The Atlantic Coast Conference has publicly reprimanded official Karl Hess for failing to follow procedure when ejecting two former NC State stars from the stands during a weekend game.
In a statement Monday night, the league said it had conducted a "thorough review" of the events leading up to Hess’ ejections of former Wolfpack stars Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta from seats behind the scorer’s table during the second half of Saturday’s loss to Florida State.
The ACC said after the game that officials have the authority to ask the home team’s management to remove fans when, in the official’s judgment, their behavior is extreme or excessive. After Hess gestured to have Gugliotta and Corchiani removed, they were approached by an officer from the Raleigh Police Department.
"Karl Hess is one of the best on-court officials in college basketball, but the ACC has established a game management protocol, which allows the opportunity to potentially diffuse any situations before they reach the level of ejection," ACC commissioner John Swofford said in the statement. "His reprimand is a result of a failure to follow that protocol.
"We have to depend on our officials and their judgments; and the explanation from Karl Hess regarding this matter has been shared with the ACC and N.C. State University."
In an email sent by ACC associate commissioner for men’s basketball Karl Hicks to NC State executive senior associate athletic director Chris Kingston on Monday night, the league said Corchiani and Gugliotta weren’t ejected for anything that they said.
"According to Hess, ‘They were ejected for excessive demonstration on several calls as they came right up to the scorer’s table. The policeman at the end of the FSU bench was warned that their continual excessive demonstration that incited the crowd would result in ejection,’ " the email states.
Hess, who started work as an ACC official in 1987, declined comment several times when approached after the game by an Associated Press reporter. Corchiani tweeted roughly 40 minutes after the game that Hess ”didn’t like fact Googs and I told him he was having a bad day, inconsistent, and telling the truth.”
Gugliotta scored 1,536 points while playing for NC State from 1988-92, before beginning a 13-year NBA career that included an All-Star selection in 1997. Corchiani, who spent three seasons in the NBA, played for the Wolfpack from 1987-91 and is second on the NCAA Division I career assists list with 1,038 — behind only Duke’s Bobby Hurley.
Gugliotta’s and Corchiani’s jersey numbers hang from the RBC Center rafters.
The school will honor the 1989 team — which featured both players — before Tuesday night’s game against rival North Carolina.