The legend of Karl Hess continues to grow. The notorious referee allegedly made a comment to a courtside Wake Forest fan that included an unnecessary racial modifier during the Demon Deacons’ game against Louisville on Sunday night.
Mit Shah, the CEO of the Atlanta-based Noble Investment Group, one of the Demon Deacons’ top boosters and a former Wake Forest Board of Trustees member, wrote on Twitter that Hess told him, “When I’m older, I want to sit in your seat and watch your Egyptian ass ref a 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
Someone close to the situation spoke with the ACC Sports Journal and provided some clarity on the matter.
The encounter came after Louisville point guard Chris Jones drew two shooting fouls in the second half. During a dead ball, Shah asked Hess why he called the fouls when, Shah believed, Jones was out of control. Hess then allegedly approached Shah and made the aforementioned comment to him, including the “Egyptian ass” portion of it. Shah is an Indian-American.
The source said there was no hostility behind Hess’ comment. The source said it did not come off as an attack or racially charged, but rather it was made in a lighthearted manner. The fans in Shah’s section weren’t offended — instead they found it bizarre.
Hess, of course, isn’t new to controversy. In 2012, he ejected former NC State players Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta from a game and was taken off the ACC Tournament assignment.
The conference is aware of the matter and is evaluating Hess’ comment, the ACC Sports Journal has learned.