACC Silence Only Adds to Suspicion

Article excerpt

Byline: Gene Frenette, Times-Union sports writer

A week has elapsed since the officiating uproar during Florida State's 38-34 win at Florida without any response by the Atlantic Coast Conference regarding the performance of Jack Childress and his crew. An ACC spokesman said it won't issue one unless a "game management/technical error" transpired, whatever that means.

General protocol is for matters like this to be handled internally and minimize the attention. But for the ACC to not publicly address what may be the most controversial game of the 2003 season only raises the element of suspicion.

If the ACC thought the officials did an adequate job, then Childress and his colleagues deserve some kind of vote of confidence from the people who employ them. And if the league felt the officiating warranted disciplinary action, then at least the ACC would look proactive and add integrity to a highly sensitive process.

ACC commissioner John Swofford is considered one of the foremost leaders in college athletics. This is one of those instances in which his conference needs to exude leadership and accountability. It's doubtful that whatever the ACC's stance is, it will not eventually come out. So why not be up-front about an issue that's not going away no matter how long the ACC chooses to be silent? . . .

Once again, the Jaguars' awkward handling of Mark Brunell and his future with the team left a lot to be desired this week. While everyone knew Brunell wouldn't be returning next season, coach Jack Del Rio should have at least sat down with the quarterback and told him that he likely wouldn't be playing anymore before making any public announcement. Del Rio would also score public-relations points by acknowledging what Brunell has meant to the franchise. Incidentally, don't be surprised if Brunell resumes his playing career in Florida next season. …

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