Tennessee’s John Fulkerson Out For SEC Tourney, Accepts Apology

Tennessee forward John Fulkerson is out for the remainder of the SEC tournament after suffering a concussion and facial injuries in Friday’s win over Florida, the school announced.

Fulkerson was forced to leave he game after taking a couple of elbows to the head from the Gators’ Omar Payne — who fittingly was ejected.

“That was a dirty play,” Tennessee forward Yves Pons told reporters. “That is nothing to do on a basketball court. Of course, we took it personally. We love John. We play for him. We had his back.”

The Volunteers (18-7) advanced to play Alabama on Saturday afternoon. There is no timetable for Fulkerson’s return, or if he will be available for next week’s NCAA Tournament.

Fulkerson is 6-foot-9 senior and is averaging 9.5 points and 5.5 rebounds. He has started 55 games over the past two years. He had eight points in 19 minutes vs. the Gators before suffering the injury on Friday.

“I’m sorry for what happened yesterday and deeply regret the incident,” Payne said. “I have nothing but respect for John and the Tennessee program. Especially, their support for Keyontae this season. I’ve apologized to John and wanted to also say I’m sorry publicly to him, the Tennessee team and Coach Barnes. I wish them the best on their NCAA Tournament run.”

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico is the assistant managing editor-newsdesk at OutKick. He is also the co-founder and senior writer at, and has covered the NBA for nearly 20 years, including his time at Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and CBS Sports. A native of Akron, Ohio, his writing career began in Wyoming.


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