The ACC publicly reprimanded basketball referee Karl Hess on Monday night for failing to follow protocol in ejecting two N.C. State basketball greats from Saturday's game at the RBC Center.
Hess had Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta removed from their seats behind the scorers' table with 6 minutes and 40 seconds left in the Wolfpack's loss to Florida State on Saturday because of "excessive demonstration on several calls," according to an email N.C. State received from Hess on Monday night, via the ACC.
Under NCAA rules, the game official has to the right to eject fans who demonstrate "unruly or excessive" behavior but is supposed to notify the game-management official before making a decision. Hess had two Raleigh police officers and an arena security guard ask the two former players to leave, instead.
In the email to N.C. State, Hess wrote:
"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.”
ACC commissioner John Swofford issued a statement on Monday night about Hess' role in the ejections.
"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," Swofford's statement read.
"This 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.”