The Urnge and the Restless

Triggered, I suppose, by the news that Tennessee and John Currie, its former athletic director, have formally parted ways for the low, low sticker price of $2,220,454 (that, plus his salary, for a mere eight months of “work”!), came this absolutely bonkers thread in my Twitter feed last night.  Evidently a reporter or reporters got their hands on documentation relating to the firing of Booch and the subsequent dumpster fire of a coaching search that led to Currie’s sacking and the triumphant return of Phil Fulmer to a position of power in Knoxville.

You should read through the thread in its entirety to get a real flavor for the craziness (Wallace is promising to go through the story of how he got the information later this morning), but there are a few items worth sharing specifically in this post.

Starting here:

The 50-17 Missouri loss may have been the coup de grâce to Booch’s tenure in Knoxville, but the wheels were set in motion after the Georgia debacle, which means that Kirby, in only his second season, can lay claim to having had a direct hand in significantly remaking the division.  Not even Nick Saban can put that on his résumé.

Currie didn’t lack for candidates, that’s for sure.  It also appears that he didn’t lack for others at UT meddling in hiring a replacement.  Peyton Manning?  Seriously?

Speaking of candidates, oh, what might have been.

From a selfish perspective, I didn’t think it was possible to top hiring Lane Kiffin, but, damn, was I wrong.  This would have been the greatest blogging fodder of my life had it gone down.  In the meantime, Mr. Stingtalk Moderator, I beg you to open the message board back up to the general public for the next few days.  We’re here for you, man.

Need more comedic relief?  Well, since you asked…

“Lack of academic commitment”?  Wut?

There’s plenty more.  Currie had his sights set on Schiano, but got enormous pushback, including a threat that much of the athletic department would walk if he were hired.  When that fell apart, apparently Currie decided it would be best to work virtually undercover — based on the internal chaos, I can’t say he was crazy to think that — and did such an effective job flying under the radar that members of the administration openly worried for his safety.

By late November, Fulmer evidently saw an opportunity.

And shortly afterwards, it was all over but the financial buyout.

This is what Jeremy Pruitt has walked into.  I think this is the closest we’ll ever see someone in real life live up to the cliché “I’d crawl over broken glass for the opportunity”.  Hope it turns out to be worth it, bud.


UPDATE:  More crazy details here.


UPDATE #2:  Evidently it’s our old friend, the Freedom of Information Act request, that led to the data dump.

This is epic:

Currie’s search for Jones’ replacement got so dire that even interim head coach Brady Hoke sent a text to Currie on Nov. 29 making sure Currie knew Hoke would be interested in the full-time job.


ALL CAPS always knows, right?


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

37 responses to “The Urnge and the Restless

  1. Brandon

    Tennessee athletics is basically a banana republic. Yesterday on Volnation they were all torching some kid who had announced he was transferring. Bearing in mind that none of them had the slightest real clue why the kid transferred they were all pronouncing the kid a powder puff and taking it as a sign that Pruitt was rooting out the pansies and they would be back on top in a couple of moon’s turns. Just total scum fans.


  2. tbia

    OK, so Fish Fry has a policy that if you are committed and you visit elsewhere you lose your scholly offer….by using the transitive property and seeing as he was contracted to Georgia Tech but was in essence visiting UT, shouldn’t he lose his job?

    Not that I would actually want that to happen.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. JN

    Dear Diary,
    Today I learned there exists a scenario that can make me thankful for The Georgia Way.


  4. 3rdandGrantham

    A booster complaining that Currie didn’t return Les Miles’ calls should be seen as an endorsement of Carrie’s performance, not criticism. I also find it funny that Currie went into stealth mode when the Schiano hire blew up in his face, in which nobody could get a hold of him and began to wonder if he was safe. Meanwhile, Currie was out in L.A. searching for Leach under park benches in random parks.

    Finally, the fact that Currie was privately communicating with the media and trying to get them to publicly support Schiano’s hire was most alarming for me. Dan Wolken in particular was happy to oblige; now we know who his source was during the entire job search mess. IMO, this makes Wolken look really bad, as he’s basically agreeing to write puff pieces in return for inside information. Great journalism there bud.


    • 3rdandGrantham

      Good Lord – Brady Hoke’s email to Currie was beyond embarrassing. Not only is his grammar on par with a 6th grader, but his clear lack of self-awareness is simply astounding. But, I will give him credit for using all-caps…certainly a nice touch.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Uglydawg

    That’s some rich stuff!
    Busy this morning, but can’t wait to read the whole thing after reading the teaser!
    I wonder who the Power 5 coach is that “was close but withdrew due to flack of academic commitment.”, and what that even means.


  6. Got Cowdog

    Did I read this correctly in the thread? “Currie was urged to contact Peyton Manning and confirm his safety?”
    Peyton wondering if he needed the other half of Vinny “The Chin” Gigante’s money?


  7. Bulldog Joe

    Butch Jones: $8.2M buyout
    Butch Jones’ staff: $5M buyout
    John Currie $2.5M buyout

    Still no word on how much is in the settlement to Schiano (or anyone else).


  8. Ellis

    Paul Johnson expressed interest? Close your eyes for a minute and just imagine…


  9. Derek

    It’s been awhile Senator but Tubs, after 6 straight wins over Bama, was out after Auburn got destroyed at Jordan-Hare by Saban’s second Bama squad.

    Of course that wasn’t Saban’s first head coaching job.


  10. gastr1

    I think Fish Fry’s interest is the most amusing of all. As if that asshat is a getting another job in a P5 conference. LOL. Back to the military academies for you, Fish Fry.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Don in Mar-a-Lago

    UPDATE #2:


  12. Derek

    FWIW: if you’re an AD at a program which is historically in the top half of the SEC and you discuss your head coaching position with Mike Leach, you should be fired with cause. Or committed.

    Would have been fun to see UT’s QB’s get routinely hospitalized but UT did the only thing they could do there.


  13. W Cobb Dawg

    First thing that came to my mind was the across the board incompetence displayed. Second thing is there’s just far too much money wrapped up in cfb.

    Unfortunately, after all the dust cleared I think they landed on their feet with Pruitt. If Kentucky, scu, mizzou and vandy can’t take this opportunity to move ahead of utk in the sece pecking order for at least a decade, they never will.


  14. After reading the article in the Seattle Times regarding Leach and this entire process, that place is a fiasco. Talk about people undercutting each other. Lord makes politics look tame.


  15. Brandon

    This story keeps getting better and better, I hope you’ll update the Urgne and the Restless today. Tons of developments yesterday.


  16. Brandon

    Apparently Johnny Majors text Currie “to hell with all these red state fans and politicians!”. I’m a conservative guy myself, but I can always laugh at anything that trolls Vile fans.


  17. Brandon

    Fulmer also told them he would be willing to coach, surprise, surprise.