For the first time in his three years as Maryland's football coach, Ron Vanderlinden has taken a complaint about officiating to Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford. Vanderlinden took that step through the normal channels, mailing tapes and a letter about the incidents in Saturday's game against Duke to coordinator of football officials Tommy Hunt.
"I've never done that, but the commissioner is accessible," Vanderlinden said after practice yesterday. Swofford was at Byrd Stadium for the game. The Blue Devils won, 25-22, on a fourth-down touchdown pass with 1 minute 42 seconds left to deny Maryland the six victories necessary for a winning season and a bowl bid.
Vanderlinden was most upset with a holding call that nullified a 61-yard run by tailback LaMont Jordan to inside the Duke 1-yard line midway through the fourth quarter. The Terrapins were called for another hold during the drive and, after failing to convert a third-and-one on the Duke 10, settled for a short field goal to increase their lead to 22-17. A touchdown and an extra point would have given Maryland a nine-point advantage.
However, a personal foul against Duke immediately after the first holding call allowed the Terrapins to continue the drive. It came after quarterback Calvin McCall was thrown out of bounds for a one-yard loss on third and 12 from the Maryland 28.
Vanderlinden said his protest would be handled "internally" by the league.