Tony Vitello is serving a four-game suspension for bumping third base umpire Jeffrey Macias during a heated on-field altercation Saturday.
While the Tennessee baseball coach is not quite begging for forgiveness, he's not opposing the punishment either. Speaking to reporters Thursday, per Wes Rucker of 247Sports, Vitello said the suspension was justified.
“It is what it is," Vitello said. "I probably deserved it."
During his time away from the top-ranked Volunteers' dugout, Vitello turned the situation into a positive. The 43-year-old partnered with a University of Tennessee fraternity to offer chest bumps for $2, with proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Per Rucker, Vitello said the playful spin on last weekend's incident was an alternative idea pitched when he nixed going into a dunking booth on a cold day.
“He is a very charitable guy and jumps at the opportunity to take something that could be bad and turn it for good," junior Gerard Tavoleti, who invited Vitello on behalf of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter, told Knoxville News Sentinel's Mike Wilson.
Tennessee will be without Vitello when beginning a three-game road series against the Florida Gators on Friday. He's eligible to return for the final game Sunday afternoon.