Andrew Gribble: UT fans' 'patience' prevents attendance declines from being worse

Dave Hart

Photo by Wade Payne, AP2011

Dave Hart

About 15 minutes through my Thursday sit-down with Dave Hart, the new Tennessee vice chancellor of athletics issued me a challenge.

The topic at that moment was football and men's basketball ticket sales, looking at it from both a reflective and prospective angle. Neither view looks particularly great these days, and Hart is fully aware of that.

But when Hart steps back and analyzes UT's attendance drop-off from a big-picture perspective, it works to his advantage that his history with the program started in September — not five, 10 or 20 years ago. He has an appreciation for how things used to be at UT, but he also realizes that what the Vols consider a "down" year is what most teams in the country consider "impossible."

"If you were to take your pen on that pad and write down how many athletic programs are capable of placing 18,000-plus in the arena and 90,000-plus (for football)," Hart said, "you wouldn't need a lot of lead."

Well, that's easy enough.

In the 2010-11 academic calendar, UT was the only program in the country to rank in the top 10 in both football attendance (99,781 per game, sixth) and men's basketball (18,952, fifth).

For 2011-12, the numbers aren't looking as good, but they're still in a relative league of their own, competing against just a handful of similarly gigantic programs. Of course, the self-inflicted standards of its recent history are what really contribute to making anything but capacity crowds at UT seem problematic.

Even though the Vols saw football attendance drop by more than 5,000 per game, they maintained their hold on sixth in the nation this season, trailing only Alabama within the SEC and Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Texas nationally. Among those schools, UT's Neyland Stadium seats the third-most with its current capacity of 102,455.

Though the figures haven't exactly passed the eye test, the men's basketball team has averaged announced crowds of 16,044 in its first four games, three of which coming against non-marquee opponents. That figure, as it stands one month before SEC play ramps up, would have been good for 10th-best in the nation last season.

"You'll have some erosion," Hart said. "But I give our fans all the credit. There's not another fanbase, given where we are — and we're struggling competitively in those sports right now — and yet we're still getting those types of crowds. I applaud our fanbase.

"We have the most passionate, and within reason, the most patient fanbase that I've ever been around. They don't get enough credit, our alumni and our fanbase. They don't get enough credit for that. It's very, very impressive."

Exactly how patient are Vol fans? A quick glance at the numbers indicates that Hart is spot on.

Among the programs that finished in the top 25 in average attendance last year, UT and Washington are the only two that have had three losing seasons in the past five. And, really, that's an Apple Cup-to-Big Orange comparison because the Vols drew more than 32,000 fans more per game this season.

Only two others —Michigan and Kentucky — have had back-to-back losing seasons like the Vols have, and there are only nine losing seasons over the past five years to be found among the remaining 21 programs.

UT is one of just five teams in that group that hasn't recorded at least one 10-win season since 2008.

Making it seem even worse is the fact that Neyland Stadium is so enormous. Among SEC teams, only Arkansas averaged more empty seats per game than the Vols. Looking at that same top-25 list, only Washington and Southern Cal had more empty seats per game than UT's 7,813.

"They're a very educated fanbase, which I admire," Hart said. "They've exhibited an amazing level of patience because they're educated. By and large, they understand we are in some rough waters now. We are in a rebuilding mode."

A fanbase as seemingly resilient and educated as UT's can only take so much, though, and that was apparent all throughout the 2011 season. We all know that the announced attendance figures for the non-conference snoozers against Buffalo (87,758) and Middle Tennessee State (88,211) were nowhere close to reality. The lone sell-out against Georgia featured multiple clumps of empty seats.

That might not be officially represented on paper, but you can sure bet it was felt in food, drink and merchandise sales.

When you consider that the Vols lack anything resembling offseason buzz, the fear of a much more drastic decline is real. Unless the Vols put 100 points on North Carolina State in the season-opening Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic, it's hard to picture a packed Neyland Stadium for Georgia State on Sept. 8.

It's a challenge, Hart said, that UT is "fighting the fight with a short stick right now."

"If we get 18,000 people in Thompson-Boling and 90-plus in Neyland Stadium, that's not capacity," Hart said. "That's not what we want because we want capacity crowds."

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Comments » 66

Ringleader writes:

The Georgia game was a sellout??????????

Had to be 10,000 empty seats, and extra tickets would not bring ten dollars.

manniesghost1903 writes:

Hopefully, Mr. Hart is making a list and checking twice. I believe the 24 to 48 hours he took after the infamous Kentucky defeat was used to make contacts in regard to the next head football coach.

Many of you are calling for Derek Dooley to be fired. I feel if he has a losing record after game number 10 in the 2012 season, he will not be on the sidelines for game number 11.

There are many of you who believe Derek Dooley can reverse the direction of the football program from down to up. However, if the reports of dissension among team members are true, there is no way Coach Dooley can succeed in 2 or 3 more years. I don't believe UT fans will wait for over half a decade to see significant improvement. Some of them will not live that long.

Forget about an adverse reaction from recruits. I believe Mr. Hart will select a knowledgeable and respected member of the "Coaching Fraternity" as the next Head Coach. After all, he is an Alabama man and we all know Alabama men hate to fail.

GloryDays writes:

Higher gas prices have to hurt and a bad economy doesn't help either. Mike Hamilton raised ticket prices and cut out Grandpa's tickets and then started charging the student also hurt attendance. Plus most of the games are on Tv. Throwing in coaching changes and a bad team and poor coaching and UT should be thankful for those fans that do show up.

Bubba_Knows writes:

If the capacity is 102K and the average attendance was 99K, how do you get a 5K drop in attendance. Must be NEW Math? By the way, there may have been 99K who bought tickets but there is no way that many attended. No way! Saw too many empty seats.

Bubba_Knows writes:

Thanks Mikey Hamilton for this sad sack program - you brought it to its knees.

SeminaryVol writes:

I can't stand it when schools/AD's blame fans for empty seats. I'm not saying that is what Hart is doing, I'm just that if there are empty seats, it is the school's fault for not marketing their plan or not putting a quality product on the field.

Additionally, it's not just a UT problem. Every game you turn on tv has empty seats, except for maybe top 5 matchups and the like. Times are tough and tv's are cheap.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

One thing's obvious....Mr Hart doesn't visit this site on a regular basis.

ACWLY writes:

Tennessee fans love their sports and will support their teams regardless, but we are at the end of our rope, for the first time ever we are seeing players just quit and it appears the coaches don't know how to correct it. And our CURRENT AD supports both coaches calling them talented young men that are going to bring our programs around. In a way this was a good statement (but stupid), because if the loosing continues then we will have every right to get rid him along with the other two.

ACWLY writes:

in response to SeminaryVol:

I can't stand it when schools/AD's blame fans for empty seats. I'm not saying that is what Hart is doing, I'm just that if there are empty seats, it is the school's fault for not marketing their plan or not putting a quality product on the field.

Additionally, it's not just a UT problem. Every game you turn on tv has empty seats, except for maybe top 5 matchups and the like. Times are tough and tv's are cheap.

Excellent point, bring back success and Tennessee fans will follow!

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

knew it wouldn't be long before the lamebrains started thowin on Hamilton and Fulmer. Still livin in the past!! Get a life!

OrangePsyched writes:

in response to manniesghost1903:

Hopefully, Mr. Hart is making a list and checking twice. I believe the 24 to 48 hours he took after the infamous Kentucky defeat was used to make contacts in regard to the next head football coach.

Many of you are calling for Derek Dooley to be fired. I feel if he has a losing record after game number 10 in the 2012 season, he will not be on the sidelines for game number 11.

There are many of you who believe Derek Dooley can reverse the direction of the football program from down to up. However, if the reports of dissension among team members are true, there is no way Coach Dooley can succeed in 2 or 3 more years. I don't believe UT fans will wait for over half a decade to see significant improvement. Some of them will not live that long.

Forget about an adverse reaction from recruits. I believe Mr. Hart will select a knowledgeable and respected member of the "Coaching Fraternity" as the next Head Coach. After all, he is an Alabama man and we all know Alabama men hate to fail.

Hey girlygirl..are you really that or did you just sleep in a HolidayInnExpress last night. If ignorance was a crime you would get the death penalty. Hart using the 48 hr. period to contact potential candidates is the most imbecilic thing I have read on here in a while and that is saying a lot. CDD will be here for a long time. Will you?

OrangePsyched writes:

in response to ACWLY:

Tennessee fans love their sports and will support their teams regardless, but we are at the end of our rope, for the first time ever we are seeing players just quit and it appears the coaches don't know how to correct it. And our CURRENT AD supports both coaches calling them talented young men that are going to bring our programs around. In a way this was a good statement (but stupid), because if the loosing continues then we will have every right to get rid him along with the other two.

You call Hart stupid but you can't spell losing? Come on pot.

botetourtvol2 writes:

in response to manniesghost1903:

Hopefully, Mr. Hart is making a list and checking twice. I believe the 24 to 48 hours he took after the infamous Kentucky defeat was used to make contacts in regard to the next head football coach.

Many of you are calling for Derek Dooley to be fired. I feel if he has a losing record after game number 10 in the 2012 season, he will not be on the sidelines for game number 11.

There are many of you who believe Derek Dooley can reverse the direction of the football program from down to up. However, if the reports of dissension among team members are true, there is no way Coach Dooley can succeed in 2 or 3 more years. I don't believe UT fans will wait for over half a decade to see significant improvement. Some of them will not live that long.

Forget about an adverse reaction from recruits. I believe Mr. Hart will select a knowledgeable and respected member of the "Coaching Fraternity" as the next Head Coach. After all, he is an Alabama man and we all know Alabama men hate to fail.

IF the reports of dissension among team members are true - and he can't "fix" it - you are right - I hope that our Head Coach is capable of keeping his team all on the same page - particularly when 3 years worth of roster is now "his". If he can't achieve this fundamental as a Head Coach - he will lose early and often next year - IF true - I still believe he can manage this particular situation .

manniesghost1903 writes:

in response to OrangePsyched:

Hey girlygirl..are you really that or did you just sleep in a HolidayInnExpress last night. If ignorance was a crime you would get the death penalty. Hart using the 48 hr. period to contact potential candidates is the most imbecilic thing I have read on here in a while and that is saying a lot. CDD will be here for a long time. Will you?

Sounds like you will be one of those fans who won't make it through more than half a decade. What would you being doing if you were in Hart's position? Obviously, you have problems seeing how the future is developing. You have also stepped into a zone beyond your understanding my friend. That noise you hear later tonight will probably be the beginning of a CVA in your head.

ACWLY writes:

in response to OrangePsyched:

You call Hart stupid but you can't spell losing? Come on pot.

Didn't say Hart was stupid just that he made a stupid comment, and you're right, I did misspell the word, guess that makes me stupid, Thanks for correction poT or is it poD or Pard, ??? Guess I Better look it up (that darn spell check).

VolGrad writes:

So, all I want to know right now is "when will the full 2012 Football schedule be released?"

GBO!

NashvillePreds writes:

Win.
Win, and they will come.
Until then, the Hill is living on borrowed time.
Hopefully, Hart understands the facts.
We shall see.
Unfortunately, after a conversation a good friend of my had with DiPetro (sp?), I am fairly convinced the leadership at Tennessee is lost in the woods.
Hart is our only hope.

underthehill writes:

Hart brings nothing with him from Fla State and bama but negatives. His hiring only made things worse.

Classof72 writes:

I will reserve judgment on AD Hart, who's been a Vol for about 3 weeks, so to speak. He might leave in the middle of the night to go to USC, or even back to Bama.

After the KY fiasco, the football coaches and team should write thank you notes to each fan that shows up for next year's home opener. I've been at a previous loss to KY without complaint (as well as Peyton's team's loss to Memphis), for our team fought hard in those games and was fairly beaten. They didn't quit; they were still my Vols. Not so in 2011.

For those revisionists on the team who favor black jerseys, next year the team should wear only plain black jerseys with white numerals (away wear white jerseys with black numerals), plain white pants and socks, plain white helmets and black shoes. Put no individual names on the jerseys. Instead put the word: "ME".

They don't play like the Tennessee Volunteers; there's no reason they should be permitted to impersonate the Tennessee Volunteers. The fans should wear black to mourn the demise of the 'Spirit of the Hill', until it is manifested on a consistent basis by the team that was once ours.

volsbandit writes:

in response to manniesghost1903:

Hopefully, Mr. Hart is making a list and checking twice. I believe the 24 to 48 hours he took after the infamous Kentucky defeat was used to make contacts in regard to the next head football coach.

Many of you are calling for Derek Dooley to be fired. I feel if he has a losing record after game number 10 in the 2012 season, he will not be on the sidelines for game number 11.

There are many of you who believe Derek Dooley can reverse the direction of the football program from down to up. However, if the reports of dissension among team members are true, there is no way Coach Dooley can succeed in 2 or 3 more years. I don't believe UT fans will wait for over half a decade to see significant improvement. Some of them will not live that long.

Forget about an adverse reaction from recruits. I believe Mr. Hart will select a knowledgeable and respected member of the "Coaching Fraternity" as the next Head Coach. After all, he is an Alabama man and we all know Alabama men hate to fail.

One of the best posts I have read in a while. Good job.

bvol1inSC writes:

in response to manniesghost1903:

Hopefully, Mr. Hart is making a list and checking twice. I believe the 24 to 48 hours he took after the infamous Kentucky defeat was used to make contacts in regard to the next head football coach.

Many of you are calling for Derek Dooley to be fired. I feel if he has a losing record after game number 10 in the 2012 season, he will not be on the sidelines for game number 11.

There are many of you who believe Derek Dooley can reverse the direction of the football program from down to up. However, if the reports of dissension among team members are true, there is no way Coach Dooley can succeed in 2 or 3 more years. I don't believe UT fans will wait for over half a decade to see significant improvement. Some of them will not live that long.

Forget about an adverse reaction from recruits. I believe Mr. Hart will select a knowledgeable and respected member of the "Coaching Fraternity" as the next Head Coach. After all, he is an Alabama man and we all know Alabama men hate to fail.

Agreed...good post. What we need are more Vol fans that hate to fail vs. being sheep/blind loyal coach lovers.

bvol1inSC writes:

in response to Classof72:

I will reserve judgment on AD Hart, who's been a Vol for about 3 weeks, so to speak. He might leave in the middle of the night to go to USC, or even back to Bama.

After the KY fiasco, the football coaches and team should write thank you notes to each fan that shows up for next year's home opener. I've been at a previous loss to KY without complaint (as well as Peyton's team's loss to Memphis), for our team fought hard in those games and was fairly beaten. They didn't quit; they were still my Vols. Not so in 2011.

For those revisionists on the team who favor black jerseys, next year the team should wear only plain black jerseys with white numerals (away wear white jerseys with black numerals), plain white pants and socks, plain white helmets and black shoes. Put no individual names on the jerseys. Instead put the word: "ME".

They don't play like the Tennessee Volunteers; there's no reason they should be permitted to impersonate the Tennessee Volunteers. The fans should wear black to mourn the demise of the 'Spirit of the Hill', until it is manifested on a consistent basis by the team that was once ours.

Good post - very true. Nice piece of writing.

bvol1inSC writes:

in response to Bryanbleedsorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good post - glad there's more than the "sheep fans" posting here.

BamaVol writes:

I remember Majors pulled all the starters out at half time in Memphis. It seems like the starters didn't care about winning, after that, they play to win. Maybe CDD needs to set down a couple of players until they get their heads on straight. Maybe some of the so call Vol fans need to set for awhile. They will get better, Dooley will be here for at least thru 2013, and if he can pull out some wins, longer. So set back and enjoy in 2012 we will be 8-4

OrangePsyched writes:

in response to manniesghost1903:

Sounds like you will be one of those fans who won't make it through more than half a decade. What would you being doing if you were in Hart's position? Obviously, you have problems seeing how the future is developing. You have also stepped into a zone beyond your understanding my friend. That noise you hear later tonight will probably be the beginning of a CVA in your head.

Oh yeah a zone beyond my understanding. I certainly understand gibberish of whick you are fluent my friend. Since there was that short list I am sure someone of your stature within the program has some particular insight as to the knew coach will be. So please impart to us your astute insider information that you have privy to. We would like to know our new coaches name so that we can welcome him sufficiently and that the current coaches can offer a smooth transition for Coach X. We will await eagerly your enlightenment oh great one .

nomietn#281095 writes:

Patience is running mighty thin in Vol Nation. We want to be relevant again. Vol fans have been taken for granted too long. Mike Hamilton thought he could throw any product out on the field and "they will come." For years we are buying tickets just to hold on to our priority on the outside hope one of these coaches will luck into an exciting and winning team. Frankly, it's getting old. Hart, Cheek, Dooley, and Martin have 2012 to turn things around or many fan will be lost forever. There will be empty seats because of no ticket sales.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to Classof72:

I will reserve judgment on AD Hart, who's been a Vol for about 3 weeks, so to speak. He might leave in the middle of the night to go to USC, or even back to Bama.

After the KY fiasco, the football coaches and team should write thank you notes to each fan that shows up for next year's home opener. I've been at a previous loss to KY without complaint (as well as Peyton's team's loss to Memphis), for our team fought hard in those games and was fairly beaten. They didn't quit; they were still my Vols. Not so in 2011.

For those revisionists on the team who favor black jerseys, next year the team should wear only plain black jerseys with white numerals (away wear white jerseys with black numerals), plain white pants and socks, plain white helmets and black shoes. Put no individual names on the jerseys. Instead put the word: "ME".

They don't play like the Tennessee Volunteers; there's no reason they should be permitted to impersonate the Tennessee Volunteers. The fans should wear black to mourn the demise of the 'Spirit of the Hill', until it is manifested on a consistent basis by the team that was once ours.

Many young fans dont see your side and I think for me it was also the first time I've seen a VOL team appear to not even try in the second half. Somebody was not motivating. It's possible it's the first time without senior leadership but my gut is saying that's not what it is. We will see next year.

punkin writes:

in response to manniesghost1903:

Hopefully, Mr. Hart is making a list and checking twice. I believe the 24 to 48 hours he took after the infamous Kentucky defeat was used to make contacts in regard to the next head football coach.

Many of you are calling for Derek Dooley to be fired. I feel if he has a losing record after game number 10 in the 2012 season, he will not be on the sidelines for game number 11.

There are many of you who believe Derek Dooley can reverse the direction of the football program from down to up. However, if the reports of dissension among team members are true, there is no way Coach Dooley can succeed in 2 or 3 more years. I don't believe UT fans will wait for over half a decade to see significant improvement. Some of them will not live that long.

Forget about an adverse reaction from recruits. I believe Mr. Hart will select a knowledgeable and respected member of the "Coaching Fraternity" as the next Head Coach. After all, he is an Alabama man and we all know Alabama men hate to fail.

Mr. Hart, if you think the fans are educated, just read the above post and you will change your mind.

rainbow6 writes:

Dooley is a loser and Hart/Haslam will begin looking for his replacement after the fourth or fifth game in 2012. Hart/Haslam will want to put his stamp of approval on the head coach and Dooley can't deliver a record worthy of approval.
Hart is a short timer as Tennessee's athletic director and it all depends on his next football head coaching hire just how short.
Hart's big problem is his lack of integrity in his every day dealings with those he comes in contact.

FanNotSheep writes:

Oh, hang on Hart. You will definitely see a lot more empty seats in the coming months at TBA.

If Dooley can sign some JUCO linemen, which he thankfully is trying to do, and we can have some healing from injuries (Hunter) and rumors (Rogers and Bray) the football team could be competitive in the SEC East in 2012. Of course, if all the Hyams-led haters get their way and the Big 3 is blown up, about the only thing the future holds for Neyland Stadium is lots and lots of empty seats.

flatrock writes:

in response to manniesghost1903:

Hopefully, Mr. Hart is making a list and checking twice. I believe the 24 to 48 hours he took after the infamous Kentucky defeat was used to make contacts in regard to the next head football coach.

Many of you are calling for Derek Dooley to be fired. I feel if he has a losing record after game number 10 in the 2012 season, he will not be on the sidelines for game number 11.

There are many of you who believe Derek Dooley can reverse the direction of the football program from down to up. However, if the reports of dissension among team members are true, there is no way Coach Dooley can succeed in 2 or 3 more years. I don't believe UT fans will wait for over half a decade to see significant improvement. Some of them will not live that long.

Forget about an adverse reaction from recruits. I believe Mr. Hart will select a knowledgeable and respected member of the "Coaching Fraternity" as the next Head Coach. After all, he is an Alabama man and we all know Alabama men hate to fail.

Let's review the "dissension": 2 idiot sophomores dissed the minor bowl that Vols would attract, if they were to beat UK; 3-4 seniors were rightfully tired of listening to the 2 idiot sophs, who the less-than-informed fanbase worshipped, and then witnessed the 2 idiot sophomores stink up the UK stadium.
Proper solution would have been for the 3-4 seniors to have slapped the shizz out of the 2 idiot sophomores (somehow I can't see Al Wilson whining to the coaches the day before the UK game- he would have "handled" the situation himself!)...Let's hope next year's seniors will be a bit more "hands-on"...

TatersDaddy writes:

Has anyone considered a member of the Manning family as a member of the coaching staff? Just wondering.

volnalcoa writes:

The SEC television deal is lucrative but, when every game but one is televised, attendance suffers. Many fans have become quite comfortable watching the games on HD TV while pocketing the savings from inflated ticket prices.

snakeplissken writes:

Hart is playing with smoke and mirrors. Our actual attendance was much worse than what he said. He's referring to actual tickets sold to the games, not attendance. Many season ticket holders didn't attend some of these games and didn't or couldn't sell the ticket, but since the ticket had already been purchased it was counted as being attended.
No big deal, but a false illusion by Hart in trying to prop up a dying football program.

jschariter#367312 writes:

Sat in Neyland Stadium for 8 games this year and watched one of the worse products UT has put in the field in Many years. I could not give away extra tickets I had even to the SC game. Did not see much progress at all in player development on the field, poor game management, pathetic 2 half effort, and watching recruiting thus far, we are hehind, ALA, AUB, LSU, Texas AM, and Florida.... a trend which has held true the last 2 years as well UT behind about 1/2 the conference in recruiting. I found in interesting that Hart did not mention any specifics on the "good things" he has said he has seen.

Noogaorange writes:

in response to Lane_Kiffins_Daddy_Wears_Diapers:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree...lost mine too. Let's hope that Hart will not have a lot of patience with Dooley! Win or be gone is the botton line for 2012.GBO

SevenT writes:

Tennessee Football will NOT get any better until they find a Coach as good or better than Fulmer. Dooley has one season left and he better make some serious progress or he is done. You reap what you sow and post-Fulmer is what the Vols are reaping. Keep up the good work because I am a Kentucky fan and I am looking foward to spanking the Vols again next year

CityVol1 writes:

in response to FLVOL79:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Agreed. The economy excuse is nonsense. Not to mention the relative underlying robustness of the East Tennessee economy, what with TVA, ORNL, etc. I'm not suggesting the economy hasn't affected people overall but I find it difficult to argue that Vol fans (of all people) would not go to the games if UT were providing a decent product on the field. Go back and look at the attendance at Neyland stadium from the late 1980s through about five years ago.

CityVol1 writes:

in response to SevenT:

Tennessee Football will NOT get any better until they find a Coach as good or better than Fulmer. Dooley has one season left and he better make some serious progress or he is done. You reap what you sow and post-Fulmer is what the Vols are reaping. Keep up the good work because I am a Kentucky fan and I am looking foward to spanking the Vols again next year

The bit about a coach as good as Fulmer I don't think is true--not to mention those who don't think Fulmer was a good coach. The fact is that his record speaks for itself with multiple championships and an established track record of Vols in the NFL--nearly unrivaled among all college football programs.

The fact is though that Vol fans have created the illusion that somehow Tennessee is a difficult place to coach, recruit and the like. The numbers presented in this article should be some proof to the contrary. This all started when Fulmer martyred himself and made CPF bigger than the University itself. It continues on and is perpetuated by the KNS--isn't it funny that the Fulmer appreciation day photos appeared on the front page of GoVolsXtra at exactly the same time UT lost to Kentucky? That's a strange coincidence.

snakeplissken writes:

in response to Lane_Kiffins_Daddy_Wears_Diapers:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I couldn't have said it better myself. I think down deep Hart knows the truth and he's just trying to put a positive spin on a dying program. Hart pretty much said as much when he said earlier this week that Dooley's grade was UNACCEPTABLE.

After the 2012 season you can put a fork in Dooley Disasters, unless they beat Florida and win 9 games with an even easier schedule.

SeminaryVol writes:

in response to CityVol1:

Agreed. The economy excuse is nonsense. Not to mention the relative underlying robustness of the East Tennessee economy, what with TVA, ORNL, etc. I'm not suggesting the economy hasn't affected people overall but I find it difficult to argue that Vol fans (of all people) would not go to the games if UT were providing a decent product on the field. Go back and look at the attendance at Neyland stadium from the late 1980s through about five years ago.

The economy is not the whole problem, but it is part of the problem. Every sport is suffering even the NFL. For the Vols you throw in the arrival and relative success of the Titans, a decade of mediocrity, inflated ticket prices, and high-quality cheap tv's on top of a down economy and you get 10,000 empty seats. You're right though. 10 wins a year will magically fix every thing.

Willis writes:

257 DAYS TILL FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE!!!!

CityVol1 writes:

in response to SeminaryVol:

The economy is not the whole problem, but it is part of the problem. Every sport is suffering even the NFL. For the Vols you throw in the arrival and relative success of the Titans, a decade of mediocrity, inflated ticket prices, and high-quality cheap tv's on top of a down economy and you get 10,000 empty seats. You're right though. 10 wins a year will magically fix every thing.

SV--

You are correct--the economy is certainly influencing all entertainment products. The best seat is usually on couch in front of the 50 inch hi-def. Most Vol fans swell at the thought of seeing UT win competitive games at Neyland stadium.

arkyvol writes:

no reason to believe that dooley is going to put together the second winning season of his career anytime soon. i doubt he ever does it in knoxville no matter how many chances the dimwits insist he get. all this charade is going to do is diminish the reputation of a has been program further, and postpone the hard work of rebuilding until someone gets here on his merits. when and if that happens, i predict another two things: people will be shaking their heads for years over how d.d. happened in the first place, and finding jimmy hoffa will be easier than finding somebody who will admit that he wanted him here another season.

D60 writes:

And Cheek's still has a job.............go figure

tensie2004 writes:

in response to Lane_Kiffins_Daddy_Wears_Diapers:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

With all these example of coaches having similar or worst problems than when Dooley came to Tennessee, sort of throws out the idea that a coach HAS to have three or four years to turn around a program. Love the Vols but truly do not believe Dooley is the man for us and we will not be much better next year than we were this year. If we pay the big money for a coach a good, proven coach will come to Tennessee. Again it will have to be big money not the nickel and dimes we are paying to Dooley.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to flatrock:

Let's review the "dissension": 2 idiot sophomores dissed the minor bowl that Vols would attract, if they were to beat UK; 3-4 seniors were rightfully tired of listening to the 2 idiot sophs, who the less-than-informed fanbase worshipped, and then witnessed the 2 idiot sophomores stink up the UK stadium.
Proper solution would have been for the 3-4 seniors to have slapped the shizz out of the 2 idiot sophomores (somehow I can't see Al Wilson whining to the coaches the day before the UK game- he would have "handled" the situation himself!)...Let's hope next year's seniors will be a bit more "hands-on"...

Good post Flat..Sometimes I wonder if Rogers;Bray:Hunter and some others on offense sense that they will never succeed in a Chaney offense with an Oline coach that's questionable at best..Ive watched Chaney's schemes pretty closely and I could think of about 20 other OC's that coach circles around Chaney and Hiestand..I know Ive harped on this way to many times but any OC who does not insert a beefy FB {{Roland Poles ring a bell))on 3rd and 2 or first and goal from the 5 yard line to lead block with a struggling running game is a complete IDIOT!!Even Monte Ball with his brick wall Wisconsin line ran behind a 270lb FB..The result 37 TD's!! Buy out or not; Dooleys undoing will be Chaney and Hiestand's shortcomings..Fulmers last OC sure didn't do him any favors

osbymartin75 writes:

in response to Bubba_Knows:

If the capacity is 102K and the average attendance was 99K, how do you get a 5K drop in attendance. Must be NEW Math? By the way, there may have been 99K who bought tickets but there is no way that many attended. No way! Saw too many empty seats.

The 99k average was for the 2010-11 season. They didnt give this years avg only that it was around a 5k drop off. Its not a new math problem just reading comprehension.

OrangePsyched writes:

I started to make a bunch of usernames so I could respond in kind to Miss Maverick and others. I then got to thinking how pathetic that would make me. CDD is here for a LONG time so we will continue reading the garbage one retard in particular will spew. I wonder if the reason that commentaries seem to be dwindling on here is because 1 negative person primarily is dominating discussion here. It's not because it is the offseason because Volnation still rocks with commentary most being positive. Dooley rocks.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to OrangePsyched:

I started to make a bunch of usernames so I could respond in kind to Miss Maverick and others. I then got to thinking how pathetic that would make me. CDD is here for a LONG time so we will continue reading the garbage one retard in particular will spew. I wonder if the reason that commentaries seem to be dwindling on here is because 1 negative person primarily is dominating discussion here. It's not because it is the offseason because Volnation still rocks with commentary most being positive. Dooley rocks.

OrangePsyched,

Well said my friend. Let's assume for a minute various trolls such as Mer-leave got his way and CDD was indeed replaced. You can bet this troll would lead another group of trolls complaining about the next hire. Fact is, noone will ever be pleased.

And......nothing can be done about anything right now anyhow. The frustrated naysayers and/or trolls act as if their whining on this board will make a hoot of difference. The rest of the Vol fans will wait and see if things will turn around
and if they don't, we and the powers to be will see what happens. In the meantime, the Mer-leave and "Un"professionalhandicappers, all of whom have no clout, no input............will just hang around screwing up this site as best they know how.

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