On Thursday, I wrote that Tennessee Vols athletic director Danny White has been wise to stay publicly silent about the John Fulkerson/Omar Payne situation.
I received some pushback over what I wrote (emotions are high, I get it).
But on Friday, I feel like I was vindicated.
In case you somehow missed it, Payne delivered a pair of elbows to Fulkerson’s head in the Vols’ win against the Florida Gators in the SEC Tournament last week.
Fulkerson suffered a concussion and a facial fracture as a result of the elbows.
On Friday, Payne was supposed to take the floor for the Gators in their first-round matchup against Virginia Tech.
But Florida head coach Mike White, who is the brother of UT athletic director Danny White, had other plans.
White held Payne out of the game, essentially suspending him in-house for what he did to Fulkerson.
Gators are holding out C/F Omar Payne today for today’s entire game vs Virginia Tech.
— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) March 19, 2021
With White’s decision to hold Payne out, I think it’s safe to say that this whole situation has officially been put to bed.
Vol fans will never forget what Payne did to Fulkerson. An already intense rivalry will be even more intense in the future because of the incident.
But at this point, it’s best for fans to move on and focus on the future of the basketball program under Rick Barnes.
Featured image via Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports