Tennessee get rough deal against Purdue, but Vols can also blame themselves and savor a Hooker-Tillman future – The Athletic

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Thank you to the kids of Tennessee and Purdue for giving us a TransPerfect Music City Bowl we will never forget, a game with 1290 combined attacking yards, 93 points and four touchdowns – two each – scored in Final 4. : 58 of the regulations.

Blame the adults for making it memorable for the wrong reason. While that may be one more thing to help make possible two things that should exist in varsity athletics, especially now that gambling money is flowing freely in it. First, match officials should be available for post-game commentary, and not just in extreme situations with a pool reporter asking a question or two. I was that pool reporter, and these are not legitimate interviews. Second, they should be full-time employees with salaries and benefits that rival those officiating in the professional versions of their sports. Because they need to be better.

Fortunately, college athletes can finally get a share of the billions this industry generates by taking advantage of their names, images and likenesses. Now, civil servants need competitive salaries, stability and less travel. This is especially true on the basketball circuit, where the best referees travel across the country for maybe $ 2,000 a game, so they can be kind and exhausted and vulnerable to those who can afford insurance. that Rutgers is covering Maryland on a Tuesday in February. But this is a column on college football. In fact, it’s a chronicle of the future of Tennessee football, at one point, after the grown-ups are done screwing it all up.

Purdue is also hosed down here, as the Boilermakers have every right to celebrate without argument a 48-45 overtime win over the Vols in front of a record crowd of 69,489 at the Music City Bowl on Thursday at Nissan Stadium. They fought back to a 21-7 deficit without their top two receivers and star defensive end to win this game and finish 9-4 this season.


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