So, yea, Saturday sucked.
It’s one thing to watch your team get decimated (the Kentucky game), but for me, it’s even worse when you lose a close game.
Especially when very questionable calls were a big reason why the game was lost.
Multiple instances occurred throughout the day where the Tennessee Volunteers didn’t get the call they needed - or deserved - at the right time(s). But apparently, there may be more to the story than originally thought.
The conversation surrounding Saturday’s game shifted its focus from the game in general to SEC referee Anthony Jordan on Monday. That’s because a 2014 picture of him made the rounds via the internet and became viral.
As you can see in the photo below, Jordan may have an affinity for the LSU Tigers:
Anthony Jordan, the guy that officiated the LSU/Tennessee game yesterday. Hard to believe LSU shot 31 free throws and Tennessee shot 16. SEC officiating is terrible! pic.twitter.com/P00dVvcjAJ— Jersey Vol (@JrzVol) February 24, 2019
Head coach Rick Barnes noted that he was “aware” of the picture and that he’d been in contact multiple times with the SEC office after the game on Saturday.
The SEC released a statement on Monday, defending Jordan:
“Anthony Jordan, the official in this social media post, has communicated to us that while traveling in Spain five years ago he saw the t-shirt from an SEC team for sale in a store,” the league’s statement said. “He took a picture and posted that picture to be seen by friends via his social media account. He said it was his intent to make a light-hearted social media post about having seen the t-shirt in another country and not to express affinity for a particular school.
”Jordan has officiated at a high level in the SEC for 19 years, including 11 assignments in NCAA postseason tournaments.
”We do not find this social media post to be acceptable with our expectations and will proceed accordingly, while also acknowledging Mr. Jordan has a lengthy track record as a fair and impartial basketball official.” - knoxnews.com
Barnes also stated that the “SEC will handle it the way it should be handled” and that he has “faith and trust” in them.
The picture in itself is pretty damning, but once you actually start breaking down the stats from Saturday’s game, the situation becomes even more dire for Jordan.
We talked about this Tennessee/LSU situation regarding referee Anthony Jordan. @SethOnHoops broke down the whistles blown in the game on @SXMCollege 84.— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) February 25, 2019
Ref No. 1: 19
Ref No. 2: 23
Jordan: 44 ... 29 on Tennessee, 15 on LSU.
If you’re bad at math like I am, then let me help you out: Jordan blew the whistle more than the other two refs combined. His 44 spurts were tallied at 29 for Tennessee and 15 for LSU. The 29 calls on Tennessee were also more than either ref called on their own in general.
Now, that number is void of context. Some of those calls against Tennessee could’ve been a ball going out of bounds off Jordan Bone’s thigh or something to that regard, but still, it’s not a good look for Jordan or the SEC.
The game clock situation at the end of the game was weird, too. It looked like Tennessee should’ve received the ball with 1.4 seconds instead of the 0.6 second that was left on the game clock.
Here is the situation I asked about pic.twitter.com/3zvio8Bwx2— Trey Wallace (@TreyWallace_) February 24, 2019
And why is this guy allowed to call LSU games? That seems like an option that should be completely removed from the table at this point.
But at the end of the day, there is a chance this all just a misunderstanding and that Jordan does not in fact have any ties to the Tigers.
But this is all a bit too much just to be a coincidence. Usually when there’s smoke there’s fire and right now, I can’t see past my nose from all the smoke.
What do you think Vol Nation?