I’m not a Vol fan, but this saddens me nonetheless:
… More troubling than the money madness, though, is the professionalization of UT football. Perhaps it’s somewhat understandable. Kiffin came from the Oakland Raiders. His father was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Defensive line coach Ed Orgeron last coached for the New Orleans Saints.
But the professionalization goes disturbingly deeper. The News Sentinel’s Dave Hooker last week documented how displays at the Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex flash photos of pro players, some from UT, others who played at other schools for one of UT’s new coaches. The message to recruits: We can get you to the NFL.
In the News Sentinel this week, Athletic Director Mike Hamilton was asked about selling the NFL instead of promoting UT’s football tradition. “That’s the reality of it,” Hamilton said. “A lot of (recruits) are not as concerned about traditions and probably don’t know our traditions.”
No sense of place ultimately means no loyalty. I get that Junior and his dad probably don’t care, but the guy I don’t understand in all of this is Hamilton. He’s been regularly quoted as being proud of the “new model” employed by Tennessee football. Spending more money to create a better pipeline for the NFL doesn’t seem like much of anything to brag about to me.
I guess if UT doesn’t make it back to the SECCG anytime soon under Junior, Hamilton will be satisfied with the state of the program as long as the Vols put more kids in the NFL than ever before. Somehow, I doubt his constituents will share that feeling.
UPDATE: Obviously this kid isn’t pro material.
18 responses to “Carpetbaggery”
That’s just awful especially the Thigpen story.
I think that it is pretty obvious to all those outside of Vol nations, and perhaps to many of those within it, that the Lane Kiffin era is doomed to be a massive failure that sets Ufk football back for years.
I am sure that they will have a pretty good series of mercenary Signing Days, but they have a bunch of coaches with Zero gameday acumen, and the one who can coach is simply there collecting retirement and helping out his kid.
Ufk has always recruited a certain depth of thug that even Miami of the 90’s and Jackie Sherril would not touch (Respert, Leonard Little, Dwayne Goodrich, Tony McDaniel, etc, etc.), but at least Fat always had the Ufk tradition to stand behind.
It will be fun to watch the slow-motion trainwreck take place in Knoxville over the next couple of years. There should be some golden quotes coming out of post-game press conferences.
He may be a success, but those posters tell me that he’s thinking about his own future too. No doubt he will bolt for the NFL if he wins there, as soon as he finds the right place.
The irony here is that a substantial chunk of our fan base of late has been, rightfully or not, critical of certain of our kids for having been distracted by their pro prospects this past season… yet Junior and Company seem to be going out of their way to recruit kids with that mindset. I wish ’em the best with that.
For some reason, Kelley Washington comes to mind.
The we can best prepare you for and get you to the NFL pitch is the reason why Richt gets quarterbacks, Saban gets defensive backs, Fulmer used to get offensive linemen, and Orgeron used to get defensive linemen at USC.
I also recall something escaping from the balckhole of the Searels media clamp down about him supposedly telling one of our defensive players that if he switched to offensive line, he would make a lot of money in the pros. Now maybe he was kidding but I think a number of offensive linemen coached by Searels from LSU are in the NFL.
Maybe Tennessee expands upon that NFL message with the visuals, but as much as I love to poke fun at Lane and his Dream Team coaching staff, what Tennessee is doing with the NFL pitch still does not shock the conscience.
Damn…he got Chizik’d.
Let’s see – Dawgs have had three Super Bowl MVP’s – Tennessee – Anyone , anyone ? Oh Yeah, Peyton . Dwgs this year will ahev Stafford likely # 1 Overall and Moreno first round – Tenneesee – Anyone, Anyone ???
Dog in Fla, I think it was Kiante Tripp who said that.
To be fair, it was many of us readers delighting in the tendency of Richt’s offense to successfully attract and prepare those players who want to play in the NFL. Archie Manning’s quote fits in there somewhere too.
But it’s true…something stinks in Knoxville. More than usual.
slow motion train wreck? that has happened for the last ten years, they are going to blow this program up in the next three. they will be third or worse over the next several years. you can recruit all day, but can you coach, i think with all of these pro coach mindsets, they will get their asses handed to them
it is official, Lane Kiffen and his staff are Douchebags!
No doubt about the douchebag staff alligator, but i’m waiting to see what kind of TEAM this crowd of allstars can field. If Pa’kif can still communicate surely they will play defense. but the rest…it’ll be interesting to see a whole offense made up in the image of lil’kif, ie, 11 pricks on the field all at the same time.
Dog in Fla, Selling preparation for the NFL is nothing new. I agree on that. But if that’s your end all message, most of your kids are gonna feel like failures in your program. Not all, even some of your best, are gonna make it in the NFL.
What Richt recently told Jarvis Jones points to the fact that we’re also looking at the flip side. He basically told him, regardless of what happens for you in football after college, getting a degree at UGA and the connections you would have in the state will assure you that your future would be taken care of.
I at first thought Kiffen stockpiling the recruiters was his way of saying I know to be competitive at UT, I’ve got to have the best because of the lack of instate talent. Now I’m wondering if he actually thinks he’s gonna have the top class by far year in and year out. Saban, Richt, Miles and Meyer aren’t just gonna stop being able to get great classes because he’s hording great recruiters.
I get it it if it’s one component of you recruiting strategy, but if it’s the centerpiece…. no thanks.
You’ll never have chemistry as guys just want to showcase individual skills for their NFL auditions.
The more I read about the Kiffen situation the stranget it gets.
Who was it in Knoxville that thought this guy was their best option?
RidgeDawg, I am pretty sure that nobody in Knoxville thought Kiffin was their best option. I think he was down the list a little.
As far as getting kids to the NFL. That is what the entire SEC is about. Mississippi St. can sell the fact that they get kids to the NFL.
But you saw with this year’s UGA team what happens when kids are more concerned with the NFL than playing for championships in college. CMR had managed to get the UGA program to be the opposite of what Donnan had-a farm league for the NFL. If you cannot get the players to buy in and want to win, then it does not matter how much talent you have.
I think you can make a pretty strong argument to suggest that really no one at UT thought Lane was their best option. His hire was entirely dependent upon his ability to bring his daddy with him. No Monte, no job.
That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement. So his insecure antics of trying to steal everyone’s best recruiter, bad mouthing other programs, desperation for media drama, etc., etc. doesn’t come as a shock.
But you saw with this year’s UGA team what happens when kids are more concerned with the NFL than playing for championships in college.
I call BS on this.
I think they will play good ball, but they will have people on their team who are not team players and they will be shooting themselves in the foot.
I agree Hobnail, there is absolutely no hard evidence to back up the statement that our season was bad because kids were looking to the NFL. It is a big leap to go there.