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So to sum up: UT has some talented juniors who are now seriously thinking about going to the NFL. It they stay, then UT-led by even a mediocre coach, could win 8 or 9 games in 2013. If they leave, then presumably it's much harder for the incoming coach to win.
Let me try a different angle; Had UT fired Dooley on 11/26/11, then those talented rising juniors (rising juniotr = not eligible for the NFL draft) would not be going anywhere (except by transfer), the 2012 campaign would have been an 8-9 win season instead of a total bust, and 2013 would have looked a lot brighter as well.
UT's administration and leadership deserve as much blame for the 2012 debacle as Derek Dooley. They had the ample justification and sufficient fan backing to fire him and did not. As a result, 2012 has been a wasted year.
I hope that UT's leadership has learned this lesson; When a head coach has demonstrated himself unfit for the job, FIRE HIM. Not later but NOW!! Giving Dooley more time to "turn things around" sounds nice, but it also gives him more time to drag things lower. Which is precisely what happened.
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