Price tag for SEC football coaches surges

Dean of SEC coaches sees salary rise 583 percent since 1993

Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer's salary has risen from $300,000 in 1993 to $2.05 million

Photo by Clay Owen

Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer's salary has risen from $300,000 in 1993 to $2.05 million

Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer's salary has risen from $300,000 in 1993 to $2.05 million

Photo by Clay Owen // Buy this photo

Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer's salary has risen from $300,000 in 1993 to $2.05 million

Photo with no caption

Ask around enough, and you'll learn that the sky began falling in 1982. That's when Jackie Sherrill left Pittsburgh for Texas A&M and what was then a staggering amount of money for a football coach.

The New York Times reported at the time that Sherrill, who later coached Mississippi State, would earn $1.7 million over the life of his seven-year contract - about $240,000 a year - and become the highest paid college football coach in America.

So if you want a scapegoat for the bull market in coaches' salaries, blame the man who supposedly castrated a bull during practice to fire up his team.

Or blame Bobby Bowden and Steve Spurrier, who became two of the first million-dollar-a-year coaches in the 1990s.

Or Nick Saban and his $32 million contract to coach Alabama.

As long as coaches have blown whistles, it seems, a winner is always in demand.

Combine the fervor for championship-level football in the SEC with deep pockets and growing revenue, and it's little surprise that football coaches are among some of the highest earners - state employee or otherwise - all over the South.

"It is an arms race of sorts," says Don Hinchey, vice president of communications with the Bonham Group, a Denver-based sports marketing firm. "I kind of liken it to a live auction. When you put money, passion and expertise together, that's the recipe for a big salary."

And they're only going to get bigger.

Economics on The Hill

At Tennessee, the situation is somewhat unique. Phillip Fulmer rose through the ranks in Knoxville, from position coach to coordinator to head coach to proven championship coach all in the same stadium.

Fulmer, the longest tenured coach in the SEC and set to enter his 17th season this fall, began his career in 1993 earning $300,000. Last year, he earned $2.05 million.

Over those 16 seasons, his salary has increased more than 500 percent. And it's going to increase even more, pending a new deal that could be announced as early as Monday.

But as Fulmer's salary has risen, so too has revenue.

According to UT athletic director Mike Hamilton, donations at UT have risen from about $4 million in 1992 to a record $34 million for fiscal 2006-07. The Associated Press reported that as of April, athletic donations were up about $5 million over the same time a year ago.

UT's budget has continued to climb as well.

According to figures presented at April's athletics board meeting, Tennessee generated $86.3 million in total revenue. Some $23 million of that comes directly from football tickets, the largest single revenue source for the athletic department. And football alone is responsible for 85 percent of UT's total revenue, Hamilton estimates. Fulmer's current salary represents just 2.3 percent of UT's budgeted athletic costs.

When Fulmer became head coach, UT's budget was about $28 million.

And athletic departments are getting more money than ever from the Southeastern Conference. In 1993, the SEC distributed a total of $34.34 million, about $2.82 million to each of its member schools.

In May, the SEC announced shared revenue of $127.2 million, which means $10.6 million per school. That sum would more than cover the combined salaries of every coaching staff in the league with plenty left over.

Of the $127.2 million, some 70 percent comes from football television rights, bowl payouts and the conference football championship game. And shared revenue will surely grow when the SEC signs a new blockbuster television deal later this year.

Universities have also taken advantage of new revenue streams, from such sources as corporate sponsorship, multi-media ventures or luxury-seating options, which all allow for bigger budgets.

"While we want to be competitive in the marketplace, we also have to make sure that we budget correctly and meet our expenses," Hamilton said. "Knowing full well that football's generating the lion's share of the revenue for the department, that's an interesting balance you have to cut from time to time."

Maintaining that balance this year has already proved challenging. UT increased season tickets by $19 and for the first time will charge students admission for football games this season to help generate a projected $7.8 million increase in next year's budget.

Still, Tennessee's athletic department is one of a handful nationwide that does not take money from the university. In fact, the athletic department is projected to give the university $2.82 million this fiscal year.

But the pending contract extension and raises for Fulmer and his staff (as well as raises for Tennessee's men's and women's basketball coaches) have an effect.

CEOs of Football

When Dan Parker sits down with a coach, he almost always poses the same question.

"In a search today we ask a football coach, 'What's it like to be CEO of football?' There's no question they are," says Parker, president of Parker Executive Search, an Atlanta group that recruits high-level corporate employees for major companies as well as assists universities in hiring coaches. "They're generating revenue. They're generating profit margins."

And because there isn't exactly a surplus of proven, championship-caliber coaches, schools will often pay a pretty penny (or a few hundred million of those pretty pennies) to hire one.

A quick look around the SEC, which boasts an unprecedented five coaches who have won national titles, reveals as much.

Those coaches - Alabama's Saban, LSU's Les Miles, South Carolina's Steve Spurrier, Florida's Urban Meyer and Fulmer - average about $2.96 million in annual salary, according to current figures. By contrast, the other six coaches average $2.24 million. That figure does not count Vanderbilt, which as a private school does not have to release coaches' salaries.

"The pool of proven coaches, proven successful, championship coaches, is so shallow that people are willing to go above and beyond what they would do before to hire a proven coach," said Parker. "Almost every search we get asks for a proven championship coach. It's the expectation for winning and desire to have a proven coach that can get them there."

Agent Jimmy Sexton, whose Memphis-based firm Athletic Resource Management represents Fulmer, Saban, Spurrier, Ole Miss' Houston Nutt and a slew of other high-profile coaches in both the NFL and college ranks, sees some of the CEO-type duties as a reason for increased salaries, but only to a point.

Winning, it turns out, is still the best elixir.

"I think that's a little bit overrated," he said. "I think it's important that he can drum up support and can put a good face on the program and those kinds of things. But he better be able to recruit and coach. Because if he can't do that, it doesn't matter how good he is at the other things."

Increasingly, though, coaches are relied on to help raise funds and deal with a growing and changing media landscape in addition to running their programs. Quite often, football coaches are the most visible people at a university, even an entire state.

And with revenues at an all-time high, the financial stakes have never been higher.

"There are a vast number of responsibilities that come with this world today," Hamilton said. "Fifteen years ago, coaches didn't have a BlackBerry and a cell phone with them. They weren't text messaging. Particularly in our league, you've got to manage the public relations machine, the media machine making sure that you're accessible to fans."

The Fan's Role

So where does the money come from?

At Tennessee, as with other SEC schools, the answer is largely from fans, alumni and donors.

Universities sign the checks, but fans ultimately pay those salaries through donations. Or tickets. Or that favorite shirt they wear to the game, which cost a company licensing rights to produce. Even if they're watching it from the couch, those eyes and ears help drive up the amount networks are willing to pay for the right to air those games.

And while some might grumble or grouse about prices increasing for a Saturday afternoon's worth of football, they're still turning up in droves.

"My sense is that Joe Fan is not particularly annoyed by coaches getting big salaries," Hinchey said. "They are annoyed if the coach getting the big salary doesn't get a sufficient number of Ws. But if that highly paid coach can win, they're pleased as punch."

And, pleased as punch or not, they continue to pay.

While that's been the case at Tennessee, Hamilton still wants the core fan to be able to remain a part of the program.

"There are a tremendous amount of dollars being spent on sports in society," he said. "I think one of the things we always have to concern ourselves with is that these are discretionary dollars and people are making choices. I worry about that every day.

"We live in a free market economy in the United States," he said. "Americans have said they're willing to pay for certain things. At this point, one of the things they've been paying for is the opportunity to be a part of successful athletic entities, both professional and intercollegiate. The competition to have the right guy, quote unquote, has been significant as departments try to draw revenue to meet fan expectations."

Should the price ever get too high, Hinchey says, the market will quickly correct itself.

"The fan can always vote with their dollars," Hinchey said. "And when they do vote with their dollars, that sends a message to the property in very short order that they need to adjust their policy."

So far, at least, fans are voting yes.

Unfair Advantage

Growing revenue provides a strong case against those Chicken Littles who see rising coaching salaries as the fifth horseman of the Apocalypse.

The flip side of the argument is that staggering amounts of money are devoted to athletics at universities where faculty members sometime go without raises and tuition always seems to rise.

But, in the strictest sense, market value defines coaching salaries.

"People always want to use the issue of, 'Well the professor in economics doesn't make what the football coach does,' " says Sexton. "Well, there's not as much demand for the professor in economics as there is for a football coach. A professor in economics is a gifted, valuable part of what goes on at an educational institution, so I don't mean that to sound derogatory. But it's supply and demand.

"It's what people are willing to pay to watch these games, to see these players. And it's a big business."

So the equation for rising salaries looks something like this: Passionate fan base plus championship expectations plus growing revenue equal big money for a proven coach.

Not every school has pockets as deep as Alabama or LSU, which are scheduled to spend nearly $8 million combined on their head coaches alone this season.

Could that lead to a situation that often occurs in pro sports where teams that spend less money have a more difficult time remaining competitive?

"There are haves and have nots," says Parker. "However, I don't think there's any SEC school that has not demonstrated the ability to hire a quality, high-profile coach to be the leader of their school. I can't name a single one."

'Tea Leaves'

So what does the future hold?

As long as fans continue to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for season tickets and even more in donations for the rights to purchase those tickets, as long as corporations pay to be associated with winning programs and television networks keeping shelling out millions to televise games, the answer is bigger budgets and bigger salaries.

And as long as passionate fans, donors and universities demand success, elite coaches and those who show the promise of one day becoming elite coaches will continue to command higher salaries.

"I don't see it changing a whole lot, other than it will continue to increase at some level," Sexton said. "It's very hard to hire a football coach - very hard - away from another school. I think that's one of the reasons schools pay to keep them. I think as long as there's other suitors out there that are trying to hire your coach away from you, it's going to put you in a situation where you have to respond to the marketplace."

Hamilton sees salary increases in the future, too.

"If the question is, 10 years from now will salaries be greater than they are today? Absolutely. What's the percentage? I don't know," he said. "It's hard to get the tea leaves out and figure that one out."

While higher incentives and longer-term contracts are likely to become more commonplace as schools combat the growing price tag for coaches, guaranteed money doesn't figure to decrease.

Nor does it figure to go anywhere but up.

"So far, nobody's proven that they're willing to draw a line," Parker says. "I don't blame the coaches. I don't think we're near the top. I think we're going to see the contracts rise."

Drew Edwards covers University of Tennessee football. He may be reached at 865-342-6274.

© 2008 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Related Links

Comments » 141

VOLS85 writes:

What I don't understand is why people on this site complain time and time again about the salary of Fulmer.

Here's the deal, his program generates millions of dollars alone every single year, and as a result, he earns what is expected to be 2.74 million dollars for his next contract...

Even with his raise, Fulmer makes less money than six other coaches in the SEC...people need to realize that this is the SEC, and to compete as a coach, you should be reimbursed equally. Judging by the results on the field last season, Fulmer earned more than his salary (in comparison to other SEC coaches). So can we please stop the dead conversation the Fulmer gets more than he is deserved?

ONUV writes:

it's not about Ws and Ls, it's about dollars and cents. as long as they're making money on the hill, there's no motivation to go through the process of hiring a new football staff.

The Vols haven't won a league championship since 1998 and last season lost to their biggest rivals (Alabama and Florida) by a combined 63 points. Three years ago, UT athletic director Mike Hamilton was lukewarm in his support for Fulmer after a five-win season. Two years and eight losses later, Fulmer gets rewarded.

RJ_Vol writes:

Drew Edwards...Nice article.

GerryOP writes:

Very informative article!

BigOrangeVol writes:

Since '98 UGA is 88-27 overall (76.5%)and 51-23 in SEC play (68.9%). They won the SEC in '02 which is they ONLY one they have in the last quarter century.

Since '98 UA is 63-49 overall (56.2%) and 38-35 in SEC play (52%). They won the SEC in '99 which is the only one in the last 15 years.

Since '98 UF is 83-32 overall (72.1%) and 55-20 in SEC play (73.3%). They won the SEC in 2000 and 2006. That's two in ten years.

Since '98 AU is 80-33 overall (70.7%) and 58-23 in SEC play (71.6%). They won the SEC in 2004 and that's the only one they have in the last 18 years.

Since '98 LSU is 85-30 overall (73.9%) and 51-25 in SEC play (67.1%). They won the SEC in '01, '03 and '07 for three in the last 19 years.

Since '98 the Vols are 80-34 overall (70.2%) and 50-23 in SEC play (68.5%). We've won two SEC Championships in the last 11 years and four of the last 18.

If that doesn't scream parity then what does? There are only three teams in the SEC with an all-time winning record over UT (AU, UA and UF) and all three are just four game leads.

Since 1985 these teams have either won or shared the SEC Title:
Fla-7 times
UT-5 times
LSU-5 times
AU-4 times
UA-3 times
GA-2 times

Either we have a bunch of teenage kids posting that can't remember past their sixth birthdays or a bunch of old guy Alzheimer’s patients with short-term and long-term memory loss! Get a grip people, no matter how you cut it we are just as good and just as competitive with every other team in this conference year in and year out. If you don't want to support this team and our coach then please jump on some other bandwagon; we don't need or want you negative crybabies, whiners and complainers!!! Please show your displeasure by not going to the games and not popsting on this website - that'll show 'em you mean business!

hcjournals#206623 writes:

Big Orange Vol:

Great comment. Those of us who are real Vols understand. Go Vols.

nola_vol writes:

Together, Drew Edwards (writer) and BigOrangeVol (poster) have done everyone a huge service by surrounding an easily exploitable storyline with hard, pertinent facts. It would have been so easy, especially in an election year, to have framed this story within the empty sentiment of "fairness." Well done!

Now, if you want to discuss the "value" of a service provided by universities... should education-consumers be told that their chances of getting a job even related to (for example) that degree in Psychology you're about to pay $$$ for is LESS THAN 25%?

Compare the increases in higher education costs against the jobs/salaries they produce... there's a "fairness" storyline!

DarthVol writes:

The question (or questions) BOV, is how do you feel about the future? The teams you've grouped together have all made coaching changes (most multiple) to feel good about the direction of the program. Again, it's never about being good. It's about being good enough. Fans and boosters want to FEEL (that's a key word) good about the direction of the program. That it's moving upward. Making staff changes can bring hope to some. Adding hs all-americans can do the same. But at the end of the day, it's all about faith in your head coach. And part of that IS how we view history.

That's where the two camps separate. Calling those who have lost faith in their coach to get it done when it's on the line as (let me see, where do I start) naysayers, non-vol, teenage-minded *I wish*, Alzheimer patient *closer to the truth* or just plain ol negative nellies who just like to complain is unfair.

We're watching those around us making changes to get better from the top down. That, as we've talked about before, they see a difference between "competing" and "achieving". It's all in the definition of success.

vol52 writes:

The thing about Fulmer is I believe that he is selfish. He wants to have more victories than the General and he is keeping us in a sea of mediocrity in the process. I have lost faith in his ability to lead the FB program. This program is below where he took over. He should either improve or get out of coaching not let the ship take on water and become a bottom feeder in the SEC. Lets see how full the stands are this year.

iowavol writes:

Unbelievable. CPF loses to our two biggest rivals by 1000 pts and then takes that same team to the CG. The coach vol52 described would have let the team fold, but not this one. It would have been easy for the team to start focusing on the negative, but coach pulls them together. They should have beaten LSU in the CG if not for a couple of real bonehead plays by a 4 year starter. The reality is that coach gets too little credit when things go right and too much blame when things don't. It's the way it is in business, in schools, in hospitals, everywhere. Players have to make plays and coaches have to have them ready to play. We have had players make more than their share of mistakes - in particular too many dropped passes that killed drives and momentum. Has CPF made mistakes - who hasn't. I for one have not lost faith in our coach, our team, our players or even our fans. We are a far cry from mediocrity. I look forward to this season with Phil Fulmer at the helm and Jonathan Crompton leading on the field.

vol52 writes:

iowavol, Fulmer had his back against the wall. He pulls one out ever now and then but we have been in a decline since 1998 and I for one am tired of it. If Fulmer wins and we look good then that is fine. I have noting personal against him. But the VOLS are my team and they deserve better.

Merv writes:

I don't buy the "market value" thing. Even if, as Hamilton says, today's coach has "a vast number of responsibilities" -- like (gasp!) a Blackberry and cell phone.

(1) From a business perspective, college athletics is essentially a monopoly (aka NCAA). And besides that, UT has little competition for the entertainment dollar within several hundred miles.

(2) Coaches, their agents, and ADs all focus on revenues. That's because college athletics does not have to pay for the employees who actually perform (the athletes), or for facilities (land, etc). And despite that, the owner (the University) is still pleased with zero profits. ... There is no comparison with a real business. The athletic dept brings in revenue (which is not that tough) and then spends it all. Not a bad gig.

(3) Even focusing on revenues, it is difficult to say that Phil Fulmer is somehow responsible for UT's football revenues. Do we think another coach would have no revenue? ... At least with Bruce Pearl, there is a decent before/after comparison, so that he can say he's responsible for the increase in basketball revenues.

(4) For football and basketball coaches, there is a one-way ratchet. With a good year, you get a high-price long-term contract. With a bad year, there is no downward adjustment. Helluva deal.

(5) The SEC is a good conference. But as a group the coaches win half of their conference games (by definition), so the average coach is 4-4. Then play 4 other games against cream-puffs, and the average coach is 8-4 without breaking a sweat. ... Yes, I know, UT plays a strong non-conference game each year. Which is admirable.

I'm just sayin' ...

OrangePower11 writes:

Vol52...

I think the important thing to remember when talking about other programs making change for the better is, "who did they replace?"

Can you honestly tell me that Goff, Shula, Dubose, Zook, DiNardo, ect are better coaches than Fulmer???

Those are the coaches that warranted "change". Stability sells in this day and age, believe it or not. As for the selfish comment...Why would a coach chasing an all-time win record allow his team to wallow in mediocrity, as you suggest? That makes about as much sense as 90% of the posters on this site.

Fact is, like it or not, the powers that be in the athletic department at UT KNOW MORE ABOUT THE COACHING LANDSCAPE IN FOOTBALL THAN ALL OF US COMBINED. Think about that for a second. Fulmer is not a Hamilton hire, he has no loyalties that would prevent him from making a change if he felt a change were needed.

I sat through the Florida game last year after shelling out 1500 bucks for 4 tix, I was MORE pissed off than the next guy, but let's see the forest for the trees. The UF/Bammer game were the exception, not the norm. Aside from that, Coach pulled this team out of the gutter and led them to the SEC CG. How many teams did you see fold the tent last year? Not this one! Urb lost 4 games w/ the Heisman winner and most explosive player in college football (Harvin), and he is viewed as a God???

Some people just dont know how good they have it, I suppose.

CrankE writes:

Just one correction BigOrangeVol. UGA won the SEC in 2002 and 2005. That's 2 in the last 25. (You got it right at the bottom of your post though.)

OrangePower11 writes:

DC...

I agree about this year for Urb being very important, but I think with the stockpiled talent, all he really has to do is not get in the way lol...

I can in no way, shape or form argue about Spurrier, I was VERY happy to see that man leave UF.

T0MMYJACK writes:

Outstanding, BigOrangeVol. Thank you!

LongtimeVol writes:

Actually, we still have an all time winning record against Florida (19-18) so this year is pivotal. We were 14-7 all time against UF with CPF took over. He is 5-11 against UF.
Auburn and Alabama are the only SEC teams to have all time winning records against UT.
Auburn has a three game lead all time (21-24) and Alabama has an 8 game lead all time (37-45). CPF is 10-4-1 against Alabama and has greatly improved our record against the Crimson Tide.

edwardsd#492198 writes:

Thought I'd let you guys know that I posted my entire interview with Mike Hamilton for this story on my blog.

Here's the link: http://blogs.knoxnews.com/knx/edwards...

- Drew

Go4Two writes:

Fulmer is the winningest coach in College Football but only the 6th highest paid in the SEC. I wonder where the the winningest coach in basketball ranks in salary.

OrangePower11 writes:

DC...

I am a realist, and while it pains me very much to say as much, UF is my pick to win the NC this year...

I am pegging you guys to lose 1 reg season game (UT-LSU) only because I just dont see how ANYONE can run the table in this conference, particularly this season. I just dont think UGA has a snowballs chance in hell against yall given what happened last year. Thats part of my reasoning behind believing we have a legitimate shot at beating yall this year...As Nebraska showed both of us years ago, humiliation is a very powerful tool if channeled correctly.

We just seem to have a lot of unknown variables going into this season, that may be a good thing, could also be bad, but I firmly believe we MUST get out of the gates against UCLA, not just win, but win soundly, if we are going to make it through September with a shot at any kind of title.

Here's to a COMPETETIVE game 9/20/08 :)

TommyJack writes:

BigOrangeVol: Fair points. Last time I checked, you do NOT control the bandwagon. And what's with the we's...you wormy?

99gator writes:

bigorangevol

you are cherry picking stats....so, i will play devil's advocate and cherry pick myself.

1. florida does not have a winning record all-time vs. tenn. a florida win this year would tie things all time between the schools.

2. you say "since 1998".....then, put up numbers regarding tenn and other schools from 1998 and earlier (i.e. championships). either measure everyone over the same period of time or don't use numbers. it's after 1998 that seems to bother most vol fans. more accurately, since 2001 that bothers most (based on posts i have read)

3. from the 1999 season and beyond, tenn has losing records to florida (3-6), auburn (1-3), lsu (2-4), and georgia (4-5). they have a winning record against bama (6-3) with one of those wins being a 100 OT game (yes, an exageration).

4. no titles. say what you want about that list of schools you posted, but the one thing they have in common is championships since 2000 (except alabama).

budd#207344 writes:

Fulmer gets paid for what he does which is better than 95% of the rest of the coaches in the country. The UT job was rated the 6th best in the SEC by coaches mainly because it is so tough to recruit in a state that has a total population smaller than metro ATL.

You expect to have teams that compete with UF (best recruiting area in the East) , UGA (with ATL in backyard) and UA and AU which again have larger populations than TN and you can see who wins the recruiting war every year by who wins the Iron Bowl. Just by doing that he has shown he is a better recruiter than the others. And obviously can coach as well , look at the record. So chill and see what happens this year. I admit he got lazy and allowed discipline to slip which hurt performance. But he appears to have figured that out and I think we are headed the right way.

99gator writes:

all

please stop with this "the florida offense was exposed" garbage.

it's not a secret government project that is classified at the highest levels.

there's film. other team's run it. etc, etc, etc.

what other teams don't have is a good offensive line, a heisman winning qb, and percy harvin and friends at the skill positions.

if you are going to stop or slow down that offense.....you need to have better personnel than florida.....just like every other game against every other team.

everyone points out the michigan game having exposed florida's offense....(a game that florida put up 35 points, did not turn the ball over, had a td called back for a penalty, and missed two fg's).

laughable.

TommyJack writes:

99: Agreed. People beat people...schemes don't. It ain't trig.

budd#207344 writes:

The Great Circumsizer and the Urban Legend will lead the mighty gators to another national championship cause there is still one or two of the Zookster's players there. They were hurt and couldn't play against Michigan.

TommyJack writes:

DaddyVol: Sooooo, who's in charge of CPF's minions? Hmmm?

posivol writes:

vol52 --the vols are my team as well and they deserve better than you as a fan....put that in your pipe and smoke it my friend.

well done bigorange---a true fan through and through.

99gator writes:

daddyvol and ashley

there are two sides of the ball. the florida offense was fine. the florida defense, to be kind, wasn't.

mike hart's fumbles have nothing to do with the florida offense. michigan's point total had nothing to do with the florida offense.

i don't know what is so hard to understand about this.

the offense is not responsible for the sins of the defense......especially, when it doesn't turn the ball over and give the other team good field position.

vol52 writes:

posivol, You see Fulmer has polarized the fan base. And just as the pro Fulmer fans don't like the way he is made fun of they certainly trash other that do not agree with them. The bottom line is that the coach needs to put out and he will keep the people who want him gone at bay.

99gator writes:

dcflorida

that link is not accurate. urban's deal was redone after the national title in 2006. he's making more than 2 mil flat.

vol52 writes:

I agree tngeoff!

posivol writes:

just like i told all the negavols,we are in transition,its temporary.we have spanked fl.and lsu,s butts in the past and will again in the future.

recruiting on the upswing,better assitants are now in the fold w/ more to come on defense next year.

we are playing catch up w/ some teams simply because we do not have the recruiting base to transform our game/system as quickly as others have.

yet we have remained competitve,with much less to work with.anyone care to explain!

say what you will about fulmer but in my opinion we could just as easily been a miss/miss st/sc type team through the years without him.

if you cant recognize this than your simply in deep dark denial---seek help!

vol52 writes:

tngeoff, Things will probably get wild when the terms of the contract are made public. I hope that Pearl's assistants get good raises. They have done a good job both on the court and getting good recruits.

AlpharettaVol writes:

ONUV -- I think I sat next to you in a restaurant recently. You took one sip out of your water glass and immediately began yelling at the waitress that your glass was half empty.

posivol writes:

just one more thought and im gone for the day.started watching and dreaming about a tennessee vol football national championship way back in 1967.waited many a years and wondered if it would even happen in my lifetime.along came 1998 and my championship dreams were answered and made real w/ phil fulmer at the helm.and this was after thoroughly enjoying the peyton years.am i loyal (heil yeah)do i love the vols (heil yeah)coach has earned his keeps in my book--------PERIOD!

99gator writes:

ashley

i wouldn't call them excuses.....it is what it is.

1. auburn. did not play well. only team to give florida's offense fits.

2. lsu. bad 4th qtr. couldn't get lsu off the field. key turnover by kestahn moore. lsu 5 for 5 on 4th down.

3. georgia. defense got run over. couldn't stop georgia's offense all day.

4. michigan. see georgia.

TommyJack writes:

DaddyVol: 12:35: No, just opinions...Here IS a fact for you. Opinions can take more than one path. Does that bother you?

murrayvol writes:

And we continue to feed the monkey.

jopad#212858 writes:

NO ATHLETIC COACH IN THIS WORLD IS WORTH THE MILLIONS SOME ARE BEING PAID. THEIR VALUE TO SOCIETY AND HUMANITY NO WHERE APPROACHES THE VALUE OF TEACHERS, PROFESSORS, SOCIAL WORKERS, ETC. THE GAMES THEY COACH ARE ENTERTAINMENT AND RECREATIONAL. TEACHERS ETC. TEACH FOR LIFE AND WELL BEING.

budd#207344 writes:

jopad,while your sentiments are touching, society has deemed you wrong so please go type your caps message on some site that cares

TommyJack writes:

Social workers?

99gator writes:

hate to break it to people who have a hard time with this concept.....

but, a job's redeeming social value or however you like to think of it...and a job's economic value are two totally different thing.

we could go on and on with this priority stuff but we are blowing smoke. strippers make more money than teachers.

Moaninglikeheck writes:

Yeah Geoff, us Fulmer supporters are a bunch of "big ole meanies"!!! LOL!!!!

sniff, sniff wahhhhhhh!!! Wahhhhh!!! Are you a girl?

And Fulmer is still coach. LOL!!!

posivol writes:

If teachers would teach, we wouldn't need social workers.

yeah yeah yeah and if fl fans would kiss my butt and go to heil my day would be complete.

just kidding i would barely break a smile.

now thats just funny!

murrayvol writes:

99gator: Yes, some strippers do make more than teachers and most other professionals. However, you can teach (or coach i.e. Paterno/Bowden) for 40+ years. Most strippers have a rather short shelf life.

ThurmondEppy writes:

Mike McBride (mcbrim) you must have a pretty sorry life to be almost 50 years old and all you do all day is try to bait people into arguments on another teams fansite. That is truly sad.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

murrayvol 2:32- some never learn.

I don't think Phil is overpaid, just return on investment is shaky.

LongtimeVol writes:

If we played Florida as well as we played Cal we would have won the game???? We talking about Cal who went 6-6 in the regular season and played in the PAC10??? That is absurd even for blogs on this site. Cal was nowhere near as good as the top SEC teams and they handled us pretty easily. The best part of the that trip was the visit to San Francisco.

revruss67#665074 writes:

BigOrange - couldn't have said it better myself. I get absolutely sick of the doom and gloom many seem driven to "share." I for one am not only proud of our team, but down right annoying about it to all the Wildcat fans around me in KY. We win our division last year and people gripe. We win our bowl game and people gripe. As my father-in-law would say before he died, "They would complain if you hung 'em with a new rope."

DarthVol - many of the fans and booster might have a better attitude about the program if they didn't have to hear the constant drivel of those who can do nothing except complain.

Bring some substance with your opinion or find a team you can truly call yourself a fan of.

64 days, 3 hours, 35 minutes, 30 seconds to Football Time!

GO VOLS!!!

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features