John Adams: Turndown not turn off in search for an AD

John Adams

Why doesn't Tennessee offer its athletic director's job to Florida AD Jeremy Foley?

Obvious answer: Because Foley wouldn't accept.

So what? LSU AD Joe Alleva didn't accept, either, according to his statement Tuesday night.

Normally, I would consider potential turndowns as a deterrent in a job search. But these aren't normal times.

After all that has gone wrong with UT athletics in the last year, a mere rejection shouldn't put a dent in anyone's self-esteem. In fact, if it comes from a highly reputable source, it almost serves as a compliment to a program that has fired its basketball and baseball coaches and seen its athletic director resign under not-so-glorious circumstances in the last four months.

So why not start at the top, which is where most folks place Foley when they're ranking college administrators?

Alleva can't match Foley's resume. But UT's pursuit of him at least shows that it's willing to revise its game plan.

UT has a history of bargain shopping. It hires up-and-comers.

It hired football coach Derek Dooley away from Louisiana Tech. It hired basketball coach Cuonzo Martin away from Missouri State.

Now, it's elevating its search to the BCS level. Not only is Alleva an SEC athletic director, he's an SEC athletic director with a better football program.

The Alleva hunt was an upgrade over the Dan Radakovich rumor. The speculation that UT might hire the Georgia Tech athletic director peaked about the time the NCAA announced sanctions against the school as well as Radakovich's non-exemplary performance in response to violations.

The Vols are about to have their football and basketball programs on NCAA probation. If they had hired an athletic director with a less than glowing recommendation from the NCAA, it would have made some of Hamilton's decisions look almost shrewd. It also would have incurred the wrath of anyone in the local media who would have had to spell or pronounce "Radakovich" on a regular basis.

That doesn't mean the Vols should be mourning the loss of Alleva. While it might have looked good to lure away the head of another well-endowed athletic program, it's not as though they lost out on a top-10 football coach. Moreover, Alleva's biggest hire at LSU has been basketball coach Trent Johnson, which doesn't quite rank with Mal Moore's hiring of Nick Saban as Alabama's football coach. Fans don't spend much time agonizing over "the administrator who got away." Nor does an administrative hire foster a wave of second-guessing. There's no won-lost record by which to judge them unless you count the records of the coaches they hire.

UT has hired a basketball coach and baseball coach in the last few months. Dooley is on the verge of only his second season. So no matter who the next AD is, he should be able to stay in the fans' good graces as long as he doesn't raise ticket prices or narrow the seats at Neyland Stadium.

In the meantime, UT's search committee should continue to aim high. Hit or miss, what has it got to lose?

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

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Comments » 39

BigVolinCarolina writes:

I guess it's time for me to send in my resume to Parker Search Firm.

Zippy_Longstocking writes:

Flabbergasted by this article. UT is in crisis. John, did you research how Alleva handled his Duke crisis?..."It's not about the truth..." There is even a book about it. Talk with anyone in Durham, NC that knows anything about him and they will tell you he is classless jerk. Check the LSU staff directory. Alleva spent 30 years at Duke and there is not ONE staff member that chose to follow him to LSU. NOT ONE!! What does that tell us? As an alum, I'm appalled that we even considered this clown. Alleva is not what The Hill needs at this time, or ever. We need someone to change the culture at UT and this is not the guy. We should be thanking our lucky stars.

MikeTheTiger writes:

I agree with you. TN does NOT have to settle for second rate people. I bash TN fans a lot on here but I really like aggravating the fans that cannot take ANY criticism. This is a beautiful area and TN is a great school with a proud athletic history. I am always amazed at the TN fans who I hear saying, "oh, that coach wouldn't want to come here". Why wouldn't a coach or AD want to come here?! Quit selling yourselves short UT FANS. You are one of the best schools in the country. Go for the best and you may be one of the best again. Enjoy this one from 'ol MikeTheTiger, cause tomorrow I'll probably have to start gigging ya'll again!

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to Acadia_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This is an Official KNS Go Vol Loon Update: You are a POS !

flatrock writes:

Hire Bill Emendorfer, 2-sport standout, Vol football captain, academic All-America, dental school graduate, successful businessman...dump the "sitting A.D. requirement" and hire a leader- for a change.

RichmondKyVol writes:

If UT is still interested in Butch Davis, I think he may be available.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Will Chip Kelly at Oregon be next?

hcjournals#206623 writes:

Acadia. It may be time for you to move on...You don't want us to rally the troops. We like this site. Either be an objective sports fan or please, kindly...Hit it...Thanks and good luck...

thevoice writes:

Cutcliff for AD. End of search. It would be a slap in the face of Phillip though.

allvol32 writes:

in response to Acadia_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Buddy - you're a real legend in your own mind as your incessant moronic posts continue to illustrate but I've got a piece of advice for you. To quote John Rich "Go take a long swim in lake you, you're not going to like what you find."

Now go away and let the real Vol fans have legitimate discussions about Vol sports.

KNS, please do your job and moderate these forums as you claim to do in your Terms of Service.

volbike writes:

Wonder how long it will be before the News Cynical realizes that Butch Davis was fired yesterday.

The Raleigh paper had the NC State game announcement 24 hours before the News Cynical.

What a mess we would have been in if we had hired that duffus to replace Kuffem.

rainbow6 writes:

Another stupid article by an overpaid newspaper flunky.

dvhill100 writes:

Like anything else, you get what you pay for. UT needs to man up, get the best they can afford, and make it happen. UT can afford to get the very best, and if they do, it will be money well spent and returned. If any doubts, does anyone still think Alabama paid too much for Saban?

hamneggs writes:

I agree w/Adams, aim high and we will land someone who is looking for a change. The worst thing they can do is settle to expedite things.

easleychuck writes:

Little A_C is at 66 and all are negative.

Last I heard, LSU's football program is on probation. Now the school may have 'cooperated' with the 'AA in throwing an assistant under the bus. I do not see the reason why UT would have hired Alleva after the way he tossed those kids, again, under the bus based on a stripper's word.

UT will hire an AD and life will go on. And the haters will continue to hate no matter the choice or how well the sports programs at UT fare.

formerflgranny writes:

Speaking of bargin hunting.......I now know how JA got his job at KNS.

UTKin1992 writes:

Sports Talk radio and the Internet are the two worst curses ever to befall college athletics. They give lunatics a platform to show the world just how vile and ignorant they can be if given the chance.

The crazy drivel posted on here by some of my (supposed) fellow Vol fans make me wonder how you survive in the real world! The delusional fanaticism I once thought was limited to the likes of Alabama is now commonplace here...unbelievable!

CrankE writes:

in response to Zippy_Longstocking:

Flabbergasted by this article. UT is in crisis. John, did you research how Alleva handled his Duke crisis?..."It's not about the truth..." There is even a book about it. Talk with anyone in Durham, NC that knows anything about him and they will tell you he is classless jerk. Check the LSU staff directory. Alleva spent 30 years at Duke and there is not ONE staff member that chose to follow him to LSU. NOT ONE!! What does that tell us? As an alum, I'm appalled that we even considered this clown. Alleva is not what The Hill needs at this time, or ever. We need someone to change the culture at UT and this is not the guy. We should be thanking our lucky stars.

Amen. Alleva was in the middle of the Duke Lacrosse mess. Swamp People U can keep him.

As for Foley, that's one UF guy that it makes sense to hire. Sure, he'd say no, but the success that UF has had on his watch is undeniable and can be traced to his leadership. UT has had that kind of leadership in the past and lost it. We desperately need it again now.

UT has 114 men's SEC Championships across all sports. That's as good as anybody over the history of the conference. (http://www.utsports.com/fans/sec.html)

Stop lowering the bar, stop lowering expectations, stop making excuses, stop whining, stop spending money on facilities and start spending it on leaders who will restore this University to its tradition.

Volunatic writes:

in response to BigVolinCarolina:

I guess it's time for me to send in my resume to Parker Search Firm.

Why have you waited this long? Your school needs you!

Volunatic writes:

The Vols should break the bank to get Jeremy Foley. I'll take Foley's place at uf. I'll run every program there into the dirt within a couple of seasons.

CoverOrange writes:

One thing that make this whole thing go a little easier would be for KNS to stop printing rumors.

DroopyDrawers writes:

John, the KING OF SPINNERS! Adams, please leave
town. Find a job where your heart is. Or won't they hire you---Fla, Al, LSU

SummittsCourt writes:

All this AD talk amounts to nothing when we have the best person for the job already in place. Remove the interim from her name and hire Joan.

In the meantime, the longer this takes and the more "turndowns" we get the closer it becomes a reality.

Joan's short resume

9 women's sports - all successful and clean with top graduating rates & 1 excellent hire in our new baseball coach.

volinlouisvilleky writes:

Tom Jurich has done a great job at the University of Louisville. Would love to see UT go harder after him. Earlier in June he said he wasn't interested but couldn't the administration try and persuade some of these "elite" ADs to change their minds!

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to hamneggs:

I agree w/Adams, aim high and we will land someone who is looking for a change. The worst thing they can do is settle to expedite things.

I kind of feel the same way. Cronan is doing a good job during the interim period. We have 3 new coaches in place, so there doesn't appear to be a real urgency. I say they take their time and find the right person.

Vol43 writes:

Acadia vol and CSS are lovers. At 4this morning, they were loving on one another.

PennVol writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

All this AD talk amounts to nothing when we have the best person for the job already in place. Remove the interim from her name and hire Joan.

In the meantime, the longer this takes and the more "turndowns" we get the closer it becomes a reality.

Joan's short resume

9 women's sports - all successful and clean with top graduating rates & 1 excellent hire in our new baseball coach.

She's definitely worth the risk. Besides, we've filled all coaching vacancies (except track?) so no need to rush this hire. If these new coaches start winning, the AD job will quickly get more attractive.

VolzsFan writes:

in response to mrkirker:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Very well said and the "Thats the truth Truth". Tenn tried to go after the big boys on all their searches. They did not go bargain hunting by design. They got what they could get. Face it, you ran off or mismanaged the most successful football, baseball, basketball and track coaches in program history. No respectable coach wanted to follow in a legends footsteps and no one in the profession liked the way those legends where treated. Finally, Hammy was a joke in the business and no coach that did not need a job or need a break would return his call. He made hiring and firing mistakes at every turn. They had the greatest in school history on campus at the same time and Hammy screwed it up. Now look at us. They cannot give away the AD job. Hammy acted like his mandate was to ruin UT athletics. Job well done Hammy. You could not have screwed it up more if your bonus was tied to doing so.

VolzsFan writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

All this AD talk amounts to nothing when we have the best person for the job already in place. Remove the interim from her name and hire Joan.

In the meantime, the longer this takes and the more "turndowns" we get the closer it becomes a reality.

Joan's short resume

9 women's sports - all successful and clean with top graduating rates & 1 excellent hire in our new baseball coach.

Dude, she does not want it. She is 118 years old and is ready to retire. Move on already.

GBOEngineer writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

Very well said and the "Thats the truth Truth". Tenn tried to go after the big boys on all their searches. They did not go bargain hunting by design. They got what they could get. Face it, you ran off or mismanaged the most successful football, baseball, basketball and track coaches in program history. No respectable coach wanted to follow in a legends footsteps and no one in the profession liked the way those legends where treated. Finally, Hammy was a joke in the business and no coach that did not need a job or need a break would return his call. He made hiring and firing mistakes at every turn. They had the greatest in school history on campus at the same time and Hammy screwed it up. Now look at us. They cannot give away the AD job. Hammy acted like his mandate was to ruin UT athletics. Job well done Hammy. You could not have screwed it up more if your bonus was tied to doing so.

Mike Hamilton is a better man than you will ever be and your professional achievements (if you have any) will never come close to his.

Theo writes:

in response to MikeTheTiger:

I agree with you. TN does NOT have to settle for second rate people. I bash TN fans a lot on here but I really like aggravating the fans that cannot take ANY criticism. This is a beautiful area and TN is a great school with a proud athletic history. I am always amazed at the TN fans who I hear saying, "oh, that coach wouldn't want to come here". Why wouldn't a coach or AD want to come here?! Quit selling yourselves short UT FANS. You are one of the best schools in the country. Go for the best and you may be one of the best again. Enjoy this one from 'ol MikeTheTiger, cause tomorrow I'll probably have to start gigging ya'll again!

All right you aliens. Stop that right now! What have you done with Tiger Mike!

AHoffman writes:

Dick Baddour is available.

murrayvol writes:

in response to dvhill100:

Like anything else, you get what you pay for. UT needs to man up, get the best they can afford, and make it happen. UT can afford to get the very best, and if they do, it will be money well spent and returned. If any doubts, does anyone still think Alabama paid too much for Saban?

Well he did finish 4th in the SEC West last year with arguably the best team in college football.

If he can match that in 2011, we'll have an answer.

murrayvol writes:

in response to UTKin1992:

Sports Talk radio and the Internet are the two worst curses ever to befall college athletics. They give lunatics a platform to show the world just how vile and ignorant they can be if given the chance.

The crazy drivel posted on here by some of my (supposed) fellow Vol fans make me wonder how you survive in the real world! The delusional fanaticism I once thought was limited to the likes of Alabama is now commonplace here...unbelievable!

You must accept that most of these mopes aren't in the "real world".

allvol32 writes:

in response to Acadia_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Step right up folks and see a serious case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder looks like. The term "has no life" gets bandied about a lot on these boards but here is the King of Has No Life.

I knew that I was seeing a lot of drivel from this dude so I ran a quick audit of what he's posted since Tuesday morning (56 total posts in 56 hours and spanning all hours of the day and night):

Today as of 3:45 PM:

3:43 PM
3:06 PM
2:51 PM
11:30 AM
11:09 AM
10:15 AM
2:42 AM
1:46 AM
1:16 AM
12:57 AM
12:19 AM

Wednesday:

11:48 PM
11:25 PM
10:17 PM
9:43 PM
9:19 PM
3:39 PM
1:41 PM
1:21 PM
1:04 PM
12:46 PM
12:22 PM
12:00 PM
11:21 AM
10:32 AM
9:52 AM
1:44 AM
12:16 AM

Tuesday - doesn't count posts after midnight on Monday:

11:12 PM
11:01 PM
10:39 PM
10:31 PM
10:59 PM
10:29 PM
9:01 PM
8:30 PM
8:25 PM
8:19 PM
7:55 PM
7:42 PM
6:25 PM
5:36 PM
4:56 PM
4:10 PM
3:45 PM
3:09 PM
2:51 PM
2:33 PM
1:30 PM
1:15 PM
12:29 PM
11:12 AM
10:29 AM
9:55 AM
9:39 AM
7:55 AM

Come on KNS either get rid of the psycho or give us an ignore button so we don't have to keep stepping over the dog mess.

10SEFan writes:

So what about Phil Fulmer????????????????

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to Acadia_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

acadia = lsu fan

VolNExile writes:

in response to Acadia_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

lol, you're working the night shift, huh?

allvol32 writes:

in response to Acadia_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If you knew how to do data analysis my simple minded friend then you too would realize what an obsessed moronic imbecile that you are - you piqued my curiosity with the sheer volume of your idiotic posts so I pointed my analytic tools briefly in your direction. Run away little pest and let the adults have an actual meaningful dialogue.

tovolny writes:

Jack, do you ever read these posts? John Adams does a lousy, biased job. Since you allow him to stay on the staff, I believe that makes you just as anti UT as he. I DARE YOU TO PUT OUT A POLL ASKING IF JOHN ADAMS SHOULD GO OR STAY.

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