Official Karl Hess not at ACC tourney

ATLANTA -- An official who ejected two former North Carolina State stars from the stands last month did not take part in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament but had the support of his colleagues.

The ACC issued a statement Thursday saying Karl Hess decided not to officiate in Atlanta because he "did not want to take away from the ACC tournament, its teams and the players." But his absence was noted in the opening game of the tournament, when all three officials wrote the letters "KH" on a small piece of tape that was attached to the side of their shoes.

The league released its statement after Maryland's victory over Wake Forest, saying the other officials "agreed to respect" the decision by Hess. There were no such protests in the remaining games.

Hess wasn't sitting at home Thursday. He officiated the Marquette-Louisville game at the Big East tournament in New York.

On Feb. 18, Tom Gugliotta and Chris Corchiani were ejected from their seats by Hess during a game in Raleigh, N.C., between the Wolfpack and Florida State.

Hess told ACC officials that the former players weren't ejected for anything they said, but for "excessive demonstration on several calls." The league reviewed the incident and publicly reprimanded Hess.