Samford head coach Scott Padgett isn't one to be messed with, standing at 6'9" with eight years of NBA experience from 1999-2007. But that didn't step referee Karl Hess from getting into a minor altercation with Padgett during Samford's matchup with East Tennessee on Thursday, an 81-72 East Tennessee victory.
Hess took exception to Padgett's complaints toward the officials, briskly stepping toward the Samford bench during a timeout with 1:57 remaining in the second half. The two exchanged words before the timeout ended, leading to some dismissive comments from Padgett postgame.
"I literally said, 'are you stepping to me right now?'" Padgett told reporters postgame. "It's not a real world out there. If we're out on the street, [Hess] is running the other way just if he sees me walking by. This ain't a threat, it's just I'm 6'9", probably 280 [pounds] right now, not a lot of people step to me."
Sanford embraced Padgett's comments on Friday, immortalizing his quote on a t-shirt. The commemorative tees will likely be given out during a Samford home game in January.
Thursday's altercation wasn't Hess' first controversial incident. His contract with the ACC was terminated in January 2015 after racist comments during a game between Wake Forrest and Louisville.