NC State not happy about Hess ejections

February, 20, 2012
02/20/12
11:00
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Against rival North Carolina on Tuesday night, NC State will honor recently ejected alums Tom Gugliotta and Chris Corchiani as part of a celebration involving the 1988-89 Wolfpack team.

Suffice it to say, Karl Hess is not invited.

The official who tossed Gugliotta and Corchiani from Saturday's game against Florida State worked Sunday night's South Florida-Pitt game for the Big East and the ACC has no plans to discipline him, only zinging him for not following proper procedure during the ejection.

No one claims he doesn't have the right to eject the Wolfpack legends for criticizing him, but Hess was supposed to go to the game manager, not security. Whether or not Hess works another NC State game at the RBC Center this season no one may ever know, since game officials aren't announced in advance. So any change could be made without the public's or the school's knowledge.

Those involved in the bizarre incident say they have moved on, but not without unanswered questions.

NC State athletic director Debbie Yow and, more importantly, Corchiani and Gugliotta would like to know why they were ejected.

One former official told ESPN.com on Monday that this is a consistent failure of the current system. You can debate whether it was right or wrong to toss Corchiani and Gugliotta, but publicly stating a reason would certainly lessen the noise.

All Hess or at least the ACC had to say is that they were ejected for saying "blank." Instead, the answer is crickets.

"We think we did absolutely nothing wrong and we would love an explanation why we were asked to leave," Corchiani said Sunday night. "We think that's the least that we should have, whether we were ex-players or spectators. You would want to know why you were asked to leave. That's the least we should have at this point."

According to multiple sources, Hess lost his patience over the criticism as Florida State cruised past the Wolfpack.

A student had been yelling "You suck!" at Hess and the officiating crew. A few minutes after hearing this, Hess wanted the student ejected. Hess approached the sideline, according to multiple sources, and asked why the student hadn't been ejected. Hess was told that security didn't feel the student was threatening in any manner.

When Scott Wood was fouled, with the Pack down 18, Gugliotta stood up and, according to Corchiani, yelled, "'It's about time!' And that broke the camel's back."

Corchiani said neither he nor Gugliotta used profanity. He said the security official came over to them and said they had to leave.

"We didn't want to be a problem so we got up and left," Corchiani said.

He and Gugliotta, along with other members of the 1989 team, were called Sunday morning about being honored Tuesday. He said he wouldn't miss it.

Yow told ESPN.com that what occurred this weekend was embarrassing. Yow said she doesn't believe Hess knew what was said by Corchiani and Gugliotta. She is convinced that he was angry over the student not being ejected and says she has a report from the RBC Center, as well as from game security, that will back up the claim that Gugliotta and Corchiani did nothing more than question calls.

NC State officials are convinced that Hess wouldn't have thrown out a famous North Carolina or Duke alum. Of course, we will never know that to be true and that only plays into the inferiority complex that the Pack often get painted with in the Triangle, inside the shadow of their two rivals.

Nevertheless, Yow wants to have a face-to-face meeting with ACC coordinator of officials John Clougherty in the conference office in Greensboro. Yow wants an answer and is hoping she can get one in person.

She's not the only one.

"The more it's discussed, the more it bothers me," Corchiani said. "If you get pulled over by the police, the officer will tell you the reason. We got thrown out of the game, at least tell us why? We did absolutely nothing. We were on Hess and the other officials for six or seven calls, no different than what I've done the last 20 years in going to games as a fan."

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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