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UGA’s McGarity Complains To SEC About Officiating In Loss

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity confirmed yesterday that he “expressed concerns” to the SEC office regarding officiating in the final minutes of Tennessee’s 59-57 win in Athens on Tuesday night.

Ah, the dreaded “road cooking.”

The Athens Banner-Herald reports that McGarity would not go into details about his discussions with the league office.  “There’s basically a protocal that you do.  You bring concerns to the SEC office and they deal with them.  They’ll deal with them appropriately and that’s what you do.  But you don’t discuss it publicly.” 

And that’s how you avoid a fine.

Much has been made over the buzzer-beating shot that UT’s Brian Williams lofted over UGA’s Chris Barnes to win the game.  Tennessee’s Bruce Pearl — who watched the game from his couch in Knoxville — said that that call would usually go against Williams… who appeared to go over Barnes’ back to bring in a rebound and then launch the game-winner.  Pearl, however, did point out that Williams had both hands on the ball before any contact was made with Barnes which is why — in his mind — the call might not have been made.  Barnes said after the game that “you’re not gonna get that type of call.”  In addition, it appeared as though Barnes locked his hand onto Williams as he released his shot, too.

Verdict: A judgement call that would go one way one time, the other way another time.

The Dawgs appear to have a more legitimate beef regarding a Josh Bone jumper with about 2:25 left in the game.  The Tennessee guard dropped the shot to give the Vols a 55-54 lead, but replays showed that Bone did not release the ball before the shot clock had hit zero.  Unfortunately for Georgia, officials did not go back and check the replays.

“I knew the shot clock was going down, but I didn’t know it was at zero,” Bone told The Knoxville News Sentinel.  “I saw the replay later and I was like ‘Ohhh!’  But it’s over now.”

It doesn’t sound like McGarity has reached Bone’s level of acceptance quite yet.

McGarity told The Macon Telegraph that there was no malfunction with the Stegeman Coliseum system that might explain the blown call.

“One could argue the horn could have been louder,” McGarity said.  “But as loud as it gets in that arena… there were no arena deficiencies that aided in that decision.”

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Vols Fall To D-II Indianapolis

The 2010-11 season isn’t exactly getting off to a great start for Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl.  Last night his #23 Vols were clocked at home by Division II exhibition foe Indianapolis, 79-64.  The Greyhounds opened the second half with a 26-3 run.

“Defensively, we didn’t have great effort,” Pearl said in The Knoxville News Sentinel.  “All of that is my fault.  You’ve got to put it all on the coach.  We were embarrassed.”

Ironically, Pearl was beaten at his own game by Indianapolis coach Stan Gouard, who played for UT’s coach at Southern Indiana.

“It was embarrassing and we’re never going to forget this,” said senior guard Melvin Goins.

In September it was revealed that the NCAA is investigating the Tennessee program and that Pearl had lied to investigators.  He is currently working without a contract and the possibility of serious NCAA penalties will be hanging over his team all season. 

Then last week Pearl lost one of his team’s best defenders — Josh Bone — to a fractured wrist.  Now comes a home defeat to a Division II school.  You can be sure that support for Pearl is waning in Knoxville.  Once the town’s biggest hero, Pearl now has a faction of the fanbase that is openly calling for his scalp.  It’s likely a small (but vocal) faction, but when you consider just how popular Pearl was last season when the Vols reached their first Elite Eight, it’s telling just the same.

Tennessee’s loss to Indianapolis could end up aiding the Vols, of course.  The team could take motivation from the loss.  And it’s better to lose in the exhibition season (as Syracuse did to D-II Le Moyne College last season) than to drop an RPI-busting game in the regular season. 

But while the timing of the loss could be good for Pearl’s team, it’s certainly not good for the coach.  Pearl has been eating a mud sundae the past two months… and last night’s loss was the cherry on top.

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UT’s B’ball Team Takes A Hit With Bone Injury

Tennessee combo guard Josh Bone will be out six to eight weeks after fracturing his left wrist in the Vols’ exhibition game with Brevard College on Wednesday night.

“This is a serious injury,” Bruce Pearl said yesterday.  “After the game I talked about defense, that it would come down to defense (who played each night).  Josh is one of our best defensive guards.  It’s his defense, his physicality, 3-point shooting…”

Bone was expected to be part of UT’s 10-man rotation.  According to The Knoxville News Sentinel, Bone might choose to sit out this year and request a hardship year from the NCAA.

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