NCAA: Ejections uproar 'unfortunate'

Updated: February 22, 2012, 7:50 AM ET
By Dana O'Neil | ESPN.com

RALEIGH, N.C. -- John Adams, the NCAA coordinator of officials, said the uproar following an official's decision to eject two former North Carolina State players from a game on Saturday was "unfortunate" but that it was time to move on from the incident.

Adams attended the Wolfpack's game against No. 7 North Carolina on Tuesday but not because of what happened on Saturday. He had planned the visit weeks ago as part of his job evaluating officials for the NCAA tournament.

Tom Gugliotta and Chris Corchiani returned to the RBC Arena Tuesday for a ceremony honoring NC State's 1988-89 team that won the school's last ACC regular-season championship. In NC State's game against Florida State, Karl Hess ejected Gugliotta and Corchiani from their seats behind the scorer's table.

No reason for the ex-players' ejection was given but the ACC later reprimanded Hess for failing to follow proper protocol and procedures.

On Tuesday, Corchiani said during "The Experts" on ESPNU that neither he nor his former teammate used any profanity and didn't know why they were ejected.

"This was an unfortunate situation, and I'm pretty sure everyone involved would agree with that," Adams said. "People get thrown out of games. It's at the discretion of the officials but most people aren't known and it's not on national television. I think it's time to forget about it and move on. It's time to play ball."

Adams downplayed any notion that the league's reprimand would breed contentiousness between officials and conferences. Officials work as independent contractors and are not employed by the leagues.

"I don't think it's any different than when I used to officiate back in 1988," Adams said. "It's just the 24/7 news cycle that's changed. Things happened and it's covered on television in slow motion over and over again."

Adams also said that, while it's never good when an official is singled out for his actions, it's part of the job.

Last month Adams issued a strongly-worded memo to his officials, urging them to enforce rules that govern sportsmanship.

That memo, he said, was in regards to actions on the court, not necessarily off of it.

Fans, of course, don't forget. So while Adams is ready to put it all behind him, NC State supporters are not.

At the North Carolina game, plenty of fans held signs referencing the incident, including "Karl Hess went to UNC," and "'Free Gugliotta and Corchiani."

When the 1988-89 team was honored before the game, Gugliotta and Corchiani received the loudest cheers.

Dana O'Neil covers college basketball for ESPN.com and can be reached at espononeil@live.com.

Dana O'Neil | email

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