A football loss left N.C. State’s fans and the team’s head coach, Dave Doeren, in foul moods Saturday night.
As the officials ran off the field into a tunnel at Carter-Finley Stadium following Clemson’s 38-31 win, they were spat upon and pelted with debris thrown from the fans.
A short time later, N.C. State Dave Doeren complained that Clemson had a laptop computer on its sidelines in violation of ACC rules.
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“I like to know why there was a laptop on Clemson’s sideline that people were looking at,” Doeren said. “I’d like for that to be investigated. Maybe they weren’t doing anything but I was told it was illegal to have technology on the sidelines.”
It is against ACC rules to have a laptop on the sidelines. When the league was made aware of one being on Clemson’s sidelines Saturday night in the third quarter, Clemson officials had it removed.
Joe Galbraith, Clemson’s associate athletics director for communications, said a student videographer had a laptop on the sidelines as has been the school’s normal practice.
The purpose, Galbraith said, is to transmit still photos and video highlights from the game for use on the school’s social media platforms.
“That individual has no contact with coaches or student-athletes during the game,” Galbraith said.
The ACC guideline governing football sidelines states “motion pictures, any type of film, facsimile machines, videotapes, photographs, writing-transmission machines and computers may not be used by coaches for coaching purposes any time during the game or between periods.”
Galbraith, though, said Clemson’s laptop is used by its communication staff and not the coaching staff. He said this is the first time anyone has complained about it.
“We’ve had a laptop on the sidelines for every road game for the last two and a half years,” Galbraith said. “We were contacted by the ACC in the third quarter and he moved back to the team tunnel. It’s back there for us to have someone near the bench to facilitate quick photography as well as for them to gather highlights to upload back to Clemson for when we put together highlight packages for postgame.”
Galbraith said the videographer moved voluntarily to the tunnel for the remainder of the game.
“We figure we’ll discuss with the conference office on Monday and move forward and find a solution for what we are trying to do on social media and something that doesn’t interfere with the game,” Galbraith said.
As for the fans displeasure, N.C. State was called for six penalties compared to Clemson’s three.
The Wolfpack’s final penalty came with 27 seconds left and N.C. State desperately driving in Tigers territory with Clemson up 38-31.
Quarterback Ryan Finley completed a pass to Kelvin Harmon to move the Wolfpack inside the Clemson 5. But the play was wiped out when N.C. State was called for an illegal shift.
“It’s the rules,” N.C. State wide receiver Jakobi Meyers said. “They (the officials) know the rules better than we do and we’re just going to listen to what they call.”
The penalty left N.C. State facing fourth down from the Clemson 33. Finley threw a pass down the middle of the field that was intercepted at the 9 by Clemson;s K’Von Wallace to end the game.
As the officials left the field flanked by security personnel, the crowd booed and some Wolfpack fans unleashed their wrath on them.