Culture of Tennessee Football

Discussion in 'Vols Football' started by kptvol, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. kptvol

    kptvol Super Moderator

    It seems to be in a really, really bad place. You kind of saw guys starting to get comfortable with losing toward the end of the Fulmer era. Whether it was a guy (a native Tennessean no less) talking on his cell phone during an embarrassing bowl loss or a senior wide receiver giggling on the sideline after dropping a drive extending pass on third down, guys just didn't seem to care. Players laying down after games against Florida and Georgia got out of hand reinforced this notion. Kiffin's staff and some of the players said as much about the competitive spirit during the Fulmer-Kiffin transition. We saw some effort issues toward the end of the Kiffin era and they've continued into the Dooley years. We had guys pleased with the end of a 26 year winning streak because it meant they didn't have to suffer the indignity of another few weeks of practice and a bottom-level bowl game.

    Players don't seem to be developing individually, either. Cedric Houston never lived up to his potential, then had a thyroid condition diagnosed and treated while in the NFL and became a starter for the Jets. Arian Foster seemed to get worse during his time here and he is now among the best backs in the NFL. Guys like Marvin Mitchell and Robert Meachem didn't manage much outside of one season here but have been hanging around the league for years. I'm sure you can think of other pros that didn't do a whole lot while at Tennessee. Are they not getting proper coaching? Were they not properly motivated during their time here?

    Off the field issues have been equally disturbing. Back in 2004 we had a tight end beat the crap out of his girlfriend a couple of months before going on an insane tirade that included threatening a professor, removing clothing outside TREC, harassing students for not recognizing him, resisting arrest, and attempting to escape police custody. He didn't miss any games. Then you the DT from Hawaii that arrived on campus a non-drinker and became an All-American his first season. His second season was far less impressive and his draft stock suffered. A few years later he was out of the NFL and died while driving intoxicated. Then you have the wild offensive lineman from Maryville that died a year after leaving Knoxville and whose parents, Tennessee alumni themselves, blame the University for his fate. We had a four year starter at QB have issues with narcotics during his time here. More recently you have a robbery at a gas station basically on campus and an off-duty police officer beaten nearly to death in a bar fight. In between all these episodes are dozens if not hundreds of more minor incidents.

    All of this has occurred during a championship drought as long as any a living UT fan can recall. The team has gotten progressively worse on the field over the last ten years. The team GPA is 2.08. A host of current players have serious attitude issues. Da'Rick Rogers is a full-blown menace. Despite attempts to change the culture with the VFL program, things just don't seem to be getting any better. How abnormal is all this for a college football program? I know they all have issues with players, but this had to be beyond normal. Is Dooley capable of fixing this? Is anyone?
  2. MaconVol

    MaconVol Chieftain

    Jon Gruden
  3. Snakeonia

    Snakeonia Active Member

    As far as the off the field issues Dooley has done a good job
  4. MaconVol

    MaconVol Chieftain

    I think Dooley has done a good job with the off the field. The team gpa is a concern. I think the focus of the players is also a concern. I think some of them, namely Bray, have some serious I Don't give a shit issues. Of course, winning cures all, so lets hold out hope, that we will turn a corner in that department.
  5. kptvol

    kptvol Super Moderator

    How so? Still a huge problem with desire to win, respect for coaches, and value placed in academics. While there hasn't been a huge off field occurrence since the Bar Knox brawl, there have been a few minor ones. I'm not sure that has really improved. He hasn't exactly been stern with Janzen Jackson or Da'Rick Rogers, so have things really changed or is another major embarrassment just waiting to happen?

    We also just lost almost our entire coaching staff. Could that be an indicator that they saw a real problem with this place?
  6. kptvol

    kptvol Super Moderator

    I'm starting to think the "rebuilding" project first assigned to Kiffin and then to Dooley has been treated like a renovation instead. Perhaps a demolition and ground up rebuild really is in order. I think that is sort of what Kiffin started to do, but Dooley didn't really have the job security to weather the storm finishing that job would entail.
  7. Snakeonia

    Snakeonia Active Member

    do you not remember the Fulmer Cup? it's nothing compared to what it use to be. Is there ever going to be a team in major D1 that doesn't have some off the field issues? No. I think you read to much into this off the field stuff. No need to be a drama queen
  8. kptvol

    kptvol Super Moderator

    The Fulmer Cup wouldn't have been so named had we been a bottom of the barrel program. We probably weren't any worse than most other SEC schools at that time, but we were one of the most successful and thus got more attention. At the moment we are just as frequently in the headline if not more than any of the big time SEC schools despite having as much impact on the conference as Kentucky.
  9. Snakeonia

    Snakeonia Active Member

    we aren't talking about when we were a top program, and where we are now. we are talking about off the field issues. ex. bar fights, arrests, beating up girlfriends, etc...since Dooley has been here, it has not been anywhere near what it use to be.
  10. CardinalVol

    CardinalVol Uncultured, non-diverse mod

    Winning cures all ills.

    To change the culture, it's going to take a head coach in here that is viewed as a winner that doesn't put up with crap. I doesn't have to be Bob Stoops, but it does have to be a guy genuinely thought of as someone who is or will be successful. Kiffin was part of the USC program that dominated. Because of that, he had an edge.

    Dooley? Not so much.
  11. fl0at_

    fl0at_ Humorless, asinine, joyless pr*ck

    We've never "won" the Fulmer Cup, and it only takes into account off-season offenses.

    So saying that things have improved by referencing the Fulmer Cup has me perplexed.
  12. lylsmorr

    lylsmorr Super Moderator

  13. Snakeonia

    Snakeonia Active Member

    as far as off the field issues, again the arrests, has improved. i said nothing about "winning", or the program being in a better state because it's obvious it isn't. it's obvious ya'll didn't comprehend what i said.
  14. fl0at_

    fl0at_ Humorless, asinine, joyless pr*ck

    What was the purpose of the Fulmer Cup statement, then? Kpt's assertion that it wouldn't have been so named had we not been a top level program is apt.

    In context, you implied that the reason the Fulmer Cup was so named, or is even in existence, is because UT's off the field issues were vast at the time. Which isn't so, they were just more in public view due to the program's status.

    If we fail to comprehend the meaning of that statement, please, enlighten us. Otherwise, I believe we shall remain perplexed.

    Should you choose, I think it may be interesting to look at past Fulmer Cup rankings, and see how we compare over the years. I think you are correct, in that we have had fewer issues, though. I simply don't understand the reference, as the cup only takes into account a marginally small subset of off the field troubles.

    It would, to me, be the equivalent of only looking at speeding tickets for a 5 month period, and then concluding that crime rates had gone down. It just doesn't make sense.
  15. TennTradition

    TennTradition Super Moderator

    I don't know if I would agree with the narrative that the off-the-field problems are as bad as they've every been; however, there is a very dark cloud hanging over our program. Winning would cure a lot of it - but I don't see a path to winning at the moment.
  16. justingroves

    justingroves supermod

    If Bray didn't give a shit, he wouldn't be 3,000 miles from home playing.

    Players don't respect Dooley because he can't keep what should be in house comments in house. CV said it best that a perceived winner gets respect. Dooley is not that.
  17. kptvol

    kptvol Super Moderator

    Yeah. I think Cuonzo Martin has convinced his guys (which I imagine is probably easier due to the smaller roster) that he can win. Thus, they seem to be buying in and taking his message to heart. The faith in him will eventually waiver if can't deliver the W's.

    Dooley's stock wasn't all that high to begin with and he has had to deal with a lot of shit. He needs some big success to get these guys to once again buy what he is selling.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  18. MaconVol

    MaconVol Chieftain

    I agree.
  19. The off the field stuff seems to have died down under Dooley.

    I personally don't expect football players to be angels. They bang heads for hours a day. Wild times and arrests are going to happen.
  20. lylsmorr

    lylsmorr Super Moderator

    Is that...Business? Under a new name?

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