According to ACCSports.com, the ACC has severed ties with controversial men's basketball referee Karl Hess. ACC fan bases from Chestnut Hill to Coral Gables rejoice.
The decision to end the conference's relationship with Hess was made by ACC supervisor of officials John Clougherty and other ACC decision-makers on Thursday. The decision will go into effect immediately. The conference was considering giving Hess a two-week window to reach out to other conferences and schedule games later in the season while officiating ACC games as scheduled, sources told Glenn. But after going back and forth on that topic, the ACC decided to remove Hess from all assignments for the rest of the year.
The ACC's decision does not stretch to other conferences. Referees are independent contractors, so Hess is still capable of calling games in any other conference. He's also under contract with the SEC and AAC.
Hess' termination is the result of accumulated incidents with the ACC. The proverbial straw that broke the camel's back appears to be a questionable comment by Hess directed at former chairman of the Wake Forest board of trustees Mit Shah at Sunday night's Louisville-Wake Forest game.
Karl Hess to me at the Wake-Louisville game tonight..."When I'm older, I want to sit in your seat & watch your Egyptian ass ref a game" #Wow— Mit Shah (@MitShahNoble) January 5, 2015
Shah is of Indian descent, not Egyptian, and was born in New Jersey. While Hess told ESPN that his comment was made in jest, obviously anything with an ethnic or racial element, especially one directed at a high-profile CEO and former Wake BOT chairman, is ill advised.
It just so happens that Hess's final game as an ACC referee was this past Tuesday's Boston College-Pitt game in Chestnut Hill...a cruel, but just #goacc fate to be sure.