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ACC to deal with matter internally; Foley says he's ready for closure

Published: Tuesday, December 23, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, December 23, 2003 at 12:50 a.m.
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The ACC admits mistakes were made by its officiating crew in this year's UF-FSU game.

MICHAEL C. WEIMAR/Sun file photo
Whether he's satisfied or not, Jeremy Foley is ready for some closure on Ref-gate.
The Florida athletic director said Monday afternoon that his complaints about officiating in the Florida-Florida State football game have been heard and dealt with by the Atlantic Coast Conference.
"The ACC admits mistakes were made," Foley said. "They didn't agree with all of the stuff we sent in. I talked to (ACC commissioner) John Swofford, and he believes mistakes were made.
"They are going to handle it internally, just like the SEC does. It's not something I agree with whether it's the SEC or ACC, but that has nothing to do with this situation. I think people should be held accountable."
Foley said he was satisfied that the tapes sent in of numerous controversial calls were reviewed thoroughly by both the SEC and ACC.
FSU defeated Florida 38-34 in a game that featured questionable calls on several fumbles/non-fumbles. Foley called SEC commissioner Michael Slive the night of the game and has had conversations with Swofford and ACC supervisor of officials Tommy Hunt.
"Florida fans didn't want me to let this go, and I didn't let it go," Foley said. "What folks have to understand is you have to go through proper channels.
"There's nothing else we can do. It's not going to change the score. It's not going to take away the sting of the loss."
Next year's game is the last in the current contract, and the officials are expected to be part of any conversation between Foley and FSU athletic director Dave Hart in the future.
There has been speculation that neutral crews could be used for the game, but only if it is played on Thanksgiving weekend when there are only a handful of games in other major conferences and the UF-FSU game could be officiated by one of the better crews from a neutral conference.
"It's not a slam dunk because other conferences may not have top crews available," Foley said. "It's a big football game. Those are conversations for the future and those are answers that aren't there yet.
"You hope this works to make the officials better. The future is the key for both teams. But I'm not going to negotiate that in the papers."
The officiating at the game and the post-game melee that followed have been major topics of conversation, and Foley said he's working on making both situations better.
You can reach Pat Dooley at dooleyp@gvillesun.com or 374-5053.

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