Karl Hess tosses NC State legends out of the game [4:50 pm Update]

In another slap in the face to NC State, one of the “top” ACC officials decided to throw Tom Gugliotta and Chris Corchiani out of the basketball game.

Welcome to another example of how awful the Atlantic Coast Conference has become and little league officials value NC State and our heritage and history.

Can you ever imagine Michael Jordan being kicked out of a game at the Dean Dome? Or Christian Laettner getting kicked out of a game at Cameron?

Today Karl Hess took his insanity one step further and joined the NC State officiating Hall of Fame alongside legends like Rick Hartzell, Larry Rose, Roger Ayers, Lou Bello, John Clougherty (at Maryland in 2000) and many, many others when he chose to eject NC State legends Tom Gugliotta and Chris Corchiani from the RBC Center in front of 16,000 fans and a regional television audience. Pack Pride is reporting that Hess apparently asked security to eject a student a few plays earlier for saying “You Suck,” but was told that isn’t enough of a reason.

In my opinion, the first amendment of the US Constitution provides that there is almost there NOTHING that a fan can say at a game that should warrant an ejection by an official – absent credible threats of physical violence or attempts at starting violence. Since the game ended, Corchiani and Gugliotta have stated that they did not even utter an ounce of profanity.

[4:20pm Update] As I was writing that^ exact paragraph, the national blog, Deadspin was agreeing with me and posted the following comments in this entry.

Retired NBA star Tom Gugliotta was ejected by referee Karl Hess in the second half of of North Carolina State’s home loss to Florida State today.

We don’t know yet what it was Googs said to get the thumb, but CBS’s Matt Norlander reports the former Wolfpack star (along with another former NBA player and NCSU alum Chris Corchiani) was ejected by Hess.

RBC Center is owned by a public corporation, and North Carolina State is a public school. Thus, free speech rules apply. Unless Gugliotta was threatening to commit a crime or engaging in speech that could injure others (i.e. “Fire!”) he has the right to sit there and say anything he wants. It’s protected speech. [ACC Network]

Since the game ended, Corchiani tweeted the following from his account @Chris_Corchiani:

Karl”rabbit ears” Hess didn’t like the fact Googs and I told him he was having a bad day, inconsistent, and telling the truth. #horribleness

..and, since all of this has been written…we ran across the following comments from “SeaBarrister” on Pack Pride’s message forums:

I believe there may be 1st Amendment issue here… (I’ve been thinking about this ever since the Presby fan was thrown out of the Dean Dome.)

Googs and Corch were removed by an RPD police officer who was exercising the police power of the state (due either to the fact that he was executing duties in his role as a law enforcement officer, or as an agent of the state contracting to a state institution – NC State). The RBC (or PNC) Center is at least a limited public forum for speech (the state even provides “cheer” leaders). Throwing out a patron based on what was said, is a content based restriction of speech (at best) or a viewpoint non-neutral restriction at worst. (is it all commentary on officiating, or just negative commentary that will get you tossed). As such the restriction must survive a strict scrutiny analysis to be valid (threats, “fire” in a crowded building, etc.. would pass such scrutiny, “Karl Hess, you ******* suck” would not.)

Certainly the offending behavior is not about the colorful language, else Coach K would never make it to the first TV timeout – neither would most players for that matter.

The only remaining question is whether or not a patron waives his first amendment rights by utilizing the “seat license.” I’m certain that the school officials believe that he does, but I’m not so sure. First, the freedom of speech is a fundamental right and may not be waivable at all. Second, if there is an ability to waive these rights, it seems that such a waiver must be expressly granted. I’m sure that you wont find a signed document from Corch or Googs (or the Presby Fan) that indicates their agreement not to tell Karl Hess what a ******-nozzle he is.

If I were @Mark_Gottfried and Debbie Yow, the following steps would be taken

(1) @Chris_Corchiani and Googs would have their asses in those EXACT SEATS for the last two games of the season if not all of next season.

(2) A review of free speech policies and security responsibilities of the RBC Staff and Raleigh Police Department will be had.

(3) Karl Hess would never be allowed to officiate another NC State basketball game. Period. Ever. Anywhere. We simply DO NOT take the court if Hess is assigned to the court. If John Swofford doesn’t like it, then we will force the issue.

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About Rick

1992 and 2002 graduate from NCSU. Born and raised an NCSU fan. I remember the good ol' days and they weren't in the last 20 years.

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184 Responses to Karl Hess tosses NC State legends out of the game [4:50 pm Update]

  1. StateFans 02/18/2012 at 4:20 PM #

    If this doesn’t send Debbie Yow straight to John Swofford then I don’t know if anything ever will.

  2. PackerInRussia 02/18/2012 at 4:20 PM #

    There were so many fouls called Thursday night and not enough players to take them all that they became retroactive. Any former player that steps into the RBC for the rest of the season will immediately be issued a double technical and kicked out.

  3. packplantpath 02/18/2012 at 4:21 PM #

    How do officials have the authority to throw fans out of an arena?

    Kick players out of a game, sure. Fans from the stands? Really?

  4. wufpup76 02/18/2012 at 4:21 PM #

    If this doesn’t galvanize the team, fanbase, athletic department, and University then nothing will.

    This needs to be our ‘Alamo’ or ‘Boston Massacre’ moment.

    Still can’t stop laughing about it though.

  5. WIFF 02/18/2012 at 4:21 PM #

    No blame on the refs for losing this game. FSUs defense gave us fits in the half court. How the f*** can a ref throw out two ACC legends from our own building? How did NC State let that happen? Yow should have walked out on the court and told Hess that we are not going to tolerate this garbage. There better be some repercussions from this.

  6. Rick 02/18/2012 at 4:23 PM #

    One ref apparently also shoved Zo.
    If we can find video of that I will add it as well.

    The ACC has become a farce.

  7. BJD95 02/18/2012 at 4:24 PM #

    The assault on Lorenzo Brown was even more egregious. This isn’t something that MG can or should address. But it’s time for Woodson and/or Yow to act, and do so publicly.

    Demand Hess’ suspension, and the other ref’s immediate firing. And attach an ultimatum to said demands.

  8. PackerInRussia 02/18/2012 at 4:25 PM #

    So, do refs really have the right to kick out fans? That doesn’t seem like something that ought to be within their jurisdiction.

  9. BJD95 02/18/2012 at 4:25 PM #

    The shove is shown better in the ACC Network’s replay, rather than live. I hope someone can find it.

  10. redcanine 02/18/2012 at 4:26 PM #

    Karl Rove would be a better official than Karl Hess.

  11. StateFans 02/18/2012 at 4:26 PM #

    Someone find the SHOVE!

  12. Wufpacker 02/18/2012 at 4:26 PM #

    I think Corch and Googs were the big winners here. They did not have to witness the last 6:40 of the beatdown.

  13. CaptainCraptacular 02/18/2012 at 4:27 PM #

    Just like Don Denkinger in St. Louis, Karl Hess isn’t welcome in Raleigh. He better leave today & not work another NCSU game in his life.

    Douche Nozzle of the decade. Pathetic old ass bag.

  14. PackerInRussia 02/18/2012 at 4:27 PM #

    I was also a little surprised by the shove of Brown. Brown was slightly jogging backwards, so that may have made it appear worse than it was, but I still didn’t understand the need to shove him even a little bit.

  15. StateFans 02/18/2012 at 4:28 PM #

    The only other time I remember an official throwing a fan out of a game was….

    ….you guessed it…

    …an NC STATE GAME where an official threw out Les Robinson’s son (or son-in-law) from Cameron Indoor Stadium.

  16. wufpup76 02/18/2012 at 4:28 PM #

    The shove is clear on the DVR. It looks like this video came off of someone’s DVR … Go to the 1:27 mark of the second half (two hours, six minutes on my DVR).

  17. TOBtime 02/18/2012 at 4:30 PM #

    No Rick, I can’t imagine MJ being kicked out of the Dumb Dome. The reason being is the officiating there will never, EVER go against the holes badly enough for MJ to complain about it.

    SCREW the ACC. NCSU matters as much to the ACC as the mat my dog is currently sleeping on. You can believe all the delusions you want about us being a “founding force” of the ACC and the weight that carries. We haven’t mattered since 1990 and the league, through officiating clowndom, has reinforced that to a high degree in the last 2 games. I normally don’t get dragged into the refs screwed us argument but this is simply getting out of control.

  18. Avid109 02/18/2012 at 4:31 PM #

    Woodson and Yow need to address this matter in public and soon.

  19. TOBtime 02/18/2012 at 4:33 PM #

    Woodson and Yow could publicly address the issues by stating our intention to change the letters ACC to SEC.

  20. TLeo 02/18/2012 at 4:33 PM #

    I totally agree with BJD here…Yow needs to immediately call out Hess and the other official who shoved/assualted Lorenzo and demand firings/suspensions. I also think MG should call out the officials. The other schools need to join in as well and demand that Swofford put a stop to all this crap from officials and he needs to be forced out as well.

  21. IMFletcherWolf 02/18/2012 at 4:34 PM #

    This is seriously not cool. I expect to hear an explanation for this from the ACC by Monday. Debbie sure better voice her opinion on this matter, too. And if I see Karl Hess ref another State game …

  22. tuckerdorm1983 02/18/2012 at 4:35 PM #

    I would give a nickel or maybe even ten cents to hear what corch and googs said. I bet you couldn’t say it on regular tv.

  23. stillapackfan 02/18/2012 at 4:35 PM #

    You aren’t seriously comparing them to Jordan are you?

  24. WIFF 02/18/2012 at 4:35 PM #

    Just sent Yow a letter asking for this to be addressed. [email protected]

  25. Ed89 02/18/2012 at 4:37 PM #

    ^ Agreed. And so should every NC State fan everywhere. Karl Hess should be immediately suspended from EVERY ACC basketball game and should never be able to do ANOTHER NC State game EVER.

    Karl Hess thinks he’s bigger than NC State basketball by throwing two NC State legends out of a game. Swofford and Clougherty’s email inboxes should be barraged with emails.

    I have never witnessed a bigger grandstanding “slap in the face” of any college program. This one episode is hard evidence of the HUGE bias that exists. Someone please post both Swofford’s and Clougherty’s email address, so that this matter is taken care of.

    Karl Hess thinks he’s bigger than NC State basketball. He should immediately be suspended. UNREAL!

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