WATCH: Josh Heupel Dishes on ‘Comical’ Referee Interactions

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    One of the notable storylines in the 2021 Music City Bowl between Tennessee and Purdue was the amount of late-game injuries from the Boilermakers’ team.

    It’s almost always going to be difficult to determine the severity of a player’s injury just from video evidence in hindsight. However, this has been a reoccurring situation for Tennessee’s opponents this year.

    After the game, during the press conference for Josh Heupel, the Tennessee head coach did not hesitate to share his thoughts on the situation. Heupel spoke about interactions he had with the referees throughout the game, calling the conversations “comical” in the process.

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    A little more than halfway into the press conference on Thursday evening, Heupel was asked if he supports a mandatory cooling-off period for injured players, meaning that a player must be required to sit for a set amount of plays if they were to stop the drive with an injury. Of if it is the flip side of that, as the reporter stated, and if that’s just a reality of the nature of the game. Heupel dodged the question to an extent but used the time to acknowledge his thoughts on the referees.

    “Yeah, you know what’s crazy is the officials wanted that tonight,” Heupel said regarding a potential rule change for injured players. “I thought that was pretty comical that they came up and said that to me.”

    Heupel went on to shed some more light on the statement.

    “Yeah, they think there should be a rule change,” Josh Heupel said while speaking about the referees.

    Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.