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Tanner defends Clowney on Finebaum comments

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Former Gamecocks baseball coach and current athletics director Ray Tanner defended Jadeveon Clowney on Saturday. Former Gamecocks baseball coach and current athletics director Ray Tanner defended Jadeveon Clowney on Saturday.
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

A fired up Ray Tanner defended South Carolina junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney after ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum called the player "the biggest joke in college football."

Appearing on 107.5 The Game just before kickoff Saturday morning, South Carolina's athletics director said he understood criticism and felt it is warranted for plenty of things, but he felt Finebaum went too far.

"That was unprofessional, that was unnecessary; it was inappropriate," said Tanner.

Tanner backed up coach Steve Spurrier's comment that Clowney sitting out for the Kentucky game due to a strained muscle in his ribs boiled down to a "communication issue."

Clowney would eventually go on to practice at least twice during the week and also ended up playing in the game against Arkansas on Saturday.

Tanner also said Finebaum appearing as a host for his own television program on the soon-to-be-airing SEC Network was cause for concern for him as well.

"You can rest assured, you can tell by the tone of my voice right now, I will certainly voice my concerns with that point going forward," said Tanner.

Spurrier addressed Tanner's comments during his post-game teleconference on Sunday afternoon.

"That is something he felt like he needed to say, and if I was the athletic director I would probably feel the same way," said Spurrier. "We are not professional athletes here in the college ranks and I don't think you talk about them the way you do about the pro athletes." 

The Gamecocks are coming off 52-7 victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks. South Carolina continues a three-game stretch of teams on the road next week when they play the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville. 

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