Pennington: Making major mess over money

Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin addresses the media last Saturday.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin addresses the media last Saturday.

Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin addresses the media last Saturday.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess // Buy this photo

Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin addresses the media last Saturday.

Whether it was all the Christmas shopping or the national media trying to ramp up the economic scare, I've had costs on my brain the past couple of weeks.

It's seems everyone is talking about the cost of this or the cost of that. So I want to talk about a couple of potential costs today. (And to those that don't like lyrics that serve as mini-headlines … bah humbug.)

"I wanna talk about me, wanna talk about I, wanna talk about Number One, oh my me my." - Toby Keith

Did you catch the story of South Carolina's leading tackler Emanuel Cook? The Gamecocks' strong safety is ineligible for Thursday's Outback Bowl because he failed to pass six credit hours during the fall semester.

According to Steve Spurrier, the junior "tossed it in midway through (the semester)." A couple of weeks earlier, after the Clemson game, the Ol' Ball Coach had complained that some of his players had already turned their eyes from Carolina to the National Football League.

Cook told the press he wasn't one of the guys Spurrier was talking about. "I know I'm not thinking about the NFL right now," he said at the time. "I'm thinking about finishing this season strong."

Not necessarily. Cook was already skipping multiple classes by that point. "I think pro football was on his mind," Spurrier reiterated.

What does that have to do with you, the Tennessee Vol fan?

Only this: it's pretty clear that new coach Lane Kiffin has decided to make his top recruiting message the following: "If you want to play in the NFL, come to Tennessee."

That's not my opinion, that's what he's said on CSS, during an interview at a UT men's basketball game, and in recruits' living rooms.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, of course. Every school in the country tries to tout their ability to prepare players for the pro game. College football has become a minor league for the NFL.

Players know it. Coaches know it. And Kiffin's just saying it. He's also building his staff with that fact in mind.

"If you want to make it in The League, come matriculate at old UT, where former NFL coaches are at the ready to turn you into a pro football man."

The only danger in being so upfront about your pro player assembly line is that Tennessee might start attracting players more interested in themselves than in winning.

Yes, every school risks it, but the more the NFL is made the calling card, the bigger the concern should be.

Beware the Kelley Washington factor. Beware of folks using cell phones during games a la Troy Fleming. Beware a season where the goals can't be met and the team starts eyeing their own individual futures. Anyone remember the 1999 Tennessee team?

This is not to say that Kiffin and crew won't snare the nation's best players and win championships with them. But it is something the new staff will need to guard against. Team first, NFL second.

With every recruiting philosophy, there is a possible negative. And having a me-first team is the potential cost of becoming NFL U.

"And you've gotta stand and fight for the price you pay." - Bruce Springsteen

Another cost that is already on some folks minds is the record amount of money that UT is prepared to pay Kiffin's NFL-heavy coaching staff.

I'm sure you've already heard a few of them. "Why, in this economy!" "UT is having budget cuts but they're paying their coaches an obscene amount!" "Coaches aren't worth that kind of money!"

First things first, in this economy businesses pay what they're able to pay. Exxon Mobil isn't hurting right now and that's why their top muckety-mucks are still rolling in filthy greenbacks.

Second, UT's academic cuts have nothing more to do with the athletic department than perception. The university is one entity with one pool of money. The athletic department is another entity, completely self-sufficient, that tries to give money back to the university with yearly "gifts."

The more-than-a-million bucks a year that soon-to-be defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin is asking for won't cost a student a seat, a professor a class or a custodian a job. (Though it might cost an athletic department usher a hot dog or two.)

It might look bad, but it's not bad. And in this case, the perception needs to be ignored. Coaches ARE worth millions of dollars.

Or at least they can be.

Nick Saban will make more than four million dollars this year at Alabama. Many say "no coach is worth that." They're wrong.

Let's throw out all of the revenue Alabama has made this year due to record merchandise and memorabilia sales. Let's not talk about the monetary value of the increased national exposure for the university, either.

And let's not even factor in Alabama's slice of a BCS bowl payout ($17.5 million).

Let's just look at the fact that the renewed interest in Alabama football has pushed forward plans to expand Bryant-Denny Stadium. When completed, the additional seats are expected to bring in more than $9 million in new revenue per year.

Let's see here, $9 million minus $4 million equals $5 million that Alabama would not have made without Saban. And again that doesn't include a single thing other than the potential revenue from a proposed stadium expansion.

Coaches can absolutely bring in huge dollars. They can be worth every penny spent on them. For that reason, East Tennesseans shouldn't be fretting over the money doled out to Kiffin and his staff.

They should only worry about whether or not those guys prove to be worth it.

John Pennington hosts the Hall's Salvage Sports Source on Sunday at 11 a.m. on WATE.

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Comments » 138

FLAVOLS writes:

Pennington = Pen Head = Pin Head

DennisVols writes:

Bring in the wins, titles and championships and this new staff will look under paid.

bigrob writes:

And don't forget all of the pilot oil money that is helping
pay for these nfl coaches to come our way:)$$$$$$

bcbobcat82 writes:

so let's not recruit any player over 2 stars because they may be HOT HEADS....Let's recruit horrible players and tell them there is no way they will make the NFL even if they are good. PENNINGTON....you are an innovative mind!!! WOW!! what GENIUS!!

khelton657 writes:

Pennington, as long as you're around , someone's village is mnissing an idiot.....apparently you've never taken a basic logic class....I suppose we should then make cerain we do not recruit anyone with NFL aspirations...we now have a better line to the NFL, we will recruit better quality athletes because of it..according to your line of thinking Peyton Manning and Al Wilson mailed it in for the last several games..hardly. Some will, most won't, it mostly depends on the qualities of that individual and the leadership they have. We can also recruit for qualities in addition to athleticism....although that may be something new.

gohawks1 writes:

Success pays.

bigrob writes:

well said bc.. we finally have a staff that is willing to discipline the players that get out of line. that will be the difference between the kelly washington saga and our future 5 stars

murrayvol writes:

New car, caviar, four star daydream
Think I'll buy me a football team

"Money" - Pink Floyd

Good food for thought John.

Don't forget Bama must share that 17.5 very large with the SEC brethren. Sweet, since we're home for the holidays and not helping grow the pie.

JimBobJumpback writes:

Kiffin is just saying publically what others say privately to recruits. Who's BeeEssen whom?

bigrob writes:

So does anybody have any idea on what coaches we will get tomorrow if any? it feels like christmas eve all over again lol

inthefort writes:

wow, this was a ridiculous article. i guess pennington forgot to mention that Kiffin will get a bonus if his teams APR is increased.. (APR=academic progress rate) but i guess Kiffin isn't interested in that, he just wants to have a team full of "me's" that want to go to the NFL... shmuck

T_VOLZ writes:

Is anyone tired of hearing spurrier cry on a weekly basis?

orangevolz writes:

in response to bcbobcat82:

so let's not recruit any player over 2 stars because they may be HOT HEADS....Let's recruit horrible players and tell them there is no way they will make the NFL even if they are good. PENNINGTON....you are an innovative mind!!! WOW!! what GENIUS!!

Obviously Pennington's point went straight over your head,and because of that, you overreacted.

vut56#231073 writes:

Okay, line up to diss JP; every word he writes, however, is dead on.

For thirty plus years, we have had head coaches who aspired to nothing but making Tennessee a winner; often they did; sometimes they did not. Through it all, however, they forever promoted and professed lasting respect for "Tennessee, my school, our state university." (Until Majors stopped saying it, of course.)

Now we have a new guy, with no tie or interest in UT...other than a job, the exposure and big sums of money. As JP pointed out, he may well be worth it. However, his appeal seems to be the lure of playing in the NFL rather than experiencing The University of Tennessee. Again, as JP mentioned, interest in nothing but what "my stats were today" or "did I make "TPOTD" leads to the cell phones on the sideline, or yuking it up while your teamates are getting trounced.

There is no evidence college students who play football and aspire (and may be qualified) to play in the NFL get into any more trouble than accounting majors who aspire to lead a "Big Eight" firm (or how many are left) However, I would suggest a student with no interest in his school, no real interest in a degree and little concern for how his behavior may affect his team...might tilt the odds toward trouble. Havn't we seen plenty of examples at UT?

Most posters here love Tennessee Football; most want to see us win; several may even love the University...it they attended it. I am not sure enought feel any concern over the fact winning at any cost just may not be worth the price.

Which, in a different way, is what JP is suggesting to us.

bone03162002 writes:

I HAVE HEARD COACH O IS COMING AS SOON AS SAINTS LAST GAME TOMORROW

cainclifton23 writes:

This article is stupid.

Look at the teams who win, How many players do they have leaving early to get the NFL?...More than we do.

Just cause youre getting high profile guys and developing doesnt at all mean all they care about is themselves,, especcialy not in football. You have obviously never been around a team with future pro players on it.

If we start winning I could care less if everyplayer on our team goes pro as a junior.

newtonrail writes:

in response to khelton657:

Pennington, as long as you're around , someone's village is mnissing an idiot.....apparently you've never taken a basic logic class....I suppose we should then make cerain we do not recruit anyone with NFL aspirations...we now have a better line to the NFL, we will recruit better quality athletes because of it..according to your line of thinking Peyton Manning and Al Wilson mailed it in for the last several games..hardly. Some will, most won't, it mostly depends on the qualities of that individual and the leadership they have. We can also recruit for qualities in addition to athleticism....although that may be something new.

It amazes me how some people can say John Adams is brilliant, but the same ones don't recognize the true "smarts" in Mr. Pennington. I've said this before, and I'll say it again that I've read and corresponded with JP since he had the Blog on this site when we paid for it. I don't always agree with him, but I know he researches topics beyond what most of us are capable of understanding. The part about being NFL, you can see Miami, and how when not on probation it worked until the program imploded. And Miami has nothing in the way of facilities that Tenn does, except South Beach. As a long time contributor and season ticket holder, and even longer fan; the type of pay scale bothers me. Saban's is OK if you can afford it. And their Asst's pay is commensurate with other schools. Hamilton has sold his soul for the one we have now. $2.4 of the Assistants pool for Kiffin's relatives and buddies. Scraps for whoever is left. Need a Strength Co or.? No problem. Take SC's for $60K's more. I could go on and on about money, but I don't think it would faze many on this board. I'm retired, and have seen over $100K disappear in Market, and that doesn't include new house. I don't want anyone crying for me. That's not the point. Hammy is used to an ever rising economy and people waiting on season ticket preferences, Box Seats, etc. That's going to tail off in this economy folks, no matter how good the product on the field is. Which by the way, Pennington was not suggesting recruiting lesser talent. That's an absurd charge. And once the Genie is out of the bottle on this pay scale, you can't put it back. Hammy, why couldn't you have done the right thing and hire Cincinnati's Coach, and kept us out of this incestuous nightmare.

cainclifton23 writes:

And what top talent recruit cares about tradition and academics and all that... Harldy any, Its all about The Big Stage, and WInning trophys and championships and going to the NFl..

Its all a recruiting tactic to get the best of the best here, Why anyone wouldnt want that is lien to themselves.

MiserableFloridaVol writes:

This article smells of moth balls. Seriously, I get the three cheers for old Notre Dame stuff, but, College Basketball has been this way for some time and they made the mistake of allowing players to leave whenever they want before and amended it after it was too late. College football is insulated for a couple of reasons:

1 - Players are not physically ready to play until they are juniors typically, and that's rare.
2 - They have to stay for a couple of years and the NFL has made it clear that they don't want them when they are young because of the ramifications of immaturity to their corporate image.

It's all about accountability and leadership. I hope these coaches know how to teach these guys to be leaders who know how to be successful instead of pretending that not leaving college early for millions of dollars is the prudent thing to do.

cainclifton23 writes:

in response to newtonrail:

It amazes me how some people can say John Adams is brilliant, but the same ones don't recognize the true "smarts" in Mr. Pennington. I've said this before, and I'll say it again that I've read and corresponded with JP since he had the Blog on this site when we paid for it. I don't always agree with him, but I know he researches topics beyond what most of us are capable of understanding. The part about being NFL, you can see Miami, and how when not on probation it worked until the program imploded. And Miami has nothing in the way of facilities that Tenn does, except South Beach. As a long time contributor and season ticket holder, and even longer fan; the type of pay scale bothers me. Saban's is OK if you can afford it. And their Asst's pay is commensurate with other schools. Hamilton has sold his soul for the one we have now. $2.4 of the Assistants pool for Kiffin's relatives and buddies. Scraps for whoever is left. Need a Strength Co or.? No problem. Take SC's for $60K's more. I could go on and on about money, but I don't think it would faze many on this board. I'm retired, and have seen over $100K disappear in Market, and that doesn't include new house. I don't want anyone crying for me. That's not the point. Hammy is used to an ever rising economy and people waiting on season ticket preferences, Box Seats, etc. That's going to tail off in this economy folks, no matter how good the product on the field is. Which by the way, Pennington was not suggesting recruiting lesser talent. That's an absurd charge. And once the Genie is out of the bottle on this pay scale, you can't put it back. Hammy, why couldn't you have done the right thing and hire Cincinnati's Coach, and kept us out of this incestuous nightmare.

A little bitter about not hiring Brian Kelly. HAHA

We makes over 80 million dollars every Homegame with 100,000 people. We are not hurting for money or wasting it. Look at the Yankees.

And Brian Kelly Seriously??? What is good about him.. NOTHING. He probably just reminds you of yourself.

dont jump on the kiffin train when he brings us back to the top.

BigOrangeVol writes:

"we finally have a staff that is willing to discipline the players that get out of line. that will be the difference between the kelly washington saga and our future 5 stars."

And we know this how? Has Kiffin disciplined someone for an infraction that we don't know about? Has he kicked a player off the team, suspended someone or made them do community service? Does he have a reputation as a strict disciplinarian? If so, this is the first I've heard of it.

It cracks me up how some of you "project" things that you don't have the first clue about. It doesn't matter if it was coaches and players on former teams, current teams or future teams. Unless you are in the locker room, coaches offices or on the practice field everything is simply nothing more than your own personal perception or conjecture.

cainclifton23 writes:

in response to BigOrangeVol:

"we finally have a staff that is willing to discipline the players that get out of line. that will be the difference between the kelly washington saga and our future 5 stars."

And we know this how? Has Kiffin disciplined someone for an infraction that we don't know about? Has he kicked a player off the team, suspended someone or made them do community service? Does he have a reputation as a strict disciplinarian? If so, this is the first I've heard of it.

It cracks me up how some of you "project" things that you don't have the first clue about. It doesn't matter if it was coaches and players on former teams, current teams or future teams. Unless you are in the locker room, coaches offices or on the practice field everything is simply nothing more than your own personal perception or conjecture.

Good Post,

I hate when people think that just cause were recruiting "NFL players" that they will tear our team apart..

hey everything is fine when youre winning, and it shouldnt be too hard to win if we bring in talent like that.

cainclifton23 writes:

in response to AreyouKiffinme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wow im glad your being positive,

You must be one of the"we shoulda hired brian kelly
guys...

please dont jump on the kiffin train when we start winning.

bigrob writes:

in response to BigOrangeVol:

"we finally have a staff that is willing to discipline the players that get out of line. that will be the difference between the kelly washington saga and our future 5 stars."

And we know this how? Has Kiffin disciplined someone for an infraction that we don't know about? Has he kicked a player off the team, suspended someone or made them do community service? Does he have a reputation as a strict disciplinarian? If so, this is the first I've heard of it.

It cracks me up how some of you "project" things that you don't have the first clue about. It doesn't matter if it was coaches and players on former teams, current teams or future teams. Unless you are in the locker room, coaches offices or on the practice field everything is simply nothing more than your own personal perception or conjecture.

so i guess you havent heard how he pissed off his players in oakland because of his take no s**t attitude or how he has helped coach players at USC with far brighter futures than mr washington and i havent heard the first word of them using cell phones on the sideline.. maybe u should do more research before u post.. but keep using those big words and firing off at ppl that do have a clue, maybe it will make u feel good about yourself

blitzshoot writes:

Most five star recruits have the NFL on their mind from age 3. Few go to a place to where they can have a college experience for the education and memories. Most commit based on who can get them to the NFL. Network,connections,
etc...Kiffin is doing nothing but trying to put a team together as quickly as possible to make UT a winner. Using the NFL is a quick lure. Nothing wrong in my book with that. In my opinion, UT had many "individual" players over the past 15 years. I think I will wait to see what product Kiffin puts on the field and the team chemistry before speculating what may or may not happen based on a statement. Maybe his concept will create a winning environment. Maybe the players will understand the better they play for each other, the better they become. Maybe they will play as a team again and not retreat to the bench after a busted play and laugh.

invisiblekid writes:

I agree with taking a close look at players to weed out that me-first mentality that can kill a team. I also think academics will actually start coming into play more with the APR's from the NCAA. However, it still boils down to making the assumption that Kiffin isn't already aware of these issues based on a single 6 minute interview.

Pennington is dead-on with the economic breakdown though. The biggest thing is to win games which will put people in the seats and UT on television, and not the type that cost 40 bucks a game.

invisiblekid writes:

in response to newtonrail:

It amazes me how some people can say John Adams is brilliant, but the same ones don't recognize the true "smarts" in Mr. Pennington. I've said this before, and I'll say it again that I've read and corresponded with JP since he had the Blog on this site when we paid for it. I don't always agree with him, but I know he researches topics beyond what most of us are capable of understanding. The part about being NFL, you can see Miami, and how when not on probation it worked until the program imploded. And Miami has nothing in the way of facilities that Tenn does, except South Beach. As a long time contributor and season ticket holder, and even longer fan; the type of pay scale bothers me. Saban's is OK if you can afford it. And their Asst's pay is commensurate with other schools. Hamilton has sold his soul for the one we have now. $2.4 of the Assistants pool for Kiffin's relatives and buddies. Scraps for whoever is left. Need a Strength Co or.? No problem. Take SC's for $60K's more. I could go on and on about money, but I don't think it would faze many on this board. I'm retired, and have seen over $100K disappear in Market, and that doesn't include new house. I don't want anyone crying for me. That's not the point. Hammy is used to an ever rising economy and people waiting on season ticket preferences, Box Seats, etc. That's going to tail off in this economy folks, no matter how good the product on the field is. Which by the way, Pennington was not suggesting recruiting lesser talent. That's an absurd charge. And once the Genie is out of the bottle on this pay scale, you can't put it back. Hammy, why couldn't you have done the right thing and hire Cincinnati's Coach, and kept us out of this incestuous nightmare.

By all outward appearances, hiring Kelly wasn't an option.

``All I can say is that with all the speculation and all the jobs that have been out there, sooner or later 'no' means 'no,''' Kelly said. ``Again, no one can ever speak in terms of forever and ever, but what I can tell you is there's been a lot of interest in my services, and I want to be here at the University of Cincinnati because of the right reasons.''

It has something to do with an easier road to BCS games in the Big East along with facility upgrades at Cincinatti IMO.

As far as the genie being out of the bottle, someone else did that a couple of years ago to the tune of a 4 million dollar a year head coach.

TennesseeTuxedo writes:

The lure of learning football from former NFL coaches will bring a lot of top notch talent to UT. Judging from what we are hearing about Kiffin's aptitude for discipline, part of getting ready for the NFL is acquiring discipline. Discipline to go to class. Discipline to study and excel in the class room.

Coach Kiffin has a little Mr. Myagi in him. Wax-on. Wax-off. There is a reason for mastering the obvious and tedious things in life.

newtonrail writes:

in response to invisiblekid:

I agree with taking a close look at players to weed out that me-first mentality that can kill a team. I also think academics will actually start coming into play more with the APR's from the NCAA. However, it still boils down to making the assumption that Kiffin isn't already aware of these issues based on a single 6 minute interview.

Pennington is dead-on with the economic breakdown though. The biggest thing is to win games which will put people in the seats and UT on television, and not the type that cost 40 bucks a game.

You pointed out something I meant to bring up with the APR rates. In reality, they probably won't change much up or down, because just because Kiffin or Kiffin Lite are here with their in laws. Every player won't suddenly be ready for NFL after Junior year. Some will, just like now. I love how my Yankees can buy a team, especially since George is on the sideline. But don't like it so much when Hammy tries to save his job by "throwing money" at the problem. Jim Haslam wanted Fulmer fired, and can't say I disagree, except for different reasons. With Gasoline $2 a gallon lower for awhile, Haslam may hold onto more of his money.

T_VOLZ writes:

Players start thinking me! me! when a coach doesnt kick their butts back in line.It falls back on coaching.hopefully kiffin keeps that attitude out of the lockerroom and i think he will

DennisVols writes:

in response to AreyouKiffinme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I didn't love Clausen after the spring game. He's a QB at N.D.
His name is Clawson and following the Orange and White game things did not look that bad.
History is History so quit complaining it won't change a thing.
Thinking positive is far better than thinking negetive.

BigOrangeVol writes:

"so i guess you havent heard how he pissed off his players in oakland because of his take no s**t attitude or how he has helped coach players at USC with far brighter futures than mr washington and i havent heard the first word of them using cell phones on the sideline.. maybe u should do more research before u post.. but keep using those big words and firing off at ppl that do have a clue, maybe it will make u feel good about yourself"

1.) Obviously you don't have a clue about the English language, punctuation, grammar or spelling so why would anyone take anything you post seriously?

2.) Further, maybe you could provide something amazing with your post like...proof or documentation to back up your imaginary beliefs. One tiny shred of evidence would be acceptable.

3.) I apologize if multi-syllabic words confuse you. Try something really innovative like a secondary education Jethro. I'll go out on a limb here and guess that you weren't accepted to UTK or even Pellissippi State. Come back when you earn your GED.

yeavols#228407 writes:

This article has 2 topics rolled into one storyline. The first topic really has no merit considering past UT players have only played for themselves thinking they are going into the NFL. Nothing new there and I seriously doubt that in advertising that Kiffin will prepare football players for the NFL will have consequences. The second part of the article seems to be on point. You get what you pay for. We'll see how it all pans out. We just won't know until September 2009.

highVOLtage writes:

John,
Please don't confuse Kelley Washington with Troy Fleming. And don't confuse a player who had confidence & a strong work ethic with a player who lacked discipline.

"Anyone remember the 1999 Tennessee team?"
Yes. And I remember many of those players winning a national championship the year before.

"Tennessee might start attracting players more interested in themselves than in winning."
If they're interested in themselves, perhaps Kiffin will educate them that winning as a team is actually in their best individual interests.

yeavols#228407 writes:

AreYouKiffinMe....I really didn't want to reply to your post because I didn't want to see what you wrote again. But golly, are you still that sore about Fulmer? There are grief support groups for that. But, just to put things into perspective, your post really is about as lame as it gets. Sure those things you said in the beginning about Kiffin are true, only because he hasn't been on the job for over a month. WOW what brilliant epiphany you had. Here's a hint: It's not football time yet and we won't know anything until a year or 2. It's not signing day yet so we won't know what kind of recruiting class we have. Catching on yet? Why don't you let us in on a little secret. Why don't you tell us who you are really for so we can understand your dementia and just skip over your posts. Moreoever, just change your team colors. We would really like that most of all.

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

in response to FLAVOLS:

Pennington = Pen Head = Pin Head

Really, what does it take to win? We thought that winning was everything? Isn't that why we got rid of Fulmer?
So now we hear that winning is everything, but it's how you win that's important. The only thing is that the compeition means that you become like Vanderbilt, graduating everyone or competing with everyone else, and getting the prize recruits to come play with you. School is supposed to prepare you for your future, your monetary future, so is there money in the NFL or not? And can you stay out of trouble getting there? Isn't that where the coach comes in, getting the most while keeping the kids out of trouble, and now of course graduating also. Some players want to make the money first, ESPN always is touting those players who leave early, and when is so and so leaving early. When are they going to get a rap over doing that? Are they not not promoting finishing college and getting an education first? It's just like the culture of death, you can't have whole sale abortion, and yet send the signals to your society and especially to it's children that their is a premium on life. What's the answer? Leave Kiffin alone to do his job, and take the results whatever they are. ESPN ought to promote staying in school, and our society would do go to preserve life instead of aborting it when ever the mother wants to. (Her choice)! Sending the right signals enables the team to stay onsides, now doesn't it.!

khelton657 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

There does appear,to be an agenda......if there isn't an issue, make it appear as if there is..

jturne44 writes:

pennington you don't think all of those players that we have had over the years going to the nfl (we are up there with miami and usc) went to every class over their 4 years? I had anthony parker in my geology class last year (freshman year) and I was like nice a player in my class...I saw him the first day...he never came even for tests...and he is probably one of the dudes to blame for our o line problems...also kiffin has made it clear that academics are a priority too...let the man do his recruiting thing and cultivating once they get here...

oh and p.s. Brent Vinson has had academic issues for two years straight under fulmer so cut the phooey...if anything kiffin will can only go up with the skipping class and academic b.s. that phil let everybody get away with...

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

in response to PacosBill:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He is pretty bad, I've reread this article, and when he quotes Bruce Springspring you know he's losing it. Springspring is a pacifist , against the war on terror, Pennington must be also. That's probably why his articles just don't square. The Al Gore's , Obamas, etc, just weren't cut out for this world, it's just not good enough for them. Same for the Hollywood left crowd and the Al Sparpton's, the Peloksi's, the Harry Reid's, the Barney Frank's!!! These people just want it their way and to heck with us. And with these writers they do to. Win but do it this way! Always telling others how to life their lives, they just have too too much time on their hands and are too too respected for it! Politicians and sportswriters are the same in both ways. Good ones are prized, and their are hacks in both professions. You know instead of sawying down a tree, you just sit around and hack at it! Like Chuck Shumer of New York, great example of this. Ask yourselves this question, will history shine on Peyton manning, George Bush 43, Phil Fulmer, or John Adams, Bill Clinton, John Pennington, Nancy Pelosi, etc. You see men and women, there is no reason for alarm and every reason to do what you can do for your country and team, not what your country and team can do for you. You get the idea. Sorry to be so long winded, but these guys usually get the credit and set the tone for things, when a whole lot of other people for more suited for their roles. My wish and my prayer for this next year and next decade and century is for the right kinds of people to inhabit these jobs of prominance and of influence so that we may live and lead righteous peace loving lives.

TommyJack writes:

in response to WeLoveTennesseeVols:

Really, what does it take to win? We thought that winning was everything? Isn't that why we got rid of Fulmer?
So now we hear that winning is everything, but it's how you win that's important. The only thing is that the compeition means that you become like Vanderbilt, graduating everyone or competing with everyone else, and getting the prize recruits to come play with you. School is supposed to prepare you for your future, your monetary future, so is there money in the NFL or not? And can you stay out of trouble getting there? Isn't that where the coach comes in, getting the most while keeping the kids out of trouble, and now of course graduating also. Some players want to make the money first, ESPN always is touting those players who leave early, and when is so and so leaving early. When are they going to get a rap over doing that? Are they not not promoting finishing college and getting an education first? It's just like the culture of death, you can't have whole sale abortion, and yet send the signals to your society and especially to it's children that their is a premium on life. What's the answer? Leave Kiffin alone to do his job, and take the results whatever they are. ESPN ought to promote staying in school, and our society would do go to preserve life instead of aborting it when ever the mother wants to. (Her choice)! Sending the right signals enables the team to stay onsides, now doesn't it.!

Welove: Props on some interesting takes.

nicksjuzunk#646117 writes:

I can't believe the backlash from this article. It's good stuff.

thevoice writes:

Can't say I don't disagree Mr. Pennington. Nice article.

jimr07 writes:

in response to AreyouKiffinme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

at least most know how to spell CLAWSONS name.

MidTennVol writes:

MARLON BROWN, ARE YOU READING THIS?

Are you a Tennessean or not?

jcorange98 writes:

kelly washington, 1999, troy fleming? oh you mean back when ut was playing for something every year, yeah hated that, (long pause for effect, then under my breathe) "idiot".

volnknox writes:

Pennington go back to your so-called sports show on Sunday mornings. Your show just like this story you wrote- less than impressive.

txvolsfan writes:

in response to newtonrail:

It amazes me how some people can say John Adams is brilliant, but the same ones don't recognize the true "smarts" in Mr. Pennington. I've said this before, and I'll say it again that I've read and corresponded with JP since he had the Blog on this site when we paid for it. I don't always agree with him, but I know he researches topics beyond what most of us are capable of understanding. The part about being NFL, you can see Miami, and how when not on probation it worked until the program imploded. And Miami has nothing in the way of facilities that Tenn does, except South Beach. As a long time contributor and season ticket holder, and even longer fan; the type of pay scale bothers me. Saban's is OK if you can afford it. And their Asst's pay is commensurate with other schools. Hamilton has sold his soul for the one we have now. $2.4 of the Assistants pool for Kiffin's relatives and buddies. Scraps for whoever is left. Need a Strength Co or.? No problem. Take SC's for $60K's more. I could go on and on about money, but I don't think it would faze many on this board. I'm retired, and have seen over $100K disappear in Market, and that doesn't include new house. I don't want anyone crying for me. That's not the point. Hammy is used to an ever rising economy and people waiting on season ticket preferences, Box Seats, etc. That's going to tail off in this economy folks, no matter how good the product on the field is. Which by the way, Pennington was not suggesting recruiting lesser talent. That's an absurd charge. And once the Genie is out of the bottle on this pay scale, you can't put it back. Hammy, why couldn't you have done the right thing and hire Cincinnati's Coach, and kept us out of this incestuous nightmare.

I don't agree with you on the Brian Kelly thing. I can't get past him asking players to lie about a murder!!! Also everyone who knows the man says he is a good coach but a better A-hole!!!

txvolsfan writes:

in response to AreyouKiffinme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

IDIOT

txvolsfan writes:

in response to bone03162002:

I HAVE HEARD COACH O IS COMING AS SOON AS SAINTS LAST GAME TOMORROW

He is a recruiting STUD!!!

shipperman#280095 writes:

WELOVETENNESSEVOLS, I am proud of you. Some very coherent and great points today

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