The latest prominent Power-5 “institution” to find it self getting a front-page media colonoscopy is the University of Tennessee.
If you just scan headlines you may think this is just about “what did Peyton do” back in 1996. But, if you have followed Big Time College Sports a/k/a Football & Basketball over several decades, you are used to seeing reports of rampant Bad Boy crap emanating from “Rocky Top”.
I’ve never set foot on the UT campus or seen a game at Neyland Stadium with it’s trademark checkerboard end zones. I don’t know any ardent Volunteer fans. I’ve never visited it’s “monkey boards”, which I imagine have “Dueling Banjos” playing in the background. Knoxville, to me, is simply a benchmark on I-40 traveling between NC and Missouri.
I qualify my gut-feel about the school and it’s “culture” because I have accumulated my opinion from mainstream media accounts of the afore-mentioned “continuous Bad Boy reports” over the decades…. including when David Cutcliffe was Assistant Head Coach under Phil Fullmer.
Is the “boys will be boys” laissez-faire culture at U-T any different from UGa or Florida or LSU or FSU or Baylor or ……?
Was John Dillinger “worse” that Clyde Barrow or Machine Gun Kelly or Baby Face Nelson?
Is “they’ve had 26 cases and we’ve only had 23” anything to feel smug about when fans rally to defend “their school”?
Comparing U-Tenn’s current “Great Unpleasantness” to UNC’s Eligibility Scam is, in my opinion, comparing urban street rioting to tax evasion. Yes, BOTH are crimes that merit consequences.… but….
Is the occasional coed being assaulted / raped by testosterone-overloaded “student-athletes of the football persuasion” simply expected collateral-damage associated with Big Time College Sports? The apologists for U-Tenn Athletics seem to think so.
I admit to a rubbernecker fascination with these Big Time College Athletes / Coed Assault situations. Just limiting oneself to Power-5 schools, there seems to ALWAYS be several “investigations” in-progress across Power-5 Land..
These days – Baylor and, of course, Florida State (yawn) are “in-progress” with U-Tenn being Above-The Fold. I added the (yawn) with Florida State because when HASN’T Florida State been “in trouble”. This is Friday, I haven’t checked to see if LSU has an on-going jock-sex investigation today. A betting man would say “probably”.
I don’t follow “recruiting” for the same reason I don’t watch “kiddie porn” or “drown kittens”. I lump those who pursue any of those three “hobbies” in the same public commode. YUCK! But if YOU do….
Certainly “he said – she said” must be considered whenever there is a assault/rape charge. Unless it is a gang thing, there are usually only two people who absolutely know what happened. “Next morning remorse” or “after she sobered up” can certainly be a factor. …. which brings us to….
What Do You Think? ….. Allowing that most readers here are likely predisposed to “not like” Univ Tennessee for whatever reasons.
- Do you think U-Tenn is, and has been, out-of-control as far as a laissez-faire attitude towards it’s Footballers and that afore-mentioned “collateral damage” associated with Big Time College Sports?
- Does the usual excusifyings by Univ-Tenn Admins – including the ubiquitous “I have two daughters…..” statements, ring credible to you?
- Is “a few boys being boys now and then” worth it for SEC Bragging Rights?
- Do Volunteer Fat Cats even “give a damn” about a few coeds (who probably “wanted IT” anyway….)?
- Do you simply wrap yourself up in that cozy cloak of self-righteousness – “this crap goes on everywhere…. EXCEPT, of course, at MY SCHOOL”?
Since “this” has been going on at U-Tenn, supposedly, for 20+ years, thru 4-5 coaching regimes….
Would Duke’s David Cutcliffe be a knowledgeable source for comment? Allowing that “everyone likes / respects David Cutcliffe”, what might he have to say….. ??
This current little dust-up will blow over AND the assaults and rapes WILL continue.
They always do…. sigh. GO VOLS! 🙁
Tennessee’s AD shows school has cultural problem with just one word
By Eric Adelson Feb 25,’16 Yahoo Sports
Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart could have gone a long way toward cleaning up his department’s besmirched national image at his press conference on Thursday. But he said one word that undermined much of the rest.
Hart said he trusts in head football coach Butch Jones “implicitly,” or by literal definition, absolutely and unconditionally.
This implicit trust was conveyed in the immediate wake of a lawsuit accusing the coach of calling former player Drae Bowles a traitor for comforting an alleged victim of rape.
Six players on the 2014 football roster were accused of sexual assault, and eight women have filed suit against Tennessee for its handling of sexual assault allegations against male athletes. How does that earn Jones implicit trust?
Yes, it’s possible that Bowles is embellishing or fabricating. Jones released a statement insisting he had done nothing wrong. And it’s important to note that none of the accused football players have been convicted. But the due-process argument does not protect Jones from extra scrutiny here.
Hart had to toe the line in this press conference between the legal goal to avoid getting too specific and the administrative goal to convey commitment to internal betterment. To his credit, he voiced some important points about the need to constantly improve.
“Anybody that would claim they’ve got everything under control,” he said, “is drifting around with blinders on.”
But let’s face it: Hart has blinders on if he trusts Jones implicitly. (Is this the same Dave Hart who used to be AD at Florida State? Yes it is. …. Uh Oh!)