After bowing out of the ACC tournament, veteran referee Karl Hess will be back in the conference officiating rotation this winter, an ACC spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday.
Hess status had been in doubt since he decided not to work the ACC tournament in Atlanta, an event he had worked for decades, after the ACC disciplined him for his handling of an off-court incident during the Florida State-N.C. State game on Feb. 18.
Hess ignited controversy when he ejected N.C. State and ACC legends Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta from their seats behind the scorers table during that game. The ACC later issued a rare public reprimand, while N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried was captured on video at a pep rally making pointed criticisms of both Hess and the ACCs handling of the situation.
While Hess was at the Big East tournament in New York instead of the ACC tournament in March, the officials for the first game in Atlanta -- Bernard Clinton, Mike Eades and Jamie Luckie -- wore stickers with the inscription KH on their shoes.
Only four officials worked more conference games last season than Hess (19), who has called nine ACC championship games and worked three Final Fours. John Clougherty, the ACCs supervisor of basketball officials, referred all questions to the ACC office.
The ACC does not discuss officiating assignments, so when Hess will work his first N.C. State game remains up in the air. In 1989, after a controversial call by referee Rick Hartzell went against N.C. State in an NCAA tournament loss to Georgetown, Hartzell was assigned to work one of the Wolfpacks preseason exhibition games the next fall.
DeCock: (919) 829-8947 or Twitter: @LukeDeCock