- Heather Dinich, ESPN Staff Writer
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Step into our office: Andrea Adelson and I are both taking mail today ...
Tim Jones in Greenville S.C. writes: Heather, What is the latest on the ACC Vs. Maryland Lawsuit? Last I knew the Maryland Attny general was trying to have it dismissed but that seems like months ago. Can you fill us in?
HD: Yes. I spoke with the AG's office this week, and the bottom line is this: Maryland and the ACC are still caught up in the legal battle over where this case will be tried -- in North Carolina or in Maryland. This is going to drag out for a while. The next date is April 23, that's the deadline for the attorney general's office to respond to the ACC's motion to dismiss the suit. That's simply filing a piece of paper. On May 23, there will be a hearing on that motion to dismiss the suit in Maryland. Those are the only known dates at this point. The judge in Greensboro, N.C., has ruled against the AG's motion to dismiss and ruled they didn't have the right to appeal. The AG then filed a motion with the court of appeals in North Carolina to overturn that ruling. On Thursday, the court of appeals granted Maryland’s Petition for Writ of Supersedeas, which means no trial can proceed while Maryland appeals the trial court’s order that denied its motion to dismiss the ACC lawsuit in North Carolina.
Jon in Atlanta, Ga., writes: What are the chances of Paul Johnson opening up the offense to more passing? The run game is great, the passing game, not so much? Defenses crowd the line because of no respect for the pass. Even some quick screens could disrupt a defense. Any chance of seeing the ball in the air more?
HD: I've said this repeatedly about Georgia Tech's offense, Jon: The Jackets don't need to throw the ball more to win the ACC; they just need to throw it more efficiently. That's hard to do when only two receivers who caught a pass in 2012 return and both of them -- Darren Waller and Anthony Autry -- were injured this spring. Paul Johnson isn't going to give his offense a makeover. It's what they do, and nobody knows it better than he does. He'd be the first to tell you he'd like to throw it more consistently, but they've got to get some wideouts to step up and do it.
OK, Andrea's turn ...
Dave DeCook in Richmond, Va., writes: I thought it pretty amazing you could write a story on the tragedy in Boston and find a way to feature Clemson. The bias you and HD show for Clemson, FSU, and Miami is really pretty stunning but to ignore the anniversary of the shootings at VT shows a stunning lack of awareness any "journalist" should be embarrassed about.
AA: So let me get this straight, Dave. You have taken issue with a story about a doctor who helped treat severely injured victims in the attack because it is related to Clemson? If it makes me biased to tell the story of a hero during a horrific event, then slap that label right on my forehead. Had he been related to any other coach on any other team in the league, the blog post still would have been written. It had nothing to do with Clemson, and everything to do with Dr. John Scott and his efforts to help those injured Monday night. As for the Virginia Tech massacre, Heather linked to this piece this week. That anniversary was not ignored. Nor will it ever be ignored.
Dr. David C Shaffer in Washington DC writes: You do know Pitt is now in the ACC? I wonder because you rarely if ever report anything about them.
AA: I suggest you refresh your ACC blog feed there, David. Heather visited Pittsburgh last week and has had five posts alone this week, including this one on Paul Chryst changing the culture.
Jeff Carlucci in Erie, Pa., writes: Dear Andrea, despite their injuries on a depleted defensive line ...the Canes will be a surprise team BCS wise. They have enough on defense to get a dangerous offense touches with the ball, which can score from just about anywhere. Go Canes! Duke wins the Heisman stemming from running for 1,300! Have a great weekend!
AA: Ah, the unbridled optimism of spring! I actually do not think it is a stretch to say Miami could be a surprise BCS-wise. Heather and I both believe this team is the favorite to win the Coastal Division, which would put the Canes into the ACC title game. But that defense remains a major question mark and didn't really answer many doubters this spring. As for Mr. Johnson, I believe we will know more about his Heisman candidacy following Week 2 against Florida. And he probably needs more than 1,300 yards to win the Heisman! The last running back to win the award, Mark Ingram, had 1,658 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2009.
1dMatt Fortuna and Andrea Adelson