Tom Gugliotta and Chris Corchiani were happy to be the center of attention this time.
The former N.C. State stars – ejected from Saturday’s loss to Florida State – were among a group of players from the Woldpack’s 1988-89 team honored before Tuesday night’s game against North Carolina.
Gugliotta is still baffled by the ejection. He told the AP that “the last thing we ever thought we’d do is get embarrassed or embarrass this program that we love so dearly.” Maybe that’s why the ACC tried to do a little damage control, publicly reprimanding the official who tossed ‘em.
And it’s certainly why the State fans did their part to bolster their spirits. From the AP:
The fans, however, didn’t seem quite as ready to let go. Among the dozens of signs fans brought to the arena were cutouts of Gugliotta’s and Corchiani’s faces made from photographs taken when the players were escorted from their seats in Saturday’s game.
“The fan base, the Wolfpack Nation, has just been incredibly supportive,” Corchiani said. “To know that they’ve got your back (and) you’re supported, it’s a good feeling.”
While Gugliotta admitted the ejection still leaves “a bad taste in my mouth,” the two players seem to be able to laugh about it now. Roughly an hour before the North Carolina game, Gugliotta and Corchiani smiled when posing for a photograph with the Raleigh Police Department officer who escorted them from their seats.
If nothing else, it’s a distraction from a tough few games for N.C. State. The Wolfpack has to lost to Duke, FSU and Tuesday to North Carolina. Might be another season in the NIT.
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