Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity confirmed Wednesday that he expressed concerns to the Southeastern Conference office about officiating in the closing stages of the men’s basketball game against Tennessee on Tuesday.
McGarity would not discuss details of his concerns, but said he included remarks in a routine report to the league office about the officiating.
“There’s basically a protocol that you do,” McGarity said. “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.”
McGarity said that it is not normal for administrators to comment to the league office after every game. It’s usually done only when the administrator has “concerns about certain things.”
Two possible issues arose in the closing minute of Tennessee’s 59-57 win against Georgia on Tuesday at Stegeman Coliseum.
The most damaging was Tennessee forward Brian Williams pulling an offensive rebound away from Georgia forward Chris Barnes before hitting the game-winning basket as time expired. The second was a possible shot-clock violation.
Officials Ted Valentine, Anthony Jordan and J.B. Caldwell worked the game.
Williams and Barnes were in close contact when the ball came off the rim with Barnes between Williams and the basket. Williams reached over Barnes’ head to get the ball and released the shot in one motion.
The NCAA does not have a specific over-the-back rule, but it has rules against pushing or impeding an opponent. Whether Williams interfered with Barnes’ attempt to get the ball by reaching over him is a matter of interpretation.
The NCAA rulebook says a player in legal rebounding position cannot “extend either or both shoulders, hips, knees or extend either or both arms or elbows fully or partially in a position other than vertical so that the freedom of movement of an opponent is hindered when contact with any of these body parts occurs.”
After the game, Williams said that he was “glad (the referees) didn’t call a foul on that.”
Barnes did not voice concerns about a foul after the game.
“The ref didn’t make the call,” Barnes said. “At a critical time like this in the SEC, you’re not going to get that kind of call in this league. We know that.”