Refs told to crack down on theatrics


DURHAM, N.C. -- Atlantic Coast Conference basketball officials have been directed to be less tolerant of sideline theatrics by league coaches and abusive language by players, according to a published report in yesterday's Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer.

According to the report, ACC assistant commissioner Fred Barakat sent a stern memo Thursday to the league's referees and to officials at the eight ACC schools. "There have been some situations that occurred the last couple of weeks that I was not happy about," Barakat was quoted as saying.

The directive resulted in referee Dick Paparo calling two technical fouls in the first six minutes of Thursday night's game between North Carolina and N.C. State in Chapel Hill. Paparo whistled Tar Heels coach Dean Smith for a "T" in the opening minute and later called Wolfpack guard Chris Corchiani.

"There have been too many players talking to officials," said Barakat, the league's supervisor of officials. "There have been too many theatrics -- coaches jumping up and signaling calls, assistants jumping up, managers jumping up, trainers jumping up. We need to get the game back to the game."

The new edict seemed to come into play for Maryland during yesterday's 101-81 loss to sixth-ranked Duke. Terps guard Matt Roe and coach Gary Williams were called for technical fouls, seemingly without warning.

Roe was called for a technical after complaining about not getting a foul call after a running jumper midway through the first half. Roe said later that he did not curse, but it had been the second time he asked referee John Moreau about what he thought was a discrepancy in the number of fouls being called.

"At one point in the first half, we had 10 fouls and they had five," said Roe.

Moreau declined to say after the game what Roe had said to prompt the call. Williams was called for a technical in the second half after yelling an obscenity in front of referee Steve Gordon after Vince Broadnax was called for a traveling violation.

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