Category Archives: The Glass is Half Fulmer

Phil Fulmer appreciates appreciation.

Guess who Phil Fulmer’s favorite SEC head coach is?

Q: Do you have a coach in the SEC right now other than Butch Jones who you appreciate?

A: “I think Mark Richt has done a fabulous job at Georgia. He’s gotten some of the same grief that you get occasionally when you don’t always win the championship at a school that wants to win the championship. He’s done a fabulous job, and he’s done it the right way. I think a lot of him, and as far as favorite people, he would probably be the one.”

Think there’s a little “that’s how you’re supposed to treat a guy, UT” in that?

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“I’m glad to be here. As I told them, any way I can help.”

For some reason, Butch Jones thought it would be a good idea for Phil Fulmer to drop in and give a little pep talk to the team.  Aside from making sure everyone in the room knew that he had nothing to do with Tennessee’s present troubles, it’s hard for me to guess what helpful suggestions he might have passed along.  Any of y’all have an idea?

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He knows nothink. Nothink!

Phil Fulmer goes Sergent Schultz on the Arian Foster pay allegations.  Big shock, there.

Money? What money?

I’m surprised nobody in the media has yet to dig up which UT coach got a new Lexus while Foster was there. The list of candidates can’t be too long.

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Maybe it was just something he ate.

Shorter Phillip Fulmer:  Okay, okay, the other day when I peed all over everybody surrounding the Tennessee program I may have neglected to acknowledge that I played a teeny, tiny role in the Vols sporting two losing records in my last four seasons… almost a bystander, really… hey, did I tell y’all how much some of those guys sucked?

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Phil Fulmer has no hard feelings.

Which is kind of impressive when you think about, given how he thinks pretty much everyone around him and those who followed were a bunch of incompetents.

Fulmer was forced out as Tennessee’s coach during the Vols’ 5-7 campaign in 2008, one of his two losing marks in his 16 seasons as the program’s head coach. Fulmer lost 34 conference games and 52 games overall during his tenure at Tennessee. Since he left, the Vols have a 9-23 conference record and a 23-27 overall mark under Lane Kiffin (2009) and Derek Dooley (2010-12).

But don’t put all the blame for Tennessee’s slide on his successors, Fulmer said.

“I still know we’re battling from an internal standpoint to get everything aligned so we can not compete against ourselves internally but be able to compete against the outside folks,” Fulmer said. “I believe we’re making progress with that.

“Every school has down cycles. You’re not always going to be on top. Alabama just a few years ago, for example. Florida never won a championship until coach (Steve) Spurrier got there. People don’t realize that: You’re going to have your dips.

“What happened to us basically was our leadership. We had four presidents in six years. We ended up with an athletic director that wasn’t prepared for the job. Not a terrible guy or anything like that. He got twisted like a pretzel by the middle management of the university. We lost a lot of the edges that you have to have. (Current athletic director) Dave Hart’s very aware of those, and he’s working to change things. We didn’t get dumb or lazy all of a sudden. There were obviously some things that were different.

“When you have a great president and a great athletic director and you replace them with substandard people that have no idea, what do you expect is going to happen? And you do that three other times? It’s crazy.”

Mike Hamilton replaced Doug Dickey as Tennessee’s director of men’s athletics in 2003. Hamilton resigned in June 2011. Current Tennessee president Joe DiPietro is the university’s fifth in the past decade.

Of course, he may have a point about Hamilton.  After all, less than a year before Fulmer was fired, the man who wasn’t prepared for the job gave him a contract extension and a raise.

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Wednesday morning buffet

Grab your plate and utensils.  (Napkins are optional.)

  • California is on the verge of passing laws on student-athlete stipends that will run afoul of NCAA rules.
  • In case you wanted a fashion review of Georgia’s new branding effort, here ’tis.
  • Texas A&M wants Johnny Manziel to be treated just like any other student when he’s on campus.  Except for the full-time bodyguard, that is.
  • Is there a Krispy Kreme in Johnson City, Tennessee?
  • Good nuts and bolts interview with Vandy offensive line coach Herb Hand, if you’re interested in what that offense tries to do scheme-wise.
  • And speaking of Vanderbilt’s offensive line, I didn’t realize the ‘Dores were able to redshirt their entire freshman class last year.  That’s how you build for the long haul in the SEC.  (Or anywhere, really.)
  • Georgia’s players claim to have learned one lesson from the Boise State game.
  • This post caused me to ask the musical question – when the day comes that gay marriage is legal in the South, will that bring more conflict with the unwritten rule about not having your wedding in the fall?  Hmm… maybe the religious right’s missing an argument here.

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A match made in Hog Heaven?

This will never happen in a million years, but, damn, I’d sure love to see it purely for the extra-curricular entertainment value.

According to former Tennessee assistant Doug Matthews on Nashville radio yesterday, Arkansas officials have spoken to his former boss Phillip Fulmer about the vacant head coaching job. He doesn’t know how serious they got, but there have been discussions between them:

“I know Phillip has had conversations with them,” Matthews told the radio show. “And when I say with them, all that is going to take place behind the scenes.

“But everything I’m hearing from Arkansas is the spring game, I think, is this Saturday. ‘Let’s get through spring. Let’s see where we are.’ But I think they’ll either go with a guy that they’ve got on the staff or they’ll bring in someone to be — caretaker’s the wrong word — but bring someone in who has been through it all before.

“If there is a place for Phillip, that will be the place.”

Doughnuts, subpoenas and Spurrier’s catty comments… I’ve missed ‘em all.  Throw in a fan base that knows its way around a FOIA request, and you’ve got a heady brew for blogging.  Unfortunately, it sounds way too good to be true.

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