RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina State will honor its 1988-89 team, including two players ejected by an official during Saturday's game, before facing North Carolina (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today, No. 8 AP).
The school announced Sunday that the Jim Valvano-coached team would receive the inaugural "Wolfpack Unlimited" Award before Tuesday's game against the Tar Heels. That squad included Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta, who were both removed from their seats behind the scorer's table during the second half of a loss to Florida State by official Karl Hess.
In a text message to The Associated Press on Sunday, athletic director Debbie Yow said the team was being considered for the award before the ejections, though she decided that same day the team "was the right recipient for the first one."
The 1989 team won the program's last Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title and reached the NCAA tournament's round of 16.
Gugliotta scored 1,536 points while playing for NC State from 1988-92, before beginning a 13-year NBA career that included an All-Star selection in 1997. Corchiani, who spent three seasons in the NBA, played for the Wolfpack from 1987-91 and is second on the NCAA Division I career assists list with 1,038 -- behind only Duke's Bobby Hurley.
Both Gugliotta's and Corchiani's jersey numbers hang from the RBC Center rafters.
Hess declined comment several times when approached after the game by an AP reporter. Corchiani tweeted roughly 40 minutes after the game that Hess "didn't like fact Googs and I told him he was having a bad day, inconsistent, and telling the truth."
Yow issued a statement Saturday saying she spent the afternoon and evening after the ejections seeking an explanation from the ACC about what happened.
John Clougherty, the ACC's supervisor of officials, said in a statement later that night that game officials have the authority to ask the home team's management to remove fans when, in the official's judgment, their behavior is extreme or excessive. After Hess gestured to have Gugliotta and Corchiani removed, they were approached by an officer from the Raleigh Police Department in a deviation from ACC policy.
The award honors those who "refuse to accept the status quo and exhibit the 'Never Give Up' spirit of the Wolfpack," the school said in a news release. Yow has pushed the "Wolfpack Unlimited" mentality since leaving Maryland to take over as athletic director at NC State in 2010.