The plot thickens: Referee at center of Tennessee, LSU controversy called inordinate number of fouls against Vols
Arguably the biggest story out of the Southeastern Conference this weekend involved a Facebook picture of a referee.
As odd as that may sound, that’s not much of a stretch to say following LSU’s thrilling 82-80 overtime win in Baton Rouge over Tennessee. It was a great game that went down to the wire but following the final whistle in the game, it didn’t take Vol Twitter long to discover one of the game’s officials representing the Tigers on his personal Facebook page. The official in question is Anthony Jordan, a veteran SEC official.
Here is the photo if you missed it. Interestingly enough, Jordan has deleted the photo from Facebook after it came to the attention of Vol Twitter:
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
That photo has made the rounds of Vol Twitter all weekend and even made its way all to Rick Barnes. After coming to the attention of the Tennessee coach, Barnes said he’s touched base with the SEC office.
“I have been in contact with them since the game, a couple of different times and I appreciate them and how they talked to me and what we’ve talked about,” Barnes said during his weekly Monday press conference. “Like I said, I have full confidence that they will do the right thing. I really do. They understand the situation and they are as upset about it as we would be but the fact is they’ll handle it and we have to get ready to play another game.”
While some may disregard all the attention as fans simply being upset after a loss, this tweet from CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee is only going to serve as fuel to the fire. According to Sallee, ESPN college basketball analyst Seth Greenberg counted up the fouls called by Jordan and the other two referees in the Tennessee, LSU game and the Volunteers appear to have gotten the bad part of that exchange.
According to Greenberg, Jordan called more fouls in the game than the other two referees combined and called more fouls on Tennessee than either referee called total in the game:
Ref No. 1: 19
Ref No. 2: 23
Jordan: 44 … 29 on Tennessee, 15 on LSU.
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) February 25, 2019
Think this is just a coincidence?