Duane Heydt, the head referee in Clemson’s games against Georgia Tech and Pitt this season, may not be one of the officials in the Dec. 3 ACC Championship Game after all as the fourth-ranked Tigers go for their second straight ACC Championship and 16th overall.
As you may recall from the Pitt game, Clemson and its fan base was not too thrilled with some of the calls Heydt and his crew made in a loss to the Panthers on Nov. 12. In fact, a pattern emerged from the two Clemson games he and his crew called this year, which The Clemson Insider documented in a report on Nov. 13.
On Nov. 14, TCI reported through sources in our Insider Report that Heydt, a University of South Carolina graduate, was being considered as one of the referees in the ACC Championship Game. One of those sources told TCI on Wednesday night, “he has been removed from the game” by the ACC.
In TCI’s communication with the ACC, the league would not confirm if Heydt is an official for the game or not. TCI was told by the ACC that officials are assigned by the Supervisor of Officials. The crew for the ACC Championship Game will be announced the day before the game, in accordance with the league’s usual practice.
When TCI asked the ACC if having a South Carolina graduate call a Clemson game was a conflict of interest, the league responded by saying an ACC official cannot officiate a game in which:
- He attended one of the schools (including post graduate work)
- Has a spouse or children currently attending one of the schools.
- He, his spouse, children or siblings have a business or employment relationship with one of the schools
- He has a relationship or activity that could be perceived or construed as a conflict of interest, including, but not limited to, any college he made a financial contribution to or has been involved in a legal proceeding of any nature.
When checking with a few of our sources at Clemson in the past week, we were told Clemson was not aware that Heydt was being considered as an official for the ACC Championship Game. Even if that was the case, we are told, Clemson has no plans of complaining about who is officiating the game or if they could even complain in the first place.
“We are just going to play the game and not worry about that stuff,” one source said.