The controversy surrounding officiating in the Atlantic Coast Conference continued today during and after Virginia's 74-63 victory over Maryland.
Greg Manning, Maryland's senior guard -- a player who has seldom complained about officiating, win or lose, in four years -- blasted the two Southwest Conference officials who worked the game, calling them "terrible."
Under an arrangement this season, the SWC and ACC have traded officials for weekend games. Two SWC officials have worked the ACC games with one ACC official, and the numbers have been reversed at SWC games.
Today, SWC officials William Graeber and Harlon Voyles worked the game with ACC official Gerry Donaghy, Virginia Coach Terry Holland received a techinical foul during the first five minutes. By game's end, Maryland had been called for 33 fouls to Virginia's 12 and had shot 37 free throws to Maryland's five.
"I ain't saying nothing about theeofficials," Coach Lefty Driesell said. "Just write that they were great, just super and Virginia's the greatest team in the history of basketball."
But, when someone mentioned that the SWC officials will work the ACC tournament this week, Driesell said, "They are? Well, I better not comment on that, either. I'll just get in trouble."
At the other end of the hall, Holland was also told the SWC officials will be in Landover Thursday. He was also astonished.
"They've done a super job all year and I'm delighted they'll be at the tournament," Holland said. Then he broke up. "'i'm not going to be the one who gets in trouble for saying something," he added.
Manning was clearly trying to restrain himself, but couldn't.
"I really hate to even mention it," he said, "because Virginis's a good club and they beat us. But, gee, it was unbelievable.
"There's no way one team could commit so many fouls without the other committing hardly any. The game doesn't work that way.
"I mean, they were terrible. I thought the ACC guy did as good a job as he could trying to keep the game intact but he couldn't do it. We've just got to go back to having three guys from our own conference who know what they're doing out there. They (the SWC officials) just aren't very good at all."
All three officials had left the building by the time Manning made his comments.
Bob Sandel, the league observer paid to grade the officials and file a report to the conference on the game, said:
"The way I looked at it, the first half was a tough one to work and the crew didn't have a good half. The second half was easier and they did comment to Graeber afterward that I didn't quite understand the intentional fouls called on Maryland at the end. We didn't call them that way in this conference.
"I think the officials in the SWC are different from the ones in the ACC," Sandel continued. "I don't think they're quite as good as the officials in the ACC. I haven't seen them all of course, but the ones I've seen are not as good as the ones in the ACC."
Although Manning is the first player to criticize publicly the SWC officials, there have been complaints about their work all season. Two weeks ago Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski blasted them, after a win, and the other coaches in the league are unanimously against them.
"They've never seen basketball at this level and they can't keep up with the game," one coach said. "ACC players do things SWC players can't do. But these guys don't know that and they call the game that way."
Bill Foster, Clemson's coach, said two weeks ago that he haeard an SWC official tell a Virginia fan, "I hope your team wins," prior to Clemson's game here with Virginia.
The conference has tried to keep quiet that the SWC officials will be in Landover, apparently because they know the coaches are against having them there. Six have been assigned by the new supervisor of conference officials, Jimmy Earle.
"The problem when you get in foul trouble the way we did today is you start playing tentative," Manning said. "If we're going to do well in the tournment, we have to play smarter ball."
Although upset about the officiaing, the Terps were not donw about the loss.
"We really played pretty well," Albert King said. They've beaten us twice; they're an excellent team. But I hope we can get another shot at them."
"If we do play them again, we'll have to play super to beat them," Driesell said.