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Dooley Took Lessons From NCAA Hearings

A couple of weekends ago, Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley was summoned to Indianapolis.  Even though he had no hand in the football violations under Lane Kiffin’s watch or the basketball violations under Bruce Pearl’s, the NCAA wanted Dooley (and UT basketball coach Cuonzo Martin) in the house for educational purposes.

And Dooley says he did do some learnin’:

“I do think when you see how one bad choice or one bad decision can impact so many different lives, it resonates with you.  I think it was also sort of a good reminder of how the landscape is changing.  It really is — moving away and putting more and more responsibility on the head coach to really have comment of the whole shop.  It’s challenging to be able to do that, but that’s the landscape right now…

(After the hearing) I had a long meeting with the coaches and I wanted them to kind of get a feel for what I felt in Indianapolis.  They’re the ones in the field more than me.  You’re constantly trying to promote an atmosphere of compliance.  You want to balance the — I don’t want to use the word pressure — but you’re pushing your coaches to perform and pushing them to get results in recruiting.  But at the same time, you’ve got to make sure they understand it’s never at the expense of the rules.  That’s just something you’ve go to constantly do.”

Tougher, harsher NCAA sanctions against programs and individual coaches — head or assistant — might help fend off the lure to cut corners and cheat.


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