Category Archives: Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Jim Harbaugh… [drops the mic]

At this point, what more can you say about his epic trollery?

Purely from a blogging perspective, when the day comes that Saban retires, I hope Alabama throws a shit ton of money in Harbaugh’s direction to get him down here.  The fun would never stop.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Big Ten Football

“I understand right from wrong.”

Mr. Conventional Wisdom’s interview with Booch is every bit the hard-hitting exercise in journalism you’d expect.  If I get the gist of Barnhart’s keen insight correctly, Jones and Tennessee have a couple of things working in their favor:  Booch’s dad was a police chief (“I have grown up in a law-enforcement culture,” Jones said.) and Notre Dame is facing a Title IX investigation, too.

Despite that, Mr. CW ponders the shocking possibility that UT might have to settle.

But even a successful fight could take years and several million dollars in legal fees. Given the nuances and the cut-throat nature of recruiting, could Tennessee football survive such a protracted legal battle in the court of public opinion? And will that same court of public opinion pronounce Tennessee guilty if it settles?

Will no one step up to comfort the Urnge if there’s no admission of liability?  As long as the man has a forum in which to express himself, I suspect he’ll be around with a box of Kleenex.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Media Punditry/Foibles

Lawyerin’ up.

Not a good look for you, Curt Maggitt.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, See You In Court

Not goin’ away any time soon.

The Associated Press is reporting that the Title IX litigation against the University of Tennessee could take two years to play out.

I don’t think it’s possible to schedule enough pressers to counter two years’ worth of negative recruiting, Booch.  Not that you won’t try.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, See You In Court

Perhaps not the wisest choice of words

In response to a question about sexual assault accusations the Tennessee program faces, Booch says he’ll “stay the course”.  I’m not sure many folks are going to find the status quo in Knoxville very comforting, since that’s exactly why he got asked the question in the first place.

Although it could have been worse, I guess.  At least he didn’t say they’d finish the drill.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Opportunity is nowhere.

Is this that “culture” thing all those Tennessee coaches were gushing about at that presser yesterday?

University of Tennessee football coach Butch Jones told one of his players he “betrayed the team” after the wide receiver helped a woman who said she was raped by two other football players, according to a new legal filing in a sweeping lawsuit filed by six women against Tennessee.

Sophomore Drae Bowles “broke down and cried” after speaking with his coach, the lawsuit said.

Jones later called Bowles back to apologize for calling him “a traitor to the team,” according to the suit.

It’s sure looking like Booch is gonna have a helluva time at SEC Media Days. Assuming he’s not dodging service in Hoover like Fulmer did, that is.

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UPDATE:  Booch strenuously objects.

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UPDATE #2:  If you’re looking for a legal analysis of what Bowles’ affidavit means, here you go.

There are two important takeaways there.  One – and it’s a big one – don’t lose sight of this being a classic “he said, he said” situation.  Barring some sort of direct evidence popping up about the conversation between Jones and Bowles, Booch will have every opportunity to put his own spin on what was or wasn’t said.

Two – and it’s just as big – Tennessee is in a tough spot with regard to Jones.

Second, Bowles’s allegation directly implicates Jones. This places the university in a potentially awkward position of defending the state’s highest-paid public employee—the university reportedly owes Jones approximately $20.5 million through 2020—from allegations of callous and obstructing conduct. Moreover, the allegation could cause university attorneys to closely study Jones’s contract in the event the university decides to fire him. The contract may contain provisions that enable a firing with cause (a memorandum of understanding for his contract indicates a for-cause provision exists).

If there’s any possibility this thing has legs, how does UT preserve its room to maneuver in the event it has to build a case to throw Jones to the wolves, while at the same time proclaiming its support for the head coach?

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UPDATE #3:  Dismissing allegations contained in a lawsuit, as I’ve seen some of you in the comments do, misses the point somewhat.  As noted in the previous update, they may indeed turn out to be impossible to prove.  But Jones and the university will still have to spend time and energy denying them for months, if not longer.  Booch can whistle in the dark about culture and this being no distraction, but that’s bullshit.  It’ll be an issue in every press conference he walks into for the foreseeable future.  And the possibility of organized protests in front of every Tennessee football game can’t be something the administration would appreciate.

Beyond that, speaking of the culture, when you put everything surrounding the athletic department on the Title IX front in an organized timeline, it looks pretty grim.  With everyone in the chain of command named in one form or fashion, you can see why, at least in the short run, the school intends to fight.  But who do you think stands to lose the most if it turns out that there’s real fire behind all that smoke?  For starters, I’ll put it this way:  I wouldn’t want to be the highest-paid, most visible employee of a university’s department that’s forced to remake itself in order to settle a high-profile lawsuit.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

That went well, Vols.

So they had that joint head coach presser they had today in Knoxville.  And… well, they had that presser.

Tennessee held a press conference with head coaches involving all 16 of its varsity sports on Tuesday in an attempt to combat the negative press generated by recent numerous sexual assault cases involving Volunteer athletes. Just last week Tennessee joined an ever-growing list of major universities facing federal lawsuits in how it handled sexual assault cases — particularly those involving male athletes.

The stated purpose of Tuesday’s press conference was not to combat those allegations, but to offer an alternative narrative of what’s happening inside the Vols’ athletics department. The negative stories, UT coaches said, were drowning out the actual, positive culture in Big Orange Country.

They’re big on that culture thing up there, aren’t they?

The cheerleading was nice, but it doesn’t explain one bizarre omission.

The most head-scratching aspect of the press conference: all 16 Tennessee head coaches found time to appear on Tuesday morning, but not athletics director Rick Hart.

The chancellor didn’t make an appearance, either.  Maybe that means they’re not part of the active, positive culture in Big Urnge Country.

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UPDATE:  As I like to say about so many things in today’s SEC, this presser was about one thing, and it ain’t the culture.

The football coach said the recent run of bad publicity has had an effect. The Vols are facing a Title IX lawsuit that was filed by six unidentified women against the university alleging that Tennessee has created a “hostile sexual environment”. Since the suit became public, Tennessee’s football team has had two former players and a current player arrested on serious charges.

“Our competitors are using it against us,” Jones said during a press conference involving all 16 head coaches at Tennessee…

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange