Samford coach Scott Padgett to referee Karl Hess during confrontation: 'Are you stepping to me?'

USATSI

Samford coach Scott Padgett is every bit of 6-foot-9 and 250 pounds -- maybe more. People do not mess with him. But his towering figure and intimidating presence didn't stop much-maligned referee Karl Hess on Thursday from confronting him in an aggressive manner.

Hess approached Padgett after the coach expressed displeasure in the officiating late in the second half of Samford's game vs. East Tennessee State. Approach being the operative word here for, as Padgett put, "stepping to" him.

"I literally said, 'Are you stepping to me right now?'" Padgett said recalling the incident after the game. "That's what I think's hilarious, 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. It's not a threat. But I'm 6-9, maybe 280 right now, not a lot of people step to me. I think it was an unprofessional move."

Samford made light of the situation in a positive way by issuing a challenge to its fans to spread a tweet for a chance to win shirts with the legendary quote imprinted on them.

Hess has a shaky track record as an official overall. He was fired in 2015 by the ACC, but his history prior to that -- a late, unnecessary whistle in the Final Four in 2013, improperly assessing a technical on Rick Pitino in an Elite Eight game in 2012 for yelling at his own player -- the list goes on. Now there's another incident to add.

This one probably didn't decide the game as some of the other instances, but it's nonetheless another black mark on the resume of a referee who has more than his fair share of controversial incidents.

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