Hire David Blackburn. Or Phillip Fulmer. Or someone.
Today, a historic achievement is taking place in University of Tennessee athletics. It’s now Day 152 since Dave Hart’s retirement from athletic director, and Tennessee continues to fail at naming a replacement of any sort for Hart. Hart receives a paycheck from Tennessee until June 30, but the lack of a named replacement is shocking. Fans and columnists alike have clamored for Chattanooga’s David Blackburn; those calls continue to fall deaf on the Hill’s ears.
In Tennessee’s most major sport of football, there are multiple staff openings and zero department direction to help Butch Jones out. Tennessee is en route to a sixth straight year of finishing 8th in the SEC or worse in the Learfield Directors’ Cup. Yet again, campus leadership seems to be nonexistent.
Already hearing people in the industry grumble about Alabama out-maneuvering Tennessee on the AD hire. Have heard wacky stuff on Vols.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) January 16, 2017
There are several different ways of fighting back and having your voice heard. Obviously, one is letting your dollars speak for you. Here’s our offering: FOX Sports Knoxville’s letting you know every day how long it’s been since Tennessee had an athletic director. Regrettably, we may be posting this several more times. By the same token, someone in Knoxville needs to be here to pressure and push Tennessee in the right direction. Someone needs to let leadership know this is unacceptable every single day.
Why not us?
The clock continues to tick at Tennessee each day. In addition, every day without an athletic director creates a new tradition of no leadership at any level. It should hurt Vol fans to watch Alabama hire an athletic director two months prior to an opening. It should make Vol fans angry to see nearly every major sports program at Tennessee twisting in the wind, helpless.
Just stop and admire the difference in how Alabama and Florida are ran compared to Tennessee.
— Jon Reed (@Jon__Reed) January 16, 2017
If Vol fans want Tennessee athletics to be Tennessee again, they should turn up the heat. This comes in different forms, but the University itself should be pressured to make the correct move as soon as possible. It is fine to take a couple weeks after football season to identify and hire your candidate. It is not okay to be heading into February without a leader in place.
Hire David Blackburn. In any case, hire someone.