ESPN’s Ryan McGee remembers ACC basketball and football official Bob Sandell

from ESPN’s Ryan McGee on former ACC official Bob Sandell at

A word of remembrance for former ACC football and basketball referee Bob Sandell, who died Friday night after a long battle with cancer.

Legend has it that Sandell, a Charlottesville, Va., resident, was in the stands for an early-1980s game between Maryland and Virginia when word came down that the officiating crew couldn’t get to the arena because of a winter storm. Virginia administrators approached Sandell and said they needed him to step in and ref the game. ACC rules prohibit residents of college towns from working their hometown team’s games, but Maryland had agreed to let the universally respected Sandell step in.

A little embarrassed, he explained that it still wasn’t a good idea because he’d already had a couple of pregame beers. Terrapins head coach Lefty Driesell replied, “So what? Bob Sandell on two beers is still better than most referees totally sober.”