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ACC reprimands Hewitt for comments

ATLANTA - Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt avoided a suspension Wednesday morning for his critical comments about the officiating in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament final.

Instead ACC commissioner John Swofford issued a public reprimand to the Yellow Jackets coach.

"Coach Hewitt violated the Conference's Sportsmanlike Policy prohibiting public criticism of game officials," Swofford said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

"Following discussions with Georgia Tech Athletics Director Dave Braine, I have issued a public reprimand to Coach Hewitt for his failure to comply with the policies of the ACC and any further violations of this policy may result in a coaching suspension for one game."

Hewitt criticized the officiating, particularly a foul call against Tech point guard Jarrett Jack late in the Yellow Jackets' 69-64 loss to Duke, during and after his Monday radio show.

"If you have two eyes that work well, you should have been able to see that," Hewitt said during the radio show. "It's inexcusable. It's absolutely inexcusable."

"It'll be a long time before I forget what happened (Sunday). It was wrong."

Swofford said there are other ways for coaches to make their opinions known without airing them publicly.

"While there are calls in any contest that can be debated, our member institutions have agreed that any public criticism of game officials is inappropriate," Swofford said. "There are proper channels of communication in place that are available to all coaches and administrators for these types of concerns to be expressed to the conference office."

Hewitt issued a statement in response to the reprimand: "I apologize for the personal nature of my comments. I'm in agreement with Commissioner Swofford that these types of issues should be handled internally."