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Fulmer takes responsibility for Vols' downfall

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07:22 AM ET 08.22 | Phillip Fulmer knew the question was coming, and he was prepared with an answer. You just don't blame the gradual but steady decline of the University of Tennessee football program you oversaw for 16 years on the school's presidents and athletic director and not expect questions to be asked. So even though Fulmer made his way to the Walden Club on Tuesday night to help raise money and interest in East Tennessee State's just-revived football program, he knew his comments from this past weekend about UT's brass would encourage further explanation. "I understand it's been a topic of conversation in Knoxville," he said with a tiny smile. "So let me clarify something. I know I was responsible for both the good and the bad because I was the head coach. I know I had responsibility."

Chattanooga Times Free Press

Phillip Fulmer, Getty Images Phillip Fulmer, Getty Images
August 22, 2013  09:15 AM ET

If he hd been more worried aout Tennessee and lessworried about what Alabamawas doing, he might still be their coach.

August 22, 2013  09:19 AM ET

I thought the REC was behind him getting canned, no?

August 22, 2013  09:39 AM ET

Tennessee.......2-14 in conference over the last 2 years.

Bless their hearts!!!

August 22, 2013  10:11 AM ET

I'm sure this will make Tin Man, Volunatic, Vols Rule, et al, sleep better at night.

August 22, 2013  02:33 PM ET

"Bless their hearts!!!"
Andy Staples is predicting the Vols will win 3 SEC games this year, and the Piggies only 2. I think that is reason enough to resume picking on Tennessee.

August 22, 2013  02:34 PM ET

"Bless their hearts!!!"
Andy Staples is predicting the Vols will win 3 SEC games this year, and the Piggies only 2. I think that is reason enough to resume picking on Tennessee.

August 22, 2013  02:35 PM ET

This site begs the question: If a comment is posted to the 2nd or 3rd pages and no one can read them, does it still count as a post?"

August 22, 2013  04:03 PM ET

If he hd been more worried about Tennessee and less worried about what Alabama was doing, he might still be their coach. - Joe Kidd



Bammers always want to blame Fulmer for 8 years of mediocrity. Own your suckage, Crimson Toolboy! Roll Tide. ;-)

August 22, 2013  04:17 PM ET

Reality? Through most of his tenure, Fulmer was an administrative HC who's record of success was built off of the talents of OC David Cutcliff and DC John Chavis. Yes, Phil did get more out of the same team of Vols than Johnny Majors did. He did actually coach effectively at the outset, but once he got Cutcliff and Chavis, he let them do their things. [Aside: Anyone watching Chavis' Ds for LUS should conclude that Fulmer was responsible for the EOG bend-don't-break D playing so deep and soft. Let some Vols opponents back into games and gave the Big Orange faithful palpitations on too many occasions.] One need only compare the Vols performance with and without Dangerous Dave to see the truth in what I aver. Fulmer owns this indeed.

Note: The Hamilton Holocaust started while Phil was HC but didn't reveal its true level of destruction until after his removal.

August 23, 2013  12:56 AM ET

There was another factor in UT's down-slide and that was other SEC schools getting their act together. After Spurrier left UF, there was the Zook fiasco then they went all-in with Urban Meyer. SC got a small lift from Lou Holtz and then went all-in with Spurrier. Alabama had their troubles before Saban arrived. What I'm saying is that many of the schools vastly improved their coaching while UT was hiring the likes of Kiffin and Dooley-lite. If you don't hire the right HC your program will crater as a result. Look at Michigan... they dump Carr and hire RichieRod. The result was a 6-12 B1g record. My OSU Buckeres flirted with disaster after Tressell screwed up, but caught a big break with UM being available. We still had a losing season in between. If we had given the job to Fickell permanently (like UF did with Zook) the results would be much different. I don't know whether Butch Jones will stay around long enough or keep from screwing up to turn things back around, but the right HC can do it... and quickly. So, I put the blame on the UT upper brass for who they hired.

August 23, 2013  12:57 AM ET

There was another factor in UT's down-slide and that was other SEC schools getting their act together. After Spurrier left UF, there was the Zook fiasco then they went all-in with Urban Meyer. SC got a small lift from Lou Holtz and then went all-in with Spurrier. Alabama had their troubles before Saban arrived. What I'm saying is that many of the schools vastly improved their coaching while UT was hiring the likes of Kiffin and Dooley-lite. If you don't hire the right HC your program will crater as a result. Look at Michigan... they dump Carr and hire RichieRod. The result was a 6-12 B1g record. My OSU Buckeres flirted with disaster after Tressell screwed up, but caught a big break with UM being available. We still had a losing season in between. If we had given the job to Fickell permanently (like UF did with Zook) the results would be much different. I don't know whether Butch Jones will stay around long enough or keep from screwing up to turn things back around, but the right HC can do it... and quickly. So, I put the blame on the UT upper brass for who they hired.

August 23, 2013  01:33 AM ET

FN has screwed something up... I didn't think I posted successfully yet It posted twice. I got some gobbly-goop. Anybody else having trouble?

August 23, 2013  01:36 AM ET

Hehe.

 
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