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FOX Talk: When Is Butch Jones’ Firing The Right Move For John Currie?


This week on FOX Talk, Daulton Sauls and Ben Lee argue whether or not an offseason firing of Butch Jones is the right move.

Ben Lee

Butch Jones can get the hell out of town tonight — he should be fired immediately, if not sooner.

Any and every coach at Tennessee should be fired for losing to Kentucky. When I was growing up, my dad told me that Tennessee’s schedule had only two guarantees every season: Vandy and Kentucky. This guy can’t even beat THEM.

Also, his buyout is nothing but scraping pennies to this university’s budget, not to mention its boosters! I haven’t even mentioned the fact that the school can meet with his agent and reduce his buyout at any time. Now, if Currie hasn’t found a new head coach by now, I’m assuming he hasn’t been looking at all, in which case Currie should be fired too.

Assuming though, that he has been back channeling and doing what a competent athletic director would do, I would say he has a man in place. If he’s an excellent athletic director, he’s got his backup ready, too. Firing Jonesand selecting an interim head coach would (at the very least) give you a chance to finish out the schedule strong and not be the first team in Tennessee history to lose eight games.

Look at this from a financial perspective: just because Tennessee waits until the end of the season doesn’t mean the buyout just disappears. Plus, Jones is under contract until 2020. There’s no guarantee he would choose to leave on his own accord, so Currie would still have to fire him and pay a buyout.

I can find eight million dollars can be found in Jim Haslam’s freakin’ neighborhood dumpster — pay a couple of these athletic department interns one day to go scrape it up, and the buyout is taken care of. Or Tennessee could just pony up just ONCE and pay some money to get this damn football program back on track.

Yes, it’s a hit to the savings, but one of the most popular money-based expressions is “You gotta spend money to make money.” Alabama pays Nick Saban 11 million dollars a year to win, and IT WORKS!

Pay Jones to get the hell out of Knoxville and pay Gruden to come in here and beat Florida, Georgia and Alabama. In turn, John Currie, YOU get paid. The university gets sold-out arenas, sold-out concessions and sold-out merchandise. It’s simple, pay the white whale and let’s make Tennessee elite again.


Daulton Sauls

Look man, I get it. A bunch of Vol fans want “Lyle” to get out of Knoxville as soon as possible. The only problem with the “as soon as possible” solution is that it costs the univeristy about $8 million.

Yes, the University of Tennessee makes plenty of money, but an $8 million buyout is ridiculous for a coach who can’t even beat Kentucky. Maybe if he beats Kentucky and South Carolina, I’d give him the buyout, but losing in the manner that Tennessee did?

There’s now way that I’m giving anyone an $8 million buyout when you don’t deserve it. Not to mention, we don’t even know if Currie has found someone to replace him. An interim would be a waste of even more money for the university, and there’s no way Tennessee brings in a new head coach to finish out a broken season. I agree that Jones needs to be gone, but by waiting till the end of this season, we avoid that huge buyout and can truly get a real coaching search going on.

Looking at it from a fan perspective, yes, Jones should have been out of Knoxville weeks ago. But, if we look at it from Currie’s financial outlook, it makes more sense to just wait. He can wait until the season ends, save money before firing the dude, and after he delivers maybe the worst season in Tennessee history, take his picture off the jumbotron for good.

More and more Vol fans want Butch Jones gone, and that’s all well and good. However, Currie has to focus on the financial standpoint on top of athletics. By waiting to get rid of a chunk of that buyout, it saves Tennessee millions and gives Currie more time to find the right head coach for the University of Tennessee.

The only thing firing Jones right now does for the university is wastes $8 million, rushes the coaching search, puts heat on the interim coach and makes us miss out on four weeks of potentially memorable quotes to use long after Jones is gone

The bottom line is this — why should Tennessee give a coach $8 million when he has earned about $2.76 million of that contract? The thought that Tennessee would give him anywhere close to that right now is befuddling. He doesn’t deserve the money, and he sure doesn’t deserve to be head coach. That’s why you wait, fire, and then hire. Say it with me: wait, fire, hire. You do that, John Currie, and I guarantee bringing in Gruden will be the easiest thing you’d have to deal with.

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