No, really: what’s the issue here?
Tennessee’s Athletic Director search is the butt of jokes across the Southeast. It’s for good reason: we’re now on Day 181 since Dave Hart’s retirement, and Tennessee is nowhere close to hiring a replacement. If you’re keeping score at home, Tennessee is two days from going half a year without an Athletic Director under contract for 2017-18. There are several conspiracy theories as to why this is happening. I’d rather delve into a question burning Knoxville alive: Why won’t Tennessee talk to David Blackburn?
Blackburn, the Athletic Director at Chattanooga, was a hot name for the job from the time Hart’s retirement became news. However, as the Knoxville News-Sentinel reported yesterday, Tennessee isn’t even talking to him right now. More shocking is the allegations leveled at booster Charlie Anderson and his relationship with Blackburn.
If you look into Blackburn’s comments in the article, it’s clear he really wants to be considered. Blackburn has yet to be AD at a school larger than Chattanooga, but I’ve detailed in the past why his success there matters. If the choice is between Blackburn and Fulmer, you’d rather take the less risky path with a higher likelihood of success.
The final choice isn’t up to me, of course. I just find it baffling that Tennessee isn’t even beginning the process of attempting to speak to him. Blackburn is practically begging for Tennessee to call him. It’s like the girl who really likes the guy and vice versa but the guy is too thick-headed to call her. At this point, I’m thinking Tennessee fans just want it over. Hmmm…I haven’t heard that type of attitude mentioned in the national spotlight recently.
So, hello, Tennessee: at least talk to David Blackburn. He deserves a chance, and it’s not very nice of you to act like you don’t like him back. Relating this to high school drama seems like the most apt comparison for a sophomoric search.