Many fans were grumbling over some whistles by one particular referee last night. Some may not have realized a connection between him and another ruckus going on over at the ACC. In short, this referee is in a dispute with ACC and decided to 'quit' working their season -- only to vent his emotions in another conference tourny. Yep, you guessed it: Karl Hess came and took a dump on the sport at the Big East tournament.
Hess tossed fans Tom Gugliotta and Chris Corchiani (former Wolfpack players) out of an NC State game
Karl Hess Ejects Tom Gugliotta, Chris Corciani (via IIIskzIII). Some may debate the merits of his doing that, but it is clearly allowed by the rulebook. It is said that the profanity Tom and Chris used whilst sitting near children was pretty bad, which might have been enough for me to do something, but that is not what Hess said motivated him to eject them. 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.' Later that night, ACC supervisor of officials John Clougherty released a statement confirming that Hess had not followed protocol by going to an arena security officer rather than someone with home game management to eject a fan.
Act 2: ACC Commissioner reprimands Hess because he didn't follow the protocol of conferring with home game management officials, but instead called upon arena security. The reason for that protocol.. "...allows the opportunity to potentially diffuse any situations before they reach the level of ejection."
Act 3: Clougherty lets everyone know that: "Karl Hess wanted to make sure that he did not take away from the ACC tournament, its teams and the players,” the brief statement read. “Therefore, he made the decision not to participate this year. The officials, as a group, have agreed to respect Karl’s decision and will eliminate any further distraction from the tournament."
Act 4: Somehow 'thinking it would not add distraction' to the game, fellow referees Mike Eades, Jamie Luckie and Bernard Clinton wore the initials “K.H.” on their shoes in 'honor' (?!) of Hess. I wonder if it occurred to them at all that such a gesture had been, until now, been reserved for honoring dead people and significant causes for humanity. VAIN much? How about inappropriate? No, One does not choose to make a point in a public event surreptitiously. Eades, Luckie and Clinton (snicker) clearly knew this would be a distraction because they overtly wanted to make a point.
Act 5: Meanwhile, Mr. Hess didn't just spurn the ACC, he came over to the Big East with his obviously now temper-driven whistle. Only 12 minutes into the game, he blew a whistle on Louisville center Gogui DIeng that was so bad, even the TV crew were commenting how bad it was and how it would affect the game. Worse still, Hess immediately gave a Technical to Dieng when Dieng
"slammed" placed the ball on the floor and walked away (not even looking at Hess during all this.)
Bottom line: Referees in two different post season conference tournaments intentionally distracted the sport and unfairly affected the athletes and their games in order to make vain, personal statements about a point on which the rulebook is against clearly them. Akin to Reagen and the air traffic controllers, I say it's time to give them walking papers.