Saturday’s Miami-Louisville game featured plenty of exciting moments, but it was the game’s most controversial play that most stands out.
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In the game’s first half, Louisville forward Montrezl Harrell threw the ball at center Tonye Jekiri’s face, which earned Harrell a technical foul.
Following the game, Harrell said it was an accident and he was trying to make a “basketball play,” while Miami coach Jim Larranaga believed the incident to be on purpose. Larranaga also said that Jekiri missed the beginning of the second half due to a severe headache and that the team’s trainers originally thought the center had a concussion.
While Louisville coach Rick Pitino said he agreed with the technical foul call, he did fire some shots at Larranaga and Miami for their concussion protocol.
From USA Today:
"“Here’s the ironic thing: Coach Larranaga walked over to the officials, all the way over to the other side. I’ve never seen that,” Pitino said. “I wanted to know what (Larranaga said). The official says, ‘Well, he wanted to let me know that the big guy has a concussion on that play.’ I said, ‘What motive do you need to know that? He’s back in the game.’“So I called (Louisville football coach) Bobby Petrino — this is no joke — I said, ‘Get a hold of that Miami doctor because, in 15 minutes, a kid went from a concussion to playing and totally healthy.’ We’re sending a plane down to hire that doctor for football. We will never have a concussion ever again. He was back 3-4 minutes later. He walked all the way over there to tell him he had a concussion, then he was back in the game.”"
It’s pretty surprising to see Pitino call out Larranaga and Miami as blatantly as he does here, but his questioning of their concussion protocol does seem fair if what he alleges is true.
It certainly will be interesting to see if Miami’s concussion protocol is reviewed after this incident.
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