Hardesty's absence explained

Tennessee tailback Montario Hardesty was hot about not playing in Saturday's 41-17 loss at Alabama, but he was even hotter on Sunday.

He was 102-degrees hot, to be precise.

Hardesty, who reportedly was unhappy about his lack of use vs. Bama, did not take part in a Sunday evening practice. Head coach Phillip Fulmer, running backs coach Kurt Roper and Hardesty's own roommate did not know where the player was. This led to speculation that he might have quit the team in disgust.

Not so. Fulmer released the following statement earlier today:

"Montario Hardesty was sick in bed with a 102-degree temperature Sunday afternoon and evening. He had called and left a voice mail with Coach Roper, who did not get his message until after practice. Montario had taken medicine and slept through the evening and night.

"I talked to Montario this morning. He was sorry for any concern he may have caused. He has been to the training room this morning and is feeling better."

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