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Was Radakovich The Top Pick At UT… Or A Smokescreen?

Late last week when the NCAA announced penalties against Georgia Tech’s athletic program and claimed that the Tech administration had “hindered” its investigation, reports from Knoxville emerged claiming that AD Dan Radakovich had been Tennessee’s top pick to replace Mike Hamilton.

Internet reports claimed that UT officials would have to go back to square one, unable to hire an NCAA-scarred athletic director after its own recent NCAA entanglements.  Radio reports in Knoxville claimed that Radakovich was the only candidate interviewed by Vol brass so far.

This site has also been told by a source very close to the situation that Radakovich was indeed the leader in UT’s search, which we reported last week.  And our connections at CSS in Atlanta — where you can see a MrSEC rep every Wednesday during “SportsNite,” by the way — had heard “Radakovich to Tennessee” rumors from their sources on the Georgia Tech side of things.

The fact that Tennessee — with Atlanta-based firm Parker Executive Search on the payroll — apparently had no clue that its top candidate was about to get an NCAA spanking left many pointing fingers at yet another UT miscue. 

ESPN.com’s Chris Low wrote the following regarding Tennessee chancellor Jimmy Cheek: “… is he purposely trying to botch this one even worse than he did the Bruce Pearl situation.”  Ouch.

But here’s the rub — Radakovich denies having had any contact with Tennessee.  Doug Roberson of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution relayed the following Friday night:


“‘I don’t know where this comes from,’ Radakovich said.  ‘I’ve never spoken to Tennessee.  I’ve got enough on my plate here.  I wish them well with whatever they are looking to do.’

To eliminate any nuance, Radakovich said that neither he nor anyone representing him has spoken to Tennessee, or anyone representing the Vols, about any position in Knoxville.”


That’s rather emphatic.  Tech’s AD even closed the “UT’s search firm talked to my agent” possibility.

So did multiple Tennessee sources put out the same smokescreen to multiple reporters across the Southeast?  Or is Radakovich being a tad less than truthful because he knows an AD that just got fingered by the NCAA shouldn’t further anger his fanbase by appearing to be out on a job hunt?

It’s doubtful the UT administration could pull off such a well-coordinated campaign of misinformation.  Also, what would be the rationale behind such a ruse?

Either way, it’s probably way too soon to claim Tennessee is “botching” its AD search.  Lord knows they’ve botched quite a bit in the past couple of years, but no one at UT officially said that Radakovich was the Vols’ guy.  And Radakovich himself — honestly or not — says he was absolutely not in the mix.

If Tennessee can land a proven, seated AD as has been its goal then folks will need time to determine the success or failure of the Vols’ search. 

If, however, Tennessee promotes an internal candidate or hires an ex-coach or ex-player after paying thousands of dollars to an outside search firm, well, then that might be considered a “botched” job.  Why waste cash if the best candidates are all in the family in the first place?

 


7 comments
Ryan
Ryan

The DRad rumors were quashed months ago. You're a little late to the party on this.

Bobby
Bobby

John, I think I posted on this once before? I know someone involved with the Tennessee search and he is a very private person. There is no point in speculation. You can keep guessing but it is going nowhere fast for you and the rest of the media. The man that Tennessee hires has most likely never been mentioned here, nor anywhere else. So basically, this is a non story until the process is completed. When the press conference is set is when you will know who the new AD will be. Once again, mark my word.

adam
adam

I've seen that CSS sportsnite segment you're speaking of, I was less than impressed. That Pennington guy bring nothing. They should ask Wes Rucker.

Matt
Matt

If the this stuff did not happen at Tech, Radakovich would have been named UT AD last Saturday.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Ryan...

Ah. Thanks. And here I thought all those reports from Knoxville and Atlanta on Friday meant something.

Radakovich said last month that he had no interest in the job and that's apparently when you tuned out. Sources at Tennessee continue to say he interviewed for the job -- AFTER saying he wasn't interested.

But thanks for trying to be insulting.

John

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Bobby...

I'm not sure that anyone here "guessed" at anything. We reported that Radakovich was believed to be a leader -- by both people in Atlanta and in Knoxville -- and that he denied it.

John

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

adam...

Couldn't agree more on "that Pennington guy bring nothing."

John

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