Mocs' Notes: No decision on Early, Wattad improving - WSMV News 4

Mocs' Notes: No decision on Early, Wattad improving

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Chris Early Chris Early
Omar Wattad Omar Wattad

Shulman: No decision made on Chris Early
John Shulman's update on the status senior Chris Early is that there is no update.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga head coach said Wednesday he has not yet made a decision on when or if he will reinstate the starting forward, and he's not planning to rush it.

The 6-foot-7 post-player was suspended indefinitely and sent home to Huntington, West Virginia, last week after coaches learned Early used his Twitter account to criticize Shulman over a series of days in November.

Shulman said he has not spoken to Early, but has communicated with him through texts and emails.

"I would say he is distraught and very apologetic," Shulman said. "I love Chris, and I think Chris loves me, no doubt. We've been through a player-coach relationship that's very unique. Some good, some bad.

"But I'm trying to be fair to our team. I'm trying to be fair to me. I'm trying to be fair to the team, and I'm trying to be fair to Chris. We're going to make the decision that's best for all parties."

Early missed last week's loss to Kentucky and Wednesday's win over Hiwassee. Chattanooga is off until the Dr. Pepper Classic on December 29.

Wattad improving after concussion
John Shulman's first instinct was to laugh at Omar Wattad following Monday's practice, but he soon knew something was wrong with his senior guard.

"Omar's an actor, but he was leaving the floor and said he couldn't see, so when they say that it's best to get the trainers involved," Shulman said.

Wattad was diagnosed with a concussion, suffered by a blow to the jaw during the workout and missed Wednesday's win over Hiwassee.

"You have to take concussions very seriously," Shulman said after the game. "He was doing better over there on the bench, but you have to be symptom-free for 24 hours to be cleared to play."

Shulman said trainers worked with Wattad to monitor his progress this week. It's likely he'll be able to return to practice when the team returns from its holiday break on December 26, though Shulman jabbed at Wattad during Wednesday's win "I'm not convinced we're not a better team without you on the floor."

Starting point guard and fellow senior Keegan Bell also joked its hard to tell the kooky Wattad is any different than usual.

"Coach made the crack that Omar just lives in a concussed state," Bell said with a grin. "He's always crazy."

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