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Ex-Vol Tailback Talks Dysfunction At UT

As we noted here yesterday, Tennessee’s football squad looks to be Team Turmoil heading into the offseason.  There were players unhappy with other players this season.  Players unhappy with coaches for throwing them under the bus and for using double-standards when it came to discipline.  There was a lack of leadership from veterans (mainly because there were very few veterans in the first place) and the youngsters who became de facto leaders had serious attitude problems.

All of that’s what’s swirling around the Tennessee program heading into a bowl-less offseason.  Good luck, Derek Dooley.

Yesterday, tailback Tauren Poole — one of the seniors who called out some younger teammates after the Vols’ loss to Kentucky on Saturday — opened up about the mess at UT on WNOX-FM in Knoxville yesterday.

Asked whether — in hindsight — he would go to UT again, Poole said:

“If you’d have told me Coach (Phillip) Fulmer would have gotten fired and then this coach, that coach, this strength coach, that position coach, I probably wouldn’t have came here because I knew it would have been a dysfunctional setup, an unstable program… It was a tough situation.  It was a roller-coaster ride.”

And what does he mean by roller-coaster ride?

“Guys kind of shut it down (against Kentucky).  All the seniors, we cared.  We cared more than a lot of those guys out there.  And that’s expected, but we weren’t getting it back.  Those guys have next year to look forward to.  We don’t.  My career is over at UT.”

And what about his coach’s critical tongue… which he uses to critique his players in the media with great regularity?

“Coach Dooley is a very critical guy.  He’s critical of his players and coaches.  It’s criticism and you’ve got to take it in.  Guys just got to have thick skin with Coach Dooley.  He’s going to speak his mind.  Every minute of the day, every moment, if he’s got an opinion, he’s going to tell you.  That’s just the type of guy he is.”

Dooley is rebuilding Tennessee’s roster and is one his way to a third-consecutive Top 15 signing class.  As for building a “team,” well, it sounds like that’s his next challenge.

 


30 comments
johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Complainers...

Let's say I had a car wreck. Asked by the press to describe it, let's say I said, "Well, I burned my legs pretty bad. I cracked my ribs on the steering wheel. I cut my arms as I was partially thrown through the windshield. And I had a concussion, too. But I survived."

Would the last sentence really have anything to do with the description of the wreck? Would you say, "See, he's glad he had the wreck, nothing bad happened to him?"

I'm amazed at the self-delusional links fans will go to in order to say someone is "fixing" the news in an effort to run down their sorry team.

The flat-out stupidity of anyone who thinks the last line of that quote had anything to do with the message Poole was sending is beyond measurement.

And as for the ridiculous, "a journalist wouldn't do that," you do realize that the quotes you read and hear every day are edited, don't you? Unless Poole had a very short interview and only said what was reported in The Knoxville News Sentinel, then one of their journalists also edited the quotes.

Oh, so pathetic.

John

Southern_Guy
Southern_Guy

After reading the full quotes, I see nothing that changes what he said. He doesn't sound as bitter, but the team still sounds dysfunctional. You guys criticizing sound like the liberal whiners who criticize FOX news. You can't handle the truth. I support Dooley, but it sounds like he has a lot of work ahead of him.

Big Blue Stu
Big Blue Stu

I am sure recruits are clammoring to get to Knoxville where they will most likely go through another coaching change in the next one to two years. In the mean time they have to listen to Dooley's critcisms. Dare I say, dysfunction? Don't worry Mr. 5-star recruit, you come out better for it! (Better make sure I leave that part of the quote in.)

Bobby
Bobby

My first time reading this blog.. but I have to agree with the comments that quotes in context absolutely matter. You should not take the quote out of context and then create a headline that misleads the reader. Everyone knows UT has been through 3 coaches in 4 season.. and YES, that is dysfunctional. But your headline AND out of context comment seem to indicate there are other dysfunctional issues at UT.. which I suspect may be the case, but is NOT even remotely proven by Poole's full comments . Poole had a disappointing year, he's probably done as a football player. I expect him to unload and be critical. While I am not a Dooley fan at all (he's in over his head), this article seems like it's trying to stir up controversy where there is none. Unless this site is striving to be the Fox News equivalent of the SEC Football world, I'd suggest sticking to the facts.. w/o the misleading headlines or out of context quotes, (or as some refer to "Spin").

clockwatcher
clockwatcher

I agree, the quote was clipped to support the headline...I guess it's something a blogger would do, but not a journalist.

Re Fu
Re Fu

This article is a fail. No matter what you say, you took a full quote, clipped out what you wanted, and spun it to fit a headline. There is no news here, unless you manufacure it.

mike
mike

Re Fu, you're kidding, right? you just had the worst season in school history and you obsess over THIS?
That's worse than over-celebrating a home win over Vandy? Your team's only win.

I am not trying to bash Tennessee. Seriously, you guys must let Dooley fight thru this the best he can and hopefully bring the talent level back to UT standards. The SEC is better when the Ga.'s, Floridas, Bamas etc. are strong. But you gotta have more perspective than what you're displaying in this post. Writers paraphrase and whittle quotes down all the time. You want to read the essence of the story, not every uh, um, huh, mmmm...

jeff lewis
jeff lewis

Funny this coming from a Senior who under performed and showed no leadership that anyone could detect during games

ptarmigan
ptarmigan

And he used the word "dysfunction" to describe a hypothetical (in this case, real) situation in which he would have three coaches in four years. He says nothing about the team being dysfunctional. This out-of-context reporting is worthy of the Huffington Post.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Folks...

The story is about the dysfunction, not about him saying he came out OK in the end. We clip quotes all the time. If someone is talking about taking a job at School X and then rambles into something about his wife in the middle of it, we nix that part and only bring you the part regarding the job.

Are you trying to suggest that because he says he came through it a better man, that everything else he said was unimportant? Yeesh.

The story was about a team in turmoil. He detailed that six ways to Sunday. Whether he ended a statement with, "ah, but that's life" or not doesn't change any of the facts reported here.

What a silly attempt to ignore the obvious meat of the story. As if that last line really puts a whole new spin on everything else he said. Amazing.

John

guest
guest

No, the word dysfunctional was used in the context of the entirety of his career. He stated the obvious dysfunction of three head coaches and multiple head coaches as the dysfunctional part of the equation. You only seem to spin issues in one direction in these articles.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

guest...

First of all, we don't "spin" anything here.

Second, if we were going to spin, do you think we should have tried to spin his comments as being positive?

John

josh
josh

Are you afraid it wont be as big of a deal and less people will read it if you give it a positive spin? Let me guess your real job is for the tabloids?

maximinus
maximinus

John,
My hat is off to you. Reporting SEC news means that one rabid fanbase will be mad at you for every post. Even the positive posts anger the fans of that team's rival. Kudos for your patience and thick skin.

Willy McGhee
Willy McGhee

I think the "meat of the story" came out yesterday and this post didn't add anything new to that. What's more interesting, to me anyway, is a guy who went through so much from Fulmer to Dooley can come out of it and not be bitter or angry. Good for Poole.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Willy McGhee...

We bring SEC news to folks across the SEC. If you read about Poole's interview or heard it yesterday, good for you. I'm guessing folks from Louisiana to Florida did not.

John

Gator Whisperer
Gator Whisperer

I obsess about Florida and appreciate the story... (misery loves company).

;p

Vol
Vol

The "meat" of the story was old news... and yes, if you quote someone out of context, it matters.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Vol...

1. Didn't quote him out of context in the least. Not in the least. Clipped the last line of a quote which had bupkes to do with the rest of the point he was making.

2. It's hard to be "old news" if it was said yesterday.

John

Big Blue Stu
Big Blue Stu

Old as in something that came out last Saturday? Take off your orange glasses for a minute and re-read the story. If Matt Roark came out and said UK was in turmoil it would be a story too.

Vol
Vol

Old news = events he was describing... zero new brought to light.

john
john

Love your site MrSec and there is something to this but wouldve been better to use the entire quote like the last line
Tauren Poole - "I got to do a lot as a young man and all of us seniors came out better for it."

Wes
Wes

Here is the entire, unedited quote:

"If you'd have told me Coach Fulmer would have gotten fired and then this coach, that coach, this strength coach, that position coach, I probably wouldn't have came here because I knew it would have been a dysfunctional setup, an unstable program. Now that I've been through it, I'm stronger as I come out it. It was a tough situation.It was a roller-coaster ride ... I got to do a lot as a young man and all of us seniors came out better for it."

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

Poole has the right attitude about it so good for him. I think the point that the Vol program is unstable with split allegiances is still a valid story despite the player's Nietchze like take on it.

Willy McGhee
Willy McGhee

Now there really is no story to this non-story. Very mature take by Poole on a bad situation that he had nothing to do with creating.

Willy McGhee
Willy McGhee

Dooley isn't having to put up with the mess at UT. Dooley is the mess at UT.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

It'll be interesting to see what impact these comments have on recruiting. If it was my son, I'd be having second thoughts about putting him into such an obviously unstable situation.

Vol
Vol

Talk about a non-story with a misleading headline... slow news day I guess.

why gee
why gee

Please, if this was any other school, than the one I assume you pull for, I doubt you'd be acting like this is a non story. Easy to downplay a story when it reflects so poorly on the school you're a fan of.

Living in TN, I hear Vol fans every day on the phone and they share a crazy sense of entitlement, delusionalism, and denial.

Slow news day...come on.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Vol...

Misleading headline? Poole used the very word "dysfunction" to describe the -- oh, yes -- the dysfunction in the Tennessee program.

Slow news day? Tell you what, you find me another SEC team that's had a player come out and talk about such a huge mess inside his program and I'll side with you. Until then, this is sorta/kinda a rare story. (Maybe that's why such a "non-story" was picked up by radio, TV and the internet.)

John

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