The UTC Mocs battle for a rebound during second-half action against the Davidson Wildcats on Saturday in Davidson, N.C. Davidson defeated UT-Chattanooga 73-59.
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga forward Chris Early is expected be suspended by the Southern Conference for the Mocs' game Thursday at Western Carolina after getting ejected Saturday at Davidson.
UTC coach John Shulman said he will appeal the SoCon's mandatory suspension to commissioner John Iamarino.
"The rules of the Southern Conference are very simple in that if you get ejected, you sit out the next game," Shulman said. "There is an appeal process that we're looking at. But we have to be prepared to play without him in my head."
A final decision could be made by late this afternoon.
Game officials ejected Early for a flagrant foul with 10:05 to play in the second half, when the Mocs trailed by 10 in their eventual 73-59 loss.
Referee Rick Pate said Early, "sized up [Jake Cohen] and hit him in the neck." Cohen writhed on the floor for a minute, with attention from trainers, and returned to the game less than two minutes later.
"I disagree agree with him saying that [Early] sized him up and went after his neck," Shulman said. "I disagree with that. Did get he get hit in the neck area? Yeah. Did Chris have his arm up there? Yes.
"Did it warrant an ejection? I question that."
UTC and Shulman suspended former UTC forward Matt Gwynne for throwing a deliberate elbow to the face of Davidson forward Thomas Sander in a game at Davidson three years ago.
"There is a process and if they allow him to play, then he will," Shulman said. "We suspended Gwynne because he made the wrong play. I don't think this warrants it. But this is not my decision."
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David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...