East Tennessee State led Samford, 69-65, with just under two minutes left in regulation on Thursday when things got weird, thanks to everyone’s favorite referee, Karl Hess.
Officials stopped play briefly to review a tussle between Samford’s Josh Sharkey and ETSU’s Lucas N’Guessan. The ruling was the correct one — just a common foul on Sharkey in a heated moment in the game. But during the review, King Karl thought it wise to aggressively step toward Samford coach Scott Padgett.
Here’s what happened:
Here's Karl Hess going after Scott Padgett pic.twitter.com/hMAM9PgBTL— Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) January 4, 2019
Padgett and Hess exchanged words in the huddle, and if Padgett’s postgame presser is any indication, the conversation was less than civil.
"Are you stepping to me right now?" TENSE moment tonight between official and Samford head coach, leading to some great postgame sound pic.twitter.com/kAUNdmxeb8— Kane O'Neill (@WJHL_Kane) January 4, 2019
You’ll notice in the video, Padgett makes sure to say that he was not threatening Hess, but, like, it kinda sounds like he is, right?
“It’s not a real world out there because a guy like that stepping to me is not realistic. If we’re out on the street, he’s running the other way just if he sees me walking by.”
Threat or not, this rules. And it wasn’t Karl Hess’s first brush with controversy. You might recall him being accused of using a racial slur in 2015, which led to the ACC essentially firing him. Or the time he lined UConn and Marquette up at the wrong baskets to start overtime. Or when he t’d up Rick Pitino from 80 feet away. Or...probably 100 other things.
ETSU ended up winning 81-72 in overtime, but make no mistake: This was the King Karl Show.