Posts Tagged ‘Mike Hamilton’

HLL: Mike Hamilton Press Conference at 1:00

Headlines, Links & Lies | Gate 21
In case you didn’t know, Smiling Mike Hamilton will be holding a press conference at 1:00 regarding the departure of Lane Kiffin and what the future holds for the Tennessee Volunteers football program.

Streaming video of the news conference will be available via UT Sports, and streaming audio will be available via The Sports Animal.

I am sure all eyes will be on Hamilton and listening to what he has to say. I know I will…

…and if he values his job, I hope he looks mad.

HLL: “No Muschamp news for now” Bevo Beat

Headlines, Links & Lies | Gate 21

According to the folks in Texas, Will Muschamp isn’t going anywhere:

No Muschamp news for now.

The rumors that defensive coordinator and Texas coach-in-waiting Will Muschamp is heading to Tennessee are in full force.

But people around the Longhorn athletic department aren’t worried.

One member of the Longhorns’ athletic staff said that “Muschamp was in the office yesterday and everything seemed normal. He talked about recruiting our players and our future. There was no mention of Tennessee.”

Another source said, “It would be very surprising if he left.”

Muschamp said a week ago that he was happy at Texas.

A month ago he said that every time one of these rumors pops up he runs down to Texas coach Mack Brown’s office and says that there is nothing to worry about.

According to a Knoxville News Sentinel reporter, Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton will be meeting with the media at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard time.

HT HT / via:  Bevo Beat /

Not sure what to say yet…

Yesterday evening as I was reading about Pete Carroll’s departure from USC, I thought to myself, “gee, I hope they don’t come after Kiffin.” I dismissed this, however, due to the fact that it just didn’t make sense to me that something like that would happen.

Well, apparently it made sense to USC…

Like me, ESPN’s Pat Forde is a bit shocked, and isn’t quite sure how this is going to work out for any of the parties involved.

I suppose that is what I get for spending the evening falling asleep on the couch watching Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe

I feel like I should say something on the departure of Lane Kiffin, but at this point it almost seems premature.  Obviously, this is going to have a hugely negative impact on not only short-term but perhaps the long-term health of the Tennessee football program.  Beyond that, however, I am really not sure what to think yet and the last thing I want to do is to rush to judgment.  Contemplative and plodding—that’s always been my mantra.

Basilio ”>Tony Basilio, however, already has his thoughts up for all to read, with which I don’t necessarily disagree.  The students on campus have also spoken—via the Rock (**NSFW: Language).  Of course, I can hardly blame them.  Tony Barnhart, on the other hand, is just sad—for Tennessee and for the game of college football.

In the meantime, (and in an attempt to be positive) I suppose I would be remiss if I did not take a brief moment to welcome and send best wishes to the 22nd Head Football Coach at Tennessee, Interim Head Coach Kippy Brown.  I’m not sure this is what he signed on for, but I do wish him all the best and look forward to hearing from him in the coming weeks.

Coach Brown, we’re all behind you and the team…

In the meantime, I have a feeling that Smiling Mike Hamilton is doing anything but smiling right now, and I expect that we will be hearing from him, and that right soon.

More to come…

– So it goes …Email lawvol No McAlisters

Image(s) Courtesy of:   UT ||  Statement on Fair Use

HLL: NY Times Reports NCAA Investigating “Vol Hostesses”

Headlines, Links & Lies | Gate 21

Tennessee FootballOkay, this pretty much sucks…

As the Vol Ambassador pointed out earlier today here on the Gate, according to the New York Times (which, as a general rule, avoids simply making stuff up), the NCAA is currently engaged in a wide-reaching investigation of recruiting at Tennessee under Lane Kiffin, with an emphasis on the use of the so-called “Vol Hostesses,” (with particular attention being paid to Hostess Lacey Earps), who routinely accompany recruits on visits to campus.  This investigation was confirmed by Mike Hamilton, though he declined to comment on the substance , and the UTAD has since issued an official statement.

The real interest appears to be trips taken by some of the Vol Hostesses to watch potential recruits play as high schoolers.  These visits, especially if they result in direct communications related to the recruiting of the athlete are potentially barred under NCAA regulations.  Times reporters Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans noted instances where Vol Hostesses had traveled as distance up to 200 or more miles to see recruits play, and had occasionally exchanged text messages with potential recruits.

As official representatives of the UT Athletic Department, contact by these Hostesses could lead to secondary violations, even if the contact was not sanctioned by athletic department officials.

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A Diplomatic Introduction

What’s up y’all, I’m VolAmbassador and I’m new to these parts. I’ve got a bio up over in the usher’s section, so I’ll dispense with the formalities. I’d like to give you my perspective of the state of the Volunteer nation.

I’m a huge UT fan. Diehard. Like so bad, my roommate threatened to stage an intervention over my “UT addiction.”  My Pops is from Chatty and played HS ball against Reggie White. (Yeah, my dad got destroyed by Reggie White on an 48 Sweep, who’d your dad get tackled by?) Later on, he joined the Army and took the fam to Germany with him. From there we were in Virginia, so I never actually got to live in the great state of Tennessee. As a result, I’ve always been a Vol fan in exile. I know what you’re going to say:  it’s not that harsh being a Vol fan in ACC country. This was the 90s, though, and everyone hated us for Peyton. I remember how crushed I was when Nebraska owned us in the ’98 Orange Bowl and how much it sucked to deal with all the bandwagon Michigan fans the next week.

In 1998, though, I got make my pilgrimage to the Big Orange Mecca. My grandmother came into the possession of three tickets on the 50 yard-line, 20 rows back for the Kentucky game. I can still remember Shawn Bryson ripping off that 57- yard touchdown on a fullback dive. I had never seen a guy that big run that fast. That year took my fanhood to another level. From that day on, I have lived for Tennessee football.

My time at Tennessee, though, corresponded with Fulmer’s backslide. I was there when Wilhoit broke the Gators’ hearts, but I was also there when Vandy ended the streak. Fortunately, I wasn’t there for Wyoming, but at a law school that has a significant Florida population, it sucked all the same. That brings us to this year. Actually, that brings us to the circus that was the off-season.

When Fulmer got up in front of that mic, it hurt. I felt like I was Mike Hamilton and I had just told the most successful coach since the General that we didn’t want him anymore. After that, I joined every other Vol in American obsessing about who the new coach would be. My hope was that we’d get Kelly or Leach. I loved the idea of high powered offenses blowing the SEC away. It was during this time that I found the guys over at 3SiB and the fantastic preview of coaches. I saw for the first time something about the guy that Al Davis had sacked for trying to kick field goals from his own end zone. I also discovered that he could bring some yahoo named Orgeron with him. I was intrigued.

I lost sleep over the coaching change like a kid loses sleep thinking about presents under the tree. Would it be an offensive minded coach who would bring an explosive running and passing tandem? Would it be a defensive minded coach who would have players bring the rain? Would it be pro-style? Would it be spread? Would it be gimmick? Then the text came. My buddy was at his grandfather’s house and they had just gotten a call from a big booster buddy who told them it was going to be Lane. It was the only inside information I had ever received and it came 20 minutes before Chris Low broke the story.

Lane came in with guns blazing. He called out Meyer, Saban, and Richt like he didn’t care. I know there has been a lot of hoopla about the “cheating” fiasco, but accusing Meyer of cheating was one of the most significant things Kiffin will be remembered for doing. Anyone who has seen a TV show or movie involving a trial knows that dirty trick where a lawyer asks a damaging question that has nothing to do with the trial. Opposing counsel jumps up and screams objection, the judge affirms, and tells the jury to disregard the comments. It doesn’t matter, though. The jury knows the witness is dirty and trifling and they don’t listen to another word. Kiffin pulled the college football equivalent of this move. He destroyed the aura of reverence around the Keeper of the Tebow.  He called out the one man in the country who had proven he could make a game a full sixty minutes of shame. The best part is, though, he didn’t give a $*&@.

The next six months saw more media exposure for a coach who loved the limelight. We pulled a monster class that was ranked ridiculously high before we got two of the best recruits in the country in Brown and Oku. Then we went through a bland spring game that should have tempered some of those 9-3 and 10-2 predictions out there. It didn’t and the WKU game would prove to be just one more vat of Orange Kool-Aid.

If this season could get scripted and played out on Friday Night Lights, it would take that show to new heights.  I loved Phil, but I hated what Phil did. He was boring, he was dull, he was a punching bag for goodness sake! Kiffster is anything but. That guy could make a seminar on the administrative law of widget copyrights exciting.   Add Orgeron to the equation and you can understand why they have the ears of the nation’s best recruits.

This season has had some serious low points (see, last weekend), but we’ve had some great highs. Ten years from now, when we’re staring back on a few SEC Championships and a crystal football or two, we’ll only remember a few things about this season. First, we’ll remember the baller Jonathan Crompton became and how he did it in the face of death threats. Second, we’ll remember it as Bryce Brown’s first year and how he either boomed or busted from there. Third, we’ll remember the look on Spurrier’s face when he realized he had become the past and Kiffin was the future. Finally, we’ll remember the Second Battle of the Alamo the Florida game in the Swamp and the hit.

Someone once told me that the trick to getting what you want is to stop expecting it to look how you imagined it to be. Well Vol fans, I think we got everything we wanted. We have a dynamic, exciting, young head coach who’s committed to the program for the long-run and won’t take anything from anyone. We have a killer recruiting staff that has those boys at Scout and Rivals working overtime. We have an explosive offense and a monster D. We have national attention that is quickly remembering to respect us. We’re on our way to having everything we did under Fulmer, only this time we have a coach who is generous enough to tell Florida and Alabama how we feel about them.

I couldn’t be more excited as a Vol fan right now. UCLA and Ole Miss be damned. The next few years are going to be a helluva lot of fun.

VolAmbassador | Gate 21

Clay Travis’ “On Rocky Top”: Beautiful Agony

Shoutin Out | Gate 21

On Rocky Top After living through the unmitigated disaster that was the 2008 football season for the Tennessee Volunteers, I was not so sure I was prepared to take a stroll with Clay Travis down memory lane via his new book “On Rocky Top.”  The 2008 season was the most gut-wrenching experience of my sports-watching life, one which Travis himself likened to having your arm amputated without laudanum.  It was truly painful and not merely because the Vols lost seven games.  Losing comes with competition, I can handle losing.  Watching an entire program, an entire fanbase, an entire state devolve into a constant state of turmoil, however, was the part that made it an experience that I was more than ready to forget.  Even  after nine months of good vibrations—buoyed up by the hopes and energy of new Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin and his band of invincibles—assuming that I was prepared to join Travis’ on his retrospective journey through the 2008 season, I wasn’t really sure I wanted to make that trip into the past.

I suppose, I was just ready to move on.

When first I saw that Clay Travis had written a book on the Vols 2008 football campaign, my reaction was that he picked one hell of a bad year to write about Tennessee.  I knew Clay was a fine writer, having read his work for CBS, Fanhouse, and his book Dixieland Delight.  Still, I remember thinking to myself “Man, that really stinks for Clay—all that work to write a book about a 5-7 season.” After all, who wants to read about a team that loses, and loses a lot?

You do.

Clay Travis’ new book “On Rocky Top” is one of the best sports books I have read in a long time.

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2009 Big Orange Roundtable: Week 3

This Week’s Roundtable is hosted by:

Your Mother Slept with Wilt Chamberlain

This week’s Big Orange Roundtable is hosted by Thomas the Terrible over at YMSWWC.  As you may have noticed, I have been a bit scarce this week, while HSH has been burning it up with his awesome series of 2009 SEC Football Previews (which, by the way, are now linked and accessible via the links on the countdown widget in the sidebars).  Given the fact that he has done yeoman’s work this week already (and the fact that I have been so un-helpful due to a spate of pesky depositions), this week I am flying solo on the Big Orange Roundtable.  Which pretty much means that this set of responses will suck more than usual.

At any rate, here are my thoughts for the week:

Week 3

1) Now that we have covered the receivers & QB’s, let’s get to the running game.  Just how much improved do you think the running game will be??

bullet Lawvol: Every time I make predictions about how good someone is going to be, how many games someone will win, or how likely it is that Charlie Weiss develops a gravitational field and causes opposing coaches to go into orbit, I look like a fool.  I am awful at this sort of thing.

I suppose that Niels Bohr got it right when he said “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”

All that said, I do think that the running backs this year have the chance to really do some special things … or fall flat on their faces.  We really have no choice but to lean on them.  My gut tells me that Bryce Brown will be great someday, but that it is simply unreasonable to expect him to come exploding out of the gates from day one.  While he might end up factoring-in significantly by mid-season I don’t see him being the cure-all for the Vols offensive woes from last season immediately.

For this reason, I see Montario Hardesty as the man on which the Vols’ early-season offensive hopes hangs.  If he can stay healthy and stay focused, I think he has the potential to really put up some gaudy numbers behind the re-tooled offensive line with its zone-blocking scheme.  Of course, no matter how good Hardesty may be, if Tennessee cannot improve its passing game at least a little, then defenses are simply going to stack-up to kill the run all day long.  As a result, I think whether Hardesty is able to actually make things happens depends a great deal on whether the quarterback under center can play his role effectively.  If so, then I think that Tennessee’s backs should be more than strong enough to score some points.  If not, then the scores may be low—and the risk of injuries to the running backs great—as opposing defenses pound away at the Vols ground attack.

Still, I am hopeful and optimistic that running backs, now coached by Eddie Gran, are up to the challenge.

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