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Men’s Basketball

ACC fines Notre Dame $20,000 after Brey post-game outburst

| Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Notre Dame was fined $20,000 in addition to a public reprimand of Irish head basketball coach Mike Brey after Brey publicly criticized the officiating of Notre Dame’s 85-84 loss to No. 5 Florida State Saturday night, comments which were in violation of the Atlantic Coast Conference Sportsmanship Policy.

“Public criticism of officials or public comments evaluating the officiating of particular contests is not in the best interest of intercollegiate athletics,” the policy states. “Individuals associated with the athletics program are prohibited, therefore, from commenting while acting in an official capacity on officiating other than directly to the Conference office.”

After being down double-digits for the majority of the second half Saturday, the Irish (11-8, 2-6 ACC) made a valiant comeback attempt in the game’s final minutes. However, there were a few questionable calls.

Namely, with time winding down in the game, the Irish trailed 82-77 and graduate student guard Rex Pflueger was called for a travel after losing possession of the ball and regaining it in midair before taking two steps. His ensuing pass to sophomore guard Dane Goodwin resulted in a successful three that was discounted because of the travel. The call led to a technical foul assessed to the Notre Dame bench, a four-point swing in a one-point loss.

Also, as the Irish trailed 85-82 with only 18 seconds left, senior forward Juwan Durham intercepted an inbounds pass under Notre Dame’s basket and made a contested layup, where the inbounder bumped him, to cut the lead to one-point. Goodwin was later also called for a foul for undercutting a Seminoles player when it appeared the latter went over Goodwin’s back, and senior guard T.J. Gibbs fouled out of the game as well.

Brey’s post-game press conference took a turn when he suddenly brought up the plays unprompted.

“Durham get fouled on that last one? On that steal? Did he get fouled on that?” Brey asked of the aforementioned play. “How about the walk on Pflueger, at half court? Sometimes we’re treated — we’re treated by the officials like we haven’t brought football as a full member, but yet we get a full share of the ACC Network TV. Are you kidding me? [Referee John Gaffney] T’s up our bench from across the court because he’s pissed off at us? I’m frustrated, man.”

Brey then complimented Florida State (17-2, 7-1 ACC) on the way their team played, before walking out of his press conference less than a minute into it.

“You gotta be kidding me man,” Brey said while waving his arms exasperatedly before walking out of the room. “C’mon man. We’re in the league, too. We’re in the league too now, c’mon. C’mon John Gaffney. God. Congratulations to Florida State, [they]’re fearless. Great team, they can win it [all].”

In Brey’s comments on Monday’s ACC teleconference, he addressed his outburst during his opening statement.

“I was really proud of our group the other night in Tallahassee,” Brey said. “I thought we gave ourselves a chance and really fought back. I am so impressed with Florida State, I really think they can win the whole thing. They are playing well. I certainly accept the reprimand for my comments and I will take my medicine like a man and accept my responsibility on that. I am going to try to be a good guy the rest of the season, but I can’t guarantee anything.”

Should the Irish have pulled out the win over Florida State, it would have provided a Notre Dame team striving to make a post-season tournament with a marquee win. Instead, the Irish now sit three spots from the bottom of the ACC at 11-8, 2-6 in the conference.

The Irish return to action Wednesday night to take on Wake Forest at Purcell Pavilion.

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About Hayden Adams

Hayden is the former sports editor of The Observer. When he's not working toward his four majors (physics and film, television & theatre) and three minors (journalism, ethics & democracy), you can probably find him hopelessly trying to save his beloved Zahm House from being wiped out. He plans to attend law school at a TBD location after graduation.

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