COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The Atlantic Coast Conference and the University of Maryland Wednesday banned Terrapin football Coach Bobby Ross from the sidelines during his team's next ACC game as punishment for grabbing a referee following his team's loss to North Carolina.
Ross, in his fifth year at Maryland, was also reprimanded by the university for his actions in last Saturday's game.
ACC Commissioner Bob James said Ross will be limited to the press box for a Nov. 15 game against Clemson at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium. Coincidentally, Clemson Coach Danny Ford also is banned from the sidelines during that game as a result of an on-field incident in last season's game against Maryland.
"The behavior of Coach Ross at the conclusion of the game in question has caused embarrassment to this institution, the University of North Carolina and the Atlantic Coast Conference," Maryland Athletic Director Charles Sturtz said.
Furious that game officials had allowed North Carolina what he believed was an additional timeout, Ross dashed across the field at Kenan Stadium after the game and shoved past one official before grabbing referee Don Safrit by the shoulder as he was leaving the field.
A stadium security officer stepped in and pushed Ross aside.
Officials granted the Tar Heels a timeout in the final seconds, allowing North Carolina to stop the clock for Lee Gliarmis' 28-yard field goal that dealt Maryland a 32-30 loss.
The Tar Heels actually did have one timeout remaining, although the scoreboard did not show it.
Ross apologized Tuesday to North Carolina officials and reiterated the apology in a statement Wednesday, although he insists he was just trying to get Safrit's attention.
"I want to apologize to my staff, players, the athletic department and entire University of Maryland for my action," Ross said. "I regret it a great deal. It is an embarrassment to my family, the football program and the university. I feel the sanctions are justified and fair."