The loss to Clemson left N.C. head coach Dave Doeren complaining about the use of a laptop on the Tigers’ sideline Saturday.
During his postgame press conference, Doeren said someone after the game showed him a picture with a person from Clemson’s athletic department using a computer on the sideline during the game, a violation of ACC rules.
“I’d like to know why there was a laptop on Clemson’s sideline that people were looking at, too” Doeren said. “I’d like that to be investigated. Maybe they weren’t doing anything, but I was told it’s illegal to have technology on the sideline. So I’d like to know that as well.”
When the league was made aware of the computer being on Clemson’s sidelines Saturday night in the third quarter, Clemson officials had it removed.
Joe Galbraith, Clemson’s associate athletic 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.”
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney denied the team used any laptop for coaching purposes.
“It wasn’t anybody from football,” Swinney said after the game, “I can tell you that.”
Galbraith 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.