Days after publicly announcing that the University of Miami’s winning touchdown against Duke on Saturday should have been nullified because of officiating mistakes, the Atlantic Coast Conference privately acknowledged to the UM administration that officials made “multiple incorrect calls” against UM.
UM athletic director Blake James made that revelation in a letter to Hurricane Club members and season-ticket holders Thursday.
The Miami Herald reported Tuesday that UM had voiced displeasure with several of the school-record 23 penalties called against Miami, as well as Duke committing illegal picks on wheel routes. James, in the letter, said that he notified the ACC of his concerns regarding the officiating immediately after UM’s victory and on Sunday morning had “a conference call with ACC commissioner John Swofford and some of his staff, to discuss not only the play in question, but my concerns regarding officiating throughout the game.”
James said Swofford told him the ACC “had determined that the officiating crew would be suspended for two weeks for officiating errors on the final play and that the conference would review the entire game film.”
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Per ACC policy, UM’s “football staff submitted the plays we believed were incorrectly called as a matter of weekly protocol,” James said, “and were notified by the league that multiple incorrect calls impacting our team occurred during the game, including a pass-interference call on the final drive.”
UM was called for three pass-interference penalties on Duke’s final drive for a go-ahead touchdown (two on Corn Elder, one on Artie Burns); James did not specify which one the ACC called incorrectly.
James said he “spoke again with commissioner Swofford on Monday, to voice my concern on how this situation was being handled and the negative light it was creating for our institution.”
James wrote that UM on Thursday sent a formal letter to the conference office, “summarizing and reiterating our concerns, and now consider this matter closed.”
James said in the letter that “some of you have emailed me this week, concerned about the wording of the ACC response as well as the seemingly endless noise about The U not deserving the win.”
James also said that “the eight-lateral, touchdown play which won the game will forever be cemented in college football lore and in our storied history. The fact that the ACC publicly acknowledged officiating errors on the play does not, in any way, take away our victory or our incredible spirit.”