The search to find Mike Hamilton's replacement began "immediately" on the day his impromptu resignation was announced.
That was June 7.
One month later, chancellor Jimmy Cheek and his five-person search committee have yet to interview a single candidate and there are no finite dates set for when that part of the hiring process is set to commence.
"People want to say 'this person's out, this person's in.' None of that's happened," said Daniel Murphy, UT's NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative, Chairman of the University Athletics Board and a member of Cheek's search committee.
"We've hired a search firm and we're in the exploration phase. No decisions have been made on anybody. Nobody has been interviewed. You have to go through a very diligent process."
That, of course, applies to the likes of former Vols quarterback Heath Shuler, former football coach Phillip Fulmer, internal candidates and the litany of other athletic directors across the country whose names have been bandied about since Hamilton's resignation.
Cheek's original timeline to hire an athletic director hovered between six and eight weeks, which would precede the start of the football season. At last month's Board of Trustees meeting, women's athletic director Joan Cronan, a member of Cheek's search committee who is also serving as the athletic department's interim vice chancellor, said there is no reason to think that someone couldn't be hired by then.
"We're still looking and we're listening," said Cronan, who is away on vacation for the week. "I think right now the most important thing we can do is listen to our constituents. See what they're thinking and obviously we'll go forward.
"I love being the interim but I'm anxious to bring in somebody and see as we go forward and work through the transition."
Murphy said the search committee - which, along with Cronan, also features UT Provost Susan Martin, trustee Charles Anderson and high-profile donor John Tickle - hasn't been forced to meet very often because it is currently in the "exploration stage" of the process, which is being primarily facilitated by Parker Executive Search. UT hired the company last month and will pay it no less than $90,000 to assist in the search for Hamilton's replacement.
Murphy said there's been no need to rush Parker, which is under contract with the university through Aug. 13, because it's still relatively early into the process.
"These are very high-level positions," Murphy said. "I think they're unique positions and they're very important positions to our university. You've got to be very deliberate in the process you go through.
"I don't view this is as slow or anything. My gosh, you want slow, be involved in a faculty search. That's slow. That's six months."
Last year, Georgia needed just a little more than a month to find a replacement for athletic director Damon Evans, who was fired after he was arrested in embarrassing fashion for driving under the influence in Atlanta. That short amount of time, though, is far from the norm, especially when schools use a search firm.
In filling their athletic director vacancies over the past decade, Arkansas and Auburn needed seven and five months, respectively, to nail down a candidate.
Murphy said the interview process will begin once Parker presents the committee with "results."