As Tennessee gears up for what’s become its typical postseason adventure – the Vols haven’t played in a BCS game since 1999 and have only two bowl wins in seven tries in that time – it sounds like there may be a little uneasiness in the ranks that can only enhance the whole bowl preparation experience.
In this case, things are swirling around wide receivers coach, über recruiter and fashion maven Trooper Taylor, who, true to the recent trend among coaches to leverage job offers from other schools, has taken an offer to become Baylor’s offensive coordinator to his current boss to see what Orange can do for him.
That is what former Vol great Jabari Davis would no doubt refer to as a “business decision”.
In addition to meeting with Fulmer about his future, Taylor evidently has been letting some of the players know what he’s been wrestling with.
“As far as I know, (Taylor) pretty much told us if he gets the offensive coordinator job here, he’d probably stay,” UT receiver Austin Rogers said. “If not, he might go. We’ll know soon.”
Rogers, a former David Lipscomb standout, said it’s frustrating to know that other UT coaches might not be around for the bowl game.
Good for Taylor. Maybe not so good for the players’ mental preparation.
“It is hard because we don’t know if the coaches aren’t going to be here,” Rogers said. “You think, ‘Do they really care about this game if they’re not going to be here next year?’ It’s kind of a distraction in practice, but we’re doing the best we can because we want a win over Wisconsin.”
Not that it’s not having a certain desired effect for Taylor.
Speaking specifically about UT’s receivers, there has been speculation that if Taylor leaves, some Vols might not return next season.
“We don’t know (what coach) is going to be here, and we don’t know if we’re going to like him,” Rogers said. “Some people are talking about transferring. Some people are talking about doing other things. It’s our future, and it’s in the coaches’ hands.”
Chalk it up as another “it does not bode well for the student-athletes who entrust these coaches with their futures” moment.
In case you’re curious, UT is around a three point favorite against Wisconsin, which looks like it will get its stud tailback P.J. Hill back for the bowl game after all.
For Trooper, love is all about the hat, baby.
UPDATE: It didn’t work – Taylor is leaving UT to take the Oklahoma State OC position.
He’s a man, too.
(photo courtesy Knoxville News Sentinel/Amy Smotherman-Burgess)
One response to “Just another day in Paradise”
Yep, it looks Hill is back at least to functional status. But Wisconsin lost Aaron Henry for the game who was filling in for Langford… who also was lost for the season.
Lot of guys at UW are being turned into multi-position players. But at least these aren’t in game injuries. :p
Still taking my boys at UW. The Vols passing game is going to do some damage in the game though I fear.