Hess’s AAC hiatus starts immediately.

UPDATE 2:32 P.M.

Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com is reporting that the American Athletic Conference also will cut ties with Hess this season after he calls Sunday’s Houston-Memphis game.

Goodman also reports that the Big East is conducting an independent evaluation of Hess’s conduct.

Goodman also adds more on why Hess was terminated by the ACC:

Calls to the ACC have not been immediately returned, however a source told ESPN.com’s Andy Katz that Hess’ termination was the result of accumulated incidents in the ACC.


During Sunday’s men’s basketball game between Wake Forest and Louisville, referee Karl Hess got into it with Demon Deacons fan Mit Shaw, who was sitting courtside. “When I’m older, I want to sit in your seat & watch your Egyptian [rear end] ref a game,” Shaw, via Twitter, said Hess told him.

Shah, a hotel magnate who previously served on Wake Forest’s Board of Trustees, is of Indian descent.

Now it appears that Hess — who has been involved in a number of curious on-court situations, many during ACC games — will no longer work ACC games.

Hess has called 393 games involving two ACC teams since 1995, or 46.8 percent of all the conference games he has officiated (that number does not include nonconference games, which would certainly increase that total). Last year, he reffed 29 ACC conference games, a career high.

“It’s a sad day and is devastating,” Hess told ESPN. “But I’m responsible.”

“I wasn’t trying to deliberately hurt anyone,” he added. “That’s not my character. I goof around a lot, and there was no intent to hurt anyone.”

It’s unclear whether the ACC’s reported decision had to do with Hess’s actions Sunday. But the move also doesn’t mean he’s necessarily out of a job, as noted by college basketball reporter (and America’s premier Hess aficionado) Patrick Stevens:

For instance, Hess worked only one Atlantic 10 conference game last year. The footprints of the Atlantic 10 and ACC mostly overlap. His second most-worked conference since 1996 has been the Big East, with 159 games.

Hess has worked six Final Fours and nine ACC tournament title games, but his on-court manner has come into question a number of times.  He was reprimanded by the ACC in 2012 after he ejected N.C. State legends Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta from their seats behind the scorer’s table during a game between the Wolfpack and Florida State.

Hess also was criticized after a game between Marquette and Connecticut during the 2012-13 season. He was part of a crew that pointed the teams in the wrong direction at the start of overtime, and later incorrectly took points off the board after he realized the mistake. After the game, Hess blamed the players for the directional error while admitting that he had made the wrong call.