For many Virginia Tech fans, you are likely most focused on either "The Magnificent 7" talk, football recruiting, or what's going on in baseball or softball.
That's likely caused the ACC Track and Field Championships, which happened this past weekend, to find fly under your radar at least initially earlier this week. By now, you may have seen it but if not, here's the backstory.
Virginia Tech star freshman sprinter Judson Lincoln IV has been one of the fastest in the nation at 400 meters this one and showed it once again beating a pair of Clemson sprinters to win the ACC title at 400 meters.
At least for the moment because after he finished, Lincoln started celebrating which included a lot of celebrated right in the face of his Clemson rivals. Because of that, the ACC decided to disqualify him for "misconduct". Here's a look at the video of what happened.
Should this have been a DQ? 🤔— Travis Miller (@travismillerx13) May 15, 2023
Judson Lincoln DQed for "Misconduct" after winning the ACC 400m.
Virginia Tech finished 7.5 points behind Clemson for the ACC team title. pic.twitter.com/aEBMAoDlnN
This disqualification cost Virginia Tech 10 points while boosting the other 6 finishers up including giving Clemson four more points for their top 2 finishers who went from 2nd and 3rd to 1st and 2nd. This result would prove to be the difference for Clemson winning the ACC title and the Hokies who finished off the podium only 7.5 points back.
And that's where it becomes clear that this "misconduct" call is not only what cost Virginia Tech the ACC title, but also handed the title to Clemson on a silver platter in the end.
Now I'm not a fan of this celebration at all personally from Lincoln to be clear. I am all for celebrating with the fans, with your teammates, etc but this was a little much to be taunting your opponent regardless of whether anything was said pre-race between these two or not.
However, this is simply an absurd disqualification call to make in the second most important outdoor track & field meet of the year for every competitor in the ACC. Lincoln's actions came after all the sprinters had finished their race and didn't have an outcome on the race whatsoever. There should be a way to reprimand Lincoln for this in a way that recognizes the fact that this happened after the race and did not impact the outcome at all.
Even if Lincoln would have simply been DQ'd and the rest of the field not bumped up in terms of points, Clemson would have still not won (nor would Virginia Tech). That just shows how much this decision skewed the results of an extremely tight men's track and field meet.
This almost feels like if a basketball player started celebrating right as the game ended, but the ref didn't like how he was celebrating so he called a technical with "0.0" and awarded 2 free throws to the other team that could tie or win the game. You may not like the celebration, but that team won fair and square just like Judson Lincoln IV fairly won the ACC title at 400 meters.
Whether you thought Judson Lincoln's celebration was fine or it crossed the line in some ways like I thought it did, I think it's clear that Judson Lincoln and the Hokies Men's Track and Field team were robbed of an ACC title over a terrible disqualification call for actions outside of a race that did not affect the outcome whatsoever.