John Adams: Fans should be prepared for hearing

John Adams

Tennessee's get-together with the NCAA on Saturday will be a challenging time for its fans.

Forget the angst from the possible penalties the NCAA Committee on Infractions might impose on the Vols in football and basketball. There's also the matter of procedure.

Fans are uneducated as to what's appropriate when their program is on trial. As thick as an NCAA manual might be, there's no chapter on how to act or what to wear for an NCAA hearing. Fans can't even get a starting time, which is why a UT fan from Indianapolis emailed me.

She was curious when UT coaches and administrators would be arriving and departing NCAA headquarters Saturday. She thought UT alums in Indianapolis might want to show their support.

How's that for a testament to the passion and loyalty of UT fans? They would consider giving up part of their weekend to stand outside a building in downtown Indianapolis.

They won't be able to hear the hearing. They won't have an opportunity to buy an overpriced soft drink or hot dog. They won't even get inside.

I was so moved by the fan's email, I felt compelled to help.

As to appropriate dress, almost anything goes for an NCAA hearing. But a couple of "don'ts" are worth noting. Female fans should make sure no one mistakes them for an Orange Pride hostess. And male fans should make sure no one mistakes them for former UT coach Lane Kiffin (i.e., don't wear a white visor, white long-sleeve Nike shirt and orange shorts).

Behavior is more important than dress. Don't confuse this with a political protest, or act as though you're at Thompson-Boling Arena. Your goal isn't to heckle an official into a favorable call. The less said the better. In fact, you are better off delivering your message with a sign than a shout.

Here are a few suggestions, all of which are hopefully concise enough for committee members to read without breaking stride.

No. 1: "Respect UT history." Although Tennessee has had a few NCAA fender benders, it has never served hard time. That should count for something.

Whoever is carrying that sign should be standing next to a fan carrying this sign: "Tennessee is no Kentucky," just to make sure the committee keeps the Vols' basketball transgressions in perspective.

And whoever is carrying that sign should be standing next to a fan with the sign: "Bruce Pearl is no John Calipari."

Another sign that might be appropriate: "We're not that good," a self-deprecating reminder of the gains actually accrued by the Vols for breaking NCAA rules. It's not as though they made it to the Final Four, played for the BCS national championship, or won enough games to earn their coach an NFL promotion (see Pete Carroll for details).

Remember, this isn't a game. You don't take the same sign to an NCAA hearing that you would to Neyland Stadium. It's important to keep your ego in check.

For example, take former Southern California athletic director Mike Garrett, who implied the NCAA's pursuit of the Trojans was driven by jealousy. "They wish they were all Trojans," he told USC boosters.

As well received as that might be in the friendly confines of a booster club meeting, it doesn't play as well at NCAA headquarters. That might help explain why USC's sentence seemed overly harsh for the crime. It also might help explain why Garrett is no longer USC's athletic director.

Since the NCAA's opinion of USC is already in the books, UT fans at the hearing probably could further their cause with the sign: "Blame Kiffin; we do." Just make sure the lettering is in garnet and gold to remind the committee Kiffin is now the head coach at USC, not UT.

Kiffin hurt the Vols more by leaving after one year than he did by violating NCAA rules. Because of his sudden departure, the program is on its third football coach in four years and consequently has suffered significant player attrition. Combine that with the damage done to the basketball program, which already has fired Pearl, one of the most successful and popular coaches in school history.

That's worth one more sign: "What's the penalty for piling on?"

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 » 55

agentorange writes:

Vols have nothing to worry about b/c the football team can't get any worse and no one cares about b-ball. (That's a joke.) We'll be fine. Go Vols!

CarbonCopy (Inactive) writes:

John,
The article is stupid

CarbonCopy (Inactive) writes:

By a marginal columnist, trying to be cute

CarbonCopy (Inactive) writes:

Your not cute John. The article is stupid. Sorry John. Try harder next time

lguy (Inactive) writes:

in response to CarbonCopy:

John,
The article is stupid

Carbon Copy,
Your post is stupid.

CarbonCopy (Inactive) writes:

in response to lguy:

Carbon Copy,
Your post is stupid.

John has family that reads his articles and likes them....cool

claiborneh writes:

It must be challenging to crank out UT articles everyday. It is certainly increasingly difficult to read them. Tennessee is one of dozens of schools with a hopeful fanbase awaiting for all the stars to perfectly align. Yet it rarely or never happens, and we continue to digest these trivial articles. Does it really matter how the infractions committee rules? Tennessee will continue to fall a swing, a yard, a shot, or field goal away from championships most of the time, and will continue to be a prideful but wannabe fanbase in the most competitive sports environment ever-a good program always, a great program only in fans dreams year after year and decade after decade. The infractions committee judgements will have little bearing on a traditionally middle tier program in the grand scheme of things.

madmax22 writes:

I guess when you run out of ideas, you let your neighbors 5 year old kid do your column.

ChrisUTvol writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

knucklehead

acworthdave writes:

in response to claiborneh:

It must be challenging to crank out UT articles everyday. It is certainly increasingly difficult to read them. Tennessee is one of dozens of schools with a hopeful fanbase awaiting for all the stars to perfectly align. Yet it rarely or never happens, and we continue to digest these trivial articles. Does it really matter how the infractions committee rules? Tennessee will continue to fall a swing, a yard, a shot, or field goal away from championships most of the time, and will continue to be a prideful but wannabe fanbase in the most competitive sports environment ever-a good program always, a great program only in fans dreams year after year and decade after decade. The infractions committee judgements will have little bearing on a traditionally middle tier program in the grand scheme of things.

Middle tier....I stack the history and tradition of our overall sports programs up against most schools in the NCAA. I would say we are in the top 15 among overall sports programs. Like any other program, our sports teams experience up and down periods. UT is no different. Maybe you can tell us who you support and we can compare overall Athletic department achievement. Your overall program may be better but I wager that they too have experienced the same cyclic periods. No teams stay on top forever.

VolzsFan writes:

in response to agentorange:

Vols have nothing to worry about b/c the football team can't get any worse and no one cares about b-ball. (That's a joke.) We'll be fine. Go Vols!

The football team is and will remain a joke that is true. But the basketball team just had its best era in school history. They have finished in the top 4 in America in attendance selling almost 400,000 tickets per year. That is more than all but about 18 football programs. 6 straight NCAA berths and a school best Elite 8. Not to mention that every player except one left the new coach was at least a 4 star player and he had two great recruits he lost and two soon to be NBA players he lost. Also had a 6'10" silent commit. Sounds like hoops is by far on the best footing over there and many many people obviously care. I know sitting in St. Louis last year the building was Orange. Hate you missed it Gomer.

VolzsFan writes:

Kiffin hurt the Vols more by leaving after one year than he did by violating NCAA rules. Because of his sudden departure, the program is on its third football coach in four years and consequently has suffered significant player attrition.

Seriously John? Had that 5-15 amateur never been hired they would not be in front of the firing squad. They would still have the 40 players he ran off or lost. Had he stayed they would be looking at horrific penalties. His leaving was just mitigating the losses in the longer run.

claiborneh writes:

To clarify "middle tier" - without knowing specific number I believe there are some 120 Div I football teams. The middle tier would therefore be teams 41 thru 80. So to call TN historically a middle tier team is inaccurate in the technical sense. However I was speaking about teams with larger fanbases that regularly at least appear in the AP top 25. in other words the teams that anyone really cares about. Of these TN is generally middle tiered historically. They are more specifically in the middle of the top third in the modern age.

claiborneh writes:

One more clarification. I am 37 years old. Modern age to me is say 1970s to today, because my opinions are based on reading tiring articles year after year. Like most loyal fans , TN fans sometimes like to throw in stats accumulated when nobody is sure who won the national championship and lineman might weigh 175 ins, and you punted sometimes on third down. I'm not being this technical and am speaking in modern day generalizations. The word middle tier is a sensitive word for many but TN is a difficult team to cheer for if you are yearning for a championship.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to claiborneh:

It must be challenging to crank out UT articles everyday. It is certainly increasingly difficult to read them. Tennessee is one of dozens of schools with a hopeful fanbase awaiting for all the stars to perfectly align. Yet it rarely or never happens, and we continue to digest these trivial articles. Does it really matter how the infractions committee rules? Tennessee will continue to fall a swing, a yard, a shot, or field goal away from championships most of the time, and will continue to be a prideful but wannabe fanbase in the most competitive sports environment ever-a good program always, a great program only in fans dreams year after year and decade after decade. The infractions committee judgements will have little bearing on a traditionally middle tier program in the grand scheme of things.

You have bad breath.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to bartlett79:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You missed one. Tenn is the only football team to go through a reg. season and not be scored on.

Classof72 writes:

A man came here from Birmingham
To type out long columns of spam
We read 'em and, "Ick!"
We get really sick
But, frankly, we don't give a damn.

798orange writes:

in response to claiborneh:

To clarify "middle tier" - without knowing specific number I believe there are some 120 Div I football teams. The middle tier would therefore be teams 41 thru 80. So to call TN historically a middle tier team is inaccurate in the technical sense. However I was speaking about teams with larger fanbases that regularly at least appear in the AP top 25. in other words the teams that anyone really cares about. Of these TN is generally middle tiered historically. They are more specifically in the middle of the top third in the modern age.

"However I was speaking about teams with larger fanbases that regularly at least appear in the AP top 25. in other words the teams that anyone really cares about. Of these TN is generally middle tiered historically."
-------------------------------------------------

You don't know what you are talking about. The UT football program is historically one of the top 10-15 in just about any meaningful or relevant area or statistic you can think of.

easleychuck writes:

Waste of time on multiple levels.

orangepeel writes:

in response to InDestruCtible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

How about It is all Mike Hamilton's fault. He hired the coaches that broke the rules after all. Hold Hamilton accountable as well.

BillyVol writes:

I for one thought John did great on the article. One must remember that on Monday they do not have much to write about. The only thing you can at this time is to laugh and have fun, the tears come later.

slb#1351874 writes:

in response to claiborneh:

It must be challenging to crank out UT articles everyday. It is certainly increasingly difficult to read them. Tennessee is one of dozens of schools with a hopeful fanbase awaiting for all the stars to perfectly align. Yet it rarely or never happens, and we continue to digest these trivial articles. Does it really matter how the infractions committee rules? Tennessee will continue to fall a swing, a yard, a shot, or field goal away from championships most of the time, and will continue to be a prideful but wannabe fanbase in the most competitive sports environment ever-a good program always, a great program only in fans dreams year after year and decade after decade. The infractions committee judgements will have little bearing on a traditionally middle tier program in the grand scheme of things.

You are a complete idiot with no semblance of class
go crawl back in the sewer from which you came you bum.

AncientVolFan writes:

I never saw a loyal UT fan with bags over their heads at a Lane Kiffen game. Kiffen was greatly beloved by UT fans compared to some other coaches. They only dislike him now because he jilted them and they are pining for Kiffen's love again. Fans downing Kiffen now sound precisely like little love-lorn ex-lovers. Except to themselves of course.

AllforTenn writes:

in response to AncientVolFan:

I never saw a loyal UT fan with bags over their heads at a Lane Kiffen game. Kiffen was greatly beloved by UT fans compared to some other coaches. They only dislike him now because he jilted them and they are pining for Kiffen's love again. Fans downing Kiffen now sound precisely like little love-lorn ex-lovers. Except to themselves of course.

Ah, your love affair with Kiffin, and you never learned to spell his name.

NickDanger-ThirdEye writes:

in response to Whatthehellsgoingonoutthere:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

in addition UT has the longest active streak of not having consecutive losing seasons. Just about 100 years i think.

GerryOP writes:

in response to InDestruCtible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This from a Jerry Folly fan ... who hired a head coach in waiting ... and a ND failure?

The new sound coming out of G'ville -- "Take our AD ... PLEASE."

shipperman#280095 writes:

Mike Hamilton has resigned as AD at tennessee, Press conference at 11

carbonzip writes:

Straighten out college recruiting. Make freshmen ineligible. Start an NFL Development League and expand the NBA Development League to give the one and done players places to start.

rbhobbs73#226545 writes:

in response to claiborneh:

One more clarification. I am 37 years old. Modern age to me is say 1970s to today, because my opinions are based on reading tiring articles year after year. Like most loyal fans , TN fans sometimes like to throw in stats accumulated when nobody is sure who won the national championship and lineman might weigh 175 ins, and you punted sometimes on third down. I'm not being this technical and am speaking in modern day generalizations. The word middle tier is a sensitive word for many but TN is a difficult team to cheer for if you are yearning for a championship.

Since you are 37 years old...you realistically started watching football in 1984 or 1985.

Since then, the SEC teams with more conference championships than Tennessee are:

Florida

UT is tied for 2nd. That is not mid-tier.

19 Schools have won National titles since then. Only 7 have won multiple titles. So UT is tied for 8th...out of 120. This is not mid tier.

You also said that no one cares about UT, that they are irrelevant among the major schools.

Yet, here YOU are, trolling on our website spewing lies. So obviously YOU care.

Thanks for playing...idiot.

Volunteer-Varmint writes:

I thought this loser was leaving TN for southern California...

WHAT HAPPENED?

Bigger_Al writes:

Allan Houston for AD.

volboy81 writes:

in response to shipperman#280095:

Mike Hamilton has resigned as AD at tennessee, Press conference at 11

my email and phone are blowing up with texts about Hamilton resigning and yet govolsxtra.com doesnt have the first word about it!!!
PITIFUL!!!!

alfrizzle097 writes:

in response to 798orange:

"However I was speaking about teams with larger fanbases that regularly at least appear in the AP top 25. in other words the teams that anyone really cares about. Of these TN is generally middle tiered historically."
-------------------------------------------------

You don't know what you are talking about. The UT football program is historically one of the top 10-15 in just about any meaningful or relevant area or statistic you can think of.

Middle of top third would be about 20th. That doesn't sound horribly far off to me. There was an article a few years back that pretty well established that aside from the 90s UT is historically a fourth place SEC team.

Most of the stats about all time wins and whatnot are heavily influenced by eras when competitive balance wasn't nearly what it is today. Even all time bowl appearances isn't about excellence anymore. Making a bowl game today is about not falling below mediocrity.

UTKin1992 writes:

If it's true, then goodbye you beady-eyed, weasel-faced moron! Good riddance!

If he has a contract like the ones he gave every coach he hired, then he'll be returning to NC a millionaire.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to volboy81:

my email and phone are blowing up with texts about Hamilton resigning and yet govolsxtra.com doesnt have the first word about it!!!
PITIFUL!!!!

Gribble just posted on Twitter that the Vice Chair of the board of trustees confrimed his resignation.

While I'm sure many will be elated of his departure (sorry Florida fans), I kind of agree with some of the other reporters... timing seems pretty odd.

Volunatic writes:

in response to Whatthehellsgoingonoutthere:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well said.

Volunatic writes:

in response to InDestruCtible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Normally I try to refrain from replying to trolls, but this one is pretty good. Y'all must be big Mike Hamilton fans.

Volunatic writes:

in response to Volunteer-Varmint:

I thought this loser was leaving TN for southern California...

WHAT HAPPENED?

It was a joke. The text of Adams' "farewell speech" closely paraphrased the one delivered by kiffin.
I thought it was a funny joke. I also thought this column was pretty funny, for that matter. No point in getting all worked up about it.

claiborneh writes:

in response to Volunatic:

Well said.

It is true I am probably a fair weathered fan. UT is general is often described ad having a passionate but fickle fanbase. I am guilty as charged. And I definitely do cheer for Championships. I cheer for little else.Especially with so many promises and mottos of the seasons and millions spent to keep with the Joneses. End result: average 4th place finish in the SEC historically.Lots of great stats to pad big picture when you go back to years with scrawny
kids in leather helmets, but in the modern age besides an impressive run in the 90s , we are middle to just above middle of the pack. And as I opined, I find it increasingly harder to bear the articles over the years as I have followed fairly closely. It is difficult to be a fan of teams that have potential to go all the way but do not unless all the stars perfectly align and maybe a miracle or two.But in the end here I am still posting
sometimes negative sometimes positive opinions. And still hoping like everyone else despite a outburst of cynicism every now and then.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to bartlett79:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Perfect response to an asinine post..When I read the words "middle tier", I quit reading and was thinking the same things you posted..So I agree 100%!!

utvols2000 writes:

in response to CarbonCopy:

Your not cute John. The article is stupid. Sorry John. Try harder next time

If you are going to trash talk someone, you need to at least use proper grammer. "You're not cute." Not - "Your not cute."

murrayvol writes:

in response to ChrisUTvol:

knucklehead

I had another description in mind.

murrayvol writes:

in response to claiborneh:

It is true I am probably a fair weathered fan. UT is general is often described ad having a passionate but fickle fanbase. I am guilty as charged. And I definitely do cheer for Championships. I cheer for little else.Especially with so many promises and mottos of the seasons and millions spent to keep with the Joneses. End result: average 4th place finish in the SEC historically.Lots of great stats to pad big picture when you go back to years with scrawny
kids in leather helmets, but in the modern age besides an impressive run in the 90s , we are middle to just above middle of the pack. And as I opined, I find it increasingly harder to bear the articles over the years as I have followed fairly closely. It is difficult to be a fan of teams that have potential to go all the way but do not unless all the stars perfectly align and maybe a miracle or two.But in the end here I am still posting
sometimes negative sometimes positive opinions. And still hoping like everyone else despite a outburst of cynicism every now and then.

We must be looking at a different set of facts and stats. UT didn't wear leather helmets in the 50s. Doug Dickey's teams were dominant in the late 60s and absent a misguided decision on his part to return to FU modern SEC football history would've been quite different.

Either know what you're talking about or find another subject.

BTW it's "fair weather fan".

BigOrangeSmoker writes:

I wish more than ever that all VolNation could get rid of johnboy adams just like they did hamilton!!! Both aint worth a plug nickle!!!

docrobcat writes:

in response to bartlett79:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"Depending on the source, UT has up to 6 national titles in football", what????please name them.

Because according to my source Tenn Tech can legitimately lay claim to every title in NCAA history, in all sports, men and women.

And for Adams comment on the sign that should read: "Pearl is not Calipari", I agree. Calipari has never been been accused by the NCAA of a single transgression, let alone lying to them directly. He has never snitched on a fellow coach (for transgressions which he is also guilty of). He has never been fired or forced to resign a job. And He has actually gone to Final Fours.

MilitaryBrat writes:

in response to BigOrangeSmoker:

I wish more than ever that all VolNation could get rid of johnboy adams just like they did hamilton!!! Both aint worth a plug nickle!!!

Maybe if we can get enough people to agree to join GVX, in the understanding that first they have to get rid of Adams, then KNS will give him the axe.

Or even better, have all of the Alumni, get the powers to be at UT, to ban him from all access to the Vols.

CraftHatesBrucesBBQ writes:

"Tennessee is no Kentucky"
"Pearl is no Calipari"

Both of these nuggets of wisdom become apparent each and every March. But thanks for the weak attempted cheap shots, Johnny.

Reminds me of Steven Pearl trying to get a shot up over Terrence Jones. FAIL!

Bammer1 writes:

As a Bama fan I hate to see this happening. It is unfortunate and General Neiland would roll over in his grave. Atleast you have the rats out of the house now and you can rebuild it the way that would make all Volunteers proud. This shall pass. It unfortunately has to run it's course. The Vol nation is a proud and winning organization and I pray that you will be rewarded with a great AD and one that is not gonna hire another knuclehead for you. I watched my beloved team screw up royally. As tough as it seems today. It will pass. Go Vols and RTR

UTVOL2001 writes:

Get this behind us ladies and gents! Let's calm down. We are UT and we have the history, alumni, funds, and everything else it takes to come out of this just fine. This is just a season and it will pass. Don't let the idiots get you worked up. GO VOLS!

claiborneh writes:

in response to murrayvol:

We must be looking at a different set of facts and stats. UT didn't wear leather helmets in the 50s. Doug Dickey's teams were dominant in the late 60s and absent a misguided decision on his part to return to FU modern SEC football history would've been quite different.

Either know what you're talking about or find another subject.

BTW it's "fair weather fan".

You are right I made grammatical error there. Leather helmets were alluding to very beginning of Vol history. I believe average 4th place finish in SEC outside the 90s to be correct still despite good runs we are all familiar with.

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