Wiedmer:Apathy

Discussion in 'Vols Football' started by O+W=H., Nov 1, 2012.

  1. O+W=H.

    O+W=H. Contributor

    Oddly, GVX chose not to link this op/ed from TFPs Mark Wiedmer...


    -Over the past two or three days, at least a dozen Tennesseee football fans have asked me what it's going to take to get rid of Big Orange head coach [ddiapos].

    The simple answer, of course, is that UT athletic director Dave Hart has to decide that the Vols program is better off without Dooley than with him continuing at the helm for a fourth autumn.

    But that doesn't mean the Big Orange Nation is powerless in this decision. They can stay home, beginning with this weekend's visit from Troy.

    Nothing gets the attention of athletic directors more than than empty seats, which immediately translate to disappointing concessions and merchandise revenue, which ultimately translate to red ink.

    And when your athletic department is already swimming in it, you reach a point in a coach's career -- however regrettable -- where it's cheaper to get rid of him than keep him.

    Understand that this could become quite an expensive solution on the front end. Buying out Dooley and his staff will cost nearly $10 million. Then there's the cost of hiring a new staff, which could run as much as $20 million for the new head coach alone.

    Then there's the hidden cost of renovating Gibbs Hall, the Vols' athletic dormitory. Built in 1962, it was last renovated in 1988, about the time Thompson-Boling Arena opened. Both the Boling Alley and Neyland have undergone massive renovations since then, and it would seem past time to do the same with Gibbs.

    Hart hasn't tipped his hand publicly over the facility, but it's believed he views a renovated Gibbs or a new facility as a must if UT is to stay close to the lead in the Southeastern Conference's never-ending arms race.

    Figure anywhere from $5 million for a renovation to $15 million for a completely new structure and you're now looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million to start over from scratch and give the new coach all the weapons that coach will believe he needs to return the Vols to elite status in the college football hierarchy.

    To be fair, some of that money's going to be spent on the current staff if it's retained. So an additional outlay over the next four years might come closer to $25 to $30 million than $50 mil.

    Considering the money the athletic department could potentially lose in season-ticket renewals if Dooley stays, keeping him or cutting him could be no worse than a wash in the short term.

    Then again, some studies have shown Alabama has gained as much as $30 million or more in general giving since Nick Saban came aboard and has increased athletic department profits by nearly $15 million per year, a clear sign that sometimes you have to spend money to make money.

    It's certainly a dilemma for the fans. They want to support their Vols, but in increasing numbers they want Dooley gone.

    Of course, it's also tempting to insert a note of caution here, a be-careful-what-you-wish-for disclaimer, because for for every Saban or Jon Gruden there's also a Mike Price or Rich Rodriguez.

    And even staying home isn't certain to force a change. More than 20,000 Kentucky fans have stayed away every home Saturday to protest Joker Phillips' continued employment at UK, yet Wildcats AD Mitch Barnhart called Joker, "One of my dearest friends," on Tuesday.

    And Joker's signature win in less than three seasons of work was beating Dooley last November with a wideout at quarterback.

    So maybe public disinterest will work and maybe it won't. But if you want Hart to really understand how much you want a coaching change, don't boo from your Neyland Stadium seats. Boo from your living room.
     
  2. 247VOL365

    247VOL365 Member

    Good Read. Thanks.
     
  3. CardinalVol

    CardinalVol Uncultured, non-diverse mod

    Good piece.

    Amazing the TFP can continually do the UT situation more justice than the newspaper 3 miles (if that) from Neyland Stadium can.
     
  4. VolDad

    VolDad Super Moderator

    RR would be a huge upgrade over Dooley.
     
  5. Beechervol

    Beechervol Super Moderator

  6. RoadTrip

    RoadTrip Contributor

    Wiedmer gets it. Been saying it for years. It's about the money. Talk about tradition and love of the BO as much as we want as VFL fans, behind the doors of the UTAD it is about the money. The tradition, facilities and pageantry is what helps to sell the entertainment product to make the money. If the entertainment product is bad, stop buying it. Expose yourself to some commercials on TV at home where at least you go take a leak or get something out of the fridge when they come on. Until that happens full force they will continue to bleed it for all they can.

    It's the life cycle of all business. UT football is in the decline stage. But they have been bilking it like it was still in the mature stage where cash is plentiful. That always happens when people in power ignore reality and get lazy. To go back to growth requires major capital expenditures and commitment to change. Money and competent people with an appropriate vision. That means cutting out all those opposed to positive change starting at the top. There is rebranding involved here.

    Assuming that has been realized, and like Basilio said this AM we cannot assume it yet with Cheek (and some of the BOT) in there, Gruden can strongly improve the product and push sales well beyond past profitability levels. Then we can once again take pride in the product and buy it until our hearts are content.
     
  7. dans49er

    dans49er Member

    In Agreement

    I agree that we have reached the point where it is cheaper to fire Dooley, rather than keep him. Have you not seen how the networks covering games at Neyland Stadium have been highlighting empty seats? Is Dave Hart not concerned that UT will not be able to sign top recruits? Is Dave Hart not concerned that souvenir and memorabilia sales are down? And if we listen to Jimmy Cheek to keep Dooley around for another year, the program will only sink lower. Tennessee fans are fed up with the direction the program has taken since Fulmer was fired, and that firing was at least one year too late ( case in point, hiring Clawson as offensive coordinator ). Hiring Dave Clawson ranks right up there with Sal Sunseri as defensive coordinator. UT has given up huge plays to every team it has played this year. I have witnessed many of my friends that I considered as true Tennessee fans, so much so that they claimed, as I, that their blood ran orange, switch allegiance to Alabama and LSU. And now I am also at that point. If Hart procrastinates, and does not fire Dooley soon ( before season's end ), I am going to burn all of my UT shirts and souvenirs, and become an official fan of one of the premier teams in the SEC West. And some would blow this off as trivial, it's just one fan.. Do you really believe it's just one fan? You know better. The Tennessee fans I know want to see a defense that kicks ass and takes names, and an offense that is multi-dimensional, and balanced. When we were known as Wide-receiver U, we were also able to dominate in the air. Bring our Glory Days back. We demand much better, than a head-coach who should never have been hired.
     
  8. Montrell

    Montrell Member

    I agree completely. At this point any new hire IMO would at least be an upgrade to what we currently have.
     
  9. JT5

    JT5 Super Moderator

    No shit. Guy already has wins over Ok St and USC in year 1. Not the best analogy.
     

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