Longtime college basketball referee Karl Hess tossed a couple fans from the Florida State-North Carolina State game last Saturday but these were not your average fans. Former Wolfpack standouts Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta departed the scene in the second half when Hess ordered a policeman to remove him.
Those are the facts but after that it’s a case of “He said…you said…” Corchiani claims the pair didn’t use any vulgar language but was just telling Hess he was having a bad day calling the game. Hess apparently was tired of the catcalls and took action. It was also reported that NC State students were on Hess’ target list.
Fans do get ejected in college basketball games but it is rare. What’s more rare is two former high profile college stars leaving early not on their own accord.
If there is blame in this incident, I give it to Hess. He needed to just suck it up and call the game. Officials will make controversial calls. They will also make some fans extremely unhappy. Officials recognize that as part of the territory. But officials need thick skin and apart from physical abuse should take the catcalls or leave officiating.
I bet Hess wishes he could redo his decision to toss Corchiani and Gugliotta. He added fuel to a fire that will burn for a while.
It will be interesting whether Hess referees any more NC State games this season. My guess is no. This flame requires some water and that water is Hess remaining on the sidelines for future Wolfpack games