John Adams: Few certainties with hearing

John Adams

INDIANAPOLIS - If Derek Dooley hadn't been required by the NCAA to attend Saturday's hearing, Tennessee should have brought him anyway, just so it could show him off.

The NCAA is accustomed to meeting with college administrators, coaches and lawyers. It's not accustomed to meeting all three in the same suit.

UT chancellor Jimmy Cheek could have introduced Dooley to the committee as: "Our football coach and a former attorney and athletic director." It would have made a great icebreaker, although you could argue that the Committee on Infractions isn't interested in icebreakers.

Dooley easily could have been mistaken for one of the attorneys as he joined Team Tennessee for its meeting with the NCAA Committee on Infractions on Saturday morning. Contrast that with Lane Kiffin, the current football coach at Southern California and Dooley's predecessor at UT. You could put him in a suit and attach a briefcase to his hand, and he still wouldn't look like a lawyer.

But both had something in common besides football on this morning. Neither one wanted to be there.

Kiffin was there for his involvement in alleged NCAA rules violations committed during his year at UT. Dooley, like new UT basketball coach Cuonzo Martin, was there under NCAA orders.

Never mind if they had nothing to do with the charges facing UT football and basketball. Maybe the NCAA views their attendance as a deterrent.

"I would rather be home with my family celebrating my birthday," Dooley said.

But there are worse things than an innocent man having to sit through an NCAA hearing. Sitting outside one is worse.

It reminds me of the last Daytona 500 I covered from the infield media center. When the cable service was disrupted, our only connection to the race was radio play-by-play and the roar of engines outside our building. The roar wasn't loud enough to keep me awake.

I was too busy reflecting to sleep Saturday.

The NCAA and UT have been mentioned in the same sentence so often, the depth of their relationship has been distorted. It wasn't that long ago when they were only casual acquaintances.

You can't point to a date and specify when the two became an item. Nothing with the NCAA is that clear-cut.

An event does come to mind, though.

Fans gathered at the Knoxville Convention Center for a breakfast and celebration of the Vols' latest football signing class in February of 2009. Consider it Kiffin's coming-out party.

You expect a certain level of optimism at events of this nature, but UT fans hadn't been exposed to a swagger of that magnitude since Steve Spurrier was in his Florida heyday. Kiffin and his assistants might as well have unbuttoned their shirts and puffed out their chests. They appeared ready to take on the world - or at least the SEC sector of it.

And they weren't afraid to start at the top.

The first-time college head coach jokingly called out Urban Meyer for breaking an NCAA rule in his recruitment of UT signee Nu'Keese Richardson. Since Kiffin humor comes with an expression as serious as Meyer's game face, the punch line seemed lost on most folks who didn't have a rooting interest in UT.

The NCAA seemingly has had an eye for the Tennessee shade of orange ever since. So has the national media.

Secondary violations that might have barely registered on the sports consciousness if committed by another coach became boldface headlines when attributed to Kiffin. And the incidents became less and less humorous, until finally - more than two years later - there's not a chuckle to be had.

Few sports-related events could be as grim as an NCAA hearing with the Committee on Infractions. It's about as funny as a baseball slugger trying to convince congressmen that his newfound power is all natural.

The solemnity of the occasion didn't stop Pearl from smiling and waving as he walked about the small gathering of media on his way into his meeting with the committee Saturday afternoon. He even pulled back his coat to show his trademark orange suspenders.

An Associated Press reporter who routinely covers these hearings said, "You don't see many of those (smiles) around here."

Dooley was asked if the hearing compared to a trial. "Somewhere in between," he said.

Nowhere in the constitution did our forefathers assure us of fair and speedy NCAA adjudication. From the first hint of an NCAA investigation until the final verdict, weeks can turn into months, and months into years. As the NCAA plods along, the damages accumulate in its wake.

The negative publicity hasn't been the only penalty. Pearl was fired more than two months ago. UT athletic director Mike Hamilton resigned under fire last week. Ironically and fittingly perhaps, Kiffin has experienced the wrath of an NCAA judgment against the Trojans.

Another judgment is coming.

UT just doesn't know when or how severe.

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.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2011, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2011 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 24

rockytop311 writes:

Bang

rockytop311 writes:

A little strange with the orange suspenders

pomp_and_circumstance writes:

John? Are you really up there in Indy? What's it feel like to be a cub reporter actually on a scene? Or did you see those orange suspenders on ESPN... I wish there was a an old pro at KNS to teach you how to write. You just can't stop spinning in circles in search of an idea.

Imavol4life2 writes:

The votes are in and Adams retains the title of all time worst journalist. Were you drunk when you wrote this?

woodwr#217203 writes:

Has anyone else noticed how much Comedy Central's Daniel Tosh looks like Lane Kiffin?

CrankE writes:

Give it up, Adams. They are never going to fire you for your lame writing skills or your hatred of UT. (or give you that Hamilton sized buyout either.)

ColoVol writes:

I hope we scrape through this and end the disasterous reign of Mike Hamilton. He may be nice guy and good fundraiser, but he did a horrible job with football, basketball and baseball.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to ColoVol:

I hope we scrape through this and end the disasterous reign of Mike Hamilton. He may be nice guy and good fundraiser, but he did a horrible job with football, basketball and baseball.

I guess I don't really agree with you on those issues. I think Pearl was a great hire and I also think that Lane was a great hire for the time. Can't say I am happy with the ending of either but they were what we needed at the time. Mike got rid of a pretty good Baseball coach and I just don't think the hire was as good. Maybe in time I could be happy with the end of the base ball hire, well in a way I was he's gone. As for Mike he made some Boo Boo's with early announcements but for the moat part he appears to have been pretty good, better than the Gator creep and if we really want to see something that needs improvement it is the SEC Comm. Just don't like that Slim

bobbarbilly writes:

So...Coach Fulmer and Lane Kiffin do not look like lawyers and a judgment is coming. Good courtroom drama but the point of this article may have to be subpoenaed.

ILOVEKOOLAID writes:

Never quite understood where all this venom for John Adams comes from. The man is doing his job, and I believe does a really good job of writing an incredible volume of articles on this athletic program. Let's just face facts Vol "fans"...these are dark days for our beloved university. Let us just hope that we have truly hit rock bottom and that, from what I can tell, fine men and leaders like Coach Dooley, Coach Martin, and whomever they hire as the new AD, will lead the program to a proud comeback. I know there are many alumni like myself who sure are pulling for them.

The goodwill built up from great memories of my time there has unfortunately been spent, and I'm ready to be proud of my school again.

Kelly8 writes:

Good Lord, fellow Vols. Stop with the Adams-bashing. Your comments are always along the lines of "you stink" and "you should be fired". I've yet to read an anti-Adams post that actually references a specific point/style/item you don't agree with. If you put Griffith's name on the exact same article (also a very good writer), the posts would say "great article, I wish Adams could do that". This particular piece is largely about a handful of people who have tarnished a university which we all hold dear...yet your comments are primarily unfounded, ignorant criticisms of the writer? Give me a break. Or at least learn 9th grade grammar before posting.

vut56#231073 writes:

in response to Kelly8:

Good Lord, fellow Vols. Stop with the Adams-bashing. Your comments are always along the lines of "you stink" and "you should be fired". I've yet to read an anti-Adams post that actually references a specific point/style/item you don't agree with. If you put Griffith's name on the exact same article (also a very good writer), the posts would say "great article, I wish Adams could do that". This particular piece is largely about a handful of people who have tarnished a university which we all hold dear...yet your comments are primarily unfounded, ignorant criticisms of the writer? Give me a break. Or at least learn 9th grade grammar before posting.

Here is the specific: Adams spins a lot of words. However, one never knows when he is a reporter, an op-ed writer, a humorist, a satirist...or a goof ball; he mixes them all. He does show skill; all too often it is out of context, off target or in ill taste. If he will stick to being an op-ed columnist, he can say his piece...and that would be his chore. We could take it or leave it. However, with 2-3 posts a day, all mixed hither and yon..we never know. So, he opens himself to criticism for being not good at any of these roles because he mixes them all. He may be as good a family man, citizen and church goer as Hamilton...for all we know; he is just not good in his role at KNS, which elicits all the negative comments from those who expect...and deserve better.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to Kelly8:

Good Lord, fellow Vols. Stop with the Adams-bashing. Your comments are always along the lines of "you stink" and "you should be fired". I've yet to read an anti-Adams post that actually references a specific point/style/item you don't agree with. If you put Griffith's name on the exact same article (also a very good writer), the posts would say "great article, I wish Adams could do that". This particular piece is largely about a handful of people who have tarnished a university which we all hold dear...yet your comments are primarily unfounded, ignorant criticisms of the writer? Give me a break. Or at least learn 9th grade grammar before posting.

I've said it many times before. No new information, no insightful review of old information, no point, just rambling. No, I don't think Adams has a vendetta against UT, but I do think it is interesting that UTAD never returns KNS calls.

Kelly8 writes:

in response to vut56#231073:

Here is the specific: Adams spins a lot of words. However, one never knows when he is a reporter, an op-ed writer, a humorist, a satirist...or a goof ball; he mixes them all. He does show skill; all too often it is out of context, off target or in ill taste. If he will stick to being an op-ed columnist, he can say his piece...and that would be his chore. We could take it or leave it. However, with 2-3 posts a day, all mixed hither and yon..we never know. So, he opens himself to criticism for being not good at any of these roles because he mixes them all. He may be as good a family man, citizen and church goer as Hamilton...for all we know; he is just not good in his role at KNS, which elicits all the negative comments from those who expect...and deserve better.

Now that's more like it!

Good post.

ColoVol writes:

Well, I live in Colorado and was proud to maintain my 4 season tickets since I left school there in 1984. Even though I could only make 2 or 3 games a year, there's no place like Neyland (home).

I let those expire this year given utter disgust with Hamilton. Still not looking back. I can always buy tickets.

I will NEVER STOP SUPPORTING the Vols in my day-to-day life and with other dollar donations.

We'll be back!

VOLFAN4LIFEgovols writes:

Well I kinda think kiffin did those last 2 on purpose to try to hurt UT cause you know he knew he was leaving alrdy. I mean 2 days later he was at USC. So I do think he should be help responsible as well.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

I've said it many times before. No new information, no insightful review of old information, no point, just rambling. No, I don't think Adams has a vendetta against UT, but I do think it is interesting that UTAD never returns KNS calls.

It's pretty obvious that Adams is a column writer..It's not his job to report the facts.If you want facts and statistics get the info elsewhere..He spins and weaves the story sometimes with humor or personal amusement..Somedays it works and others it's just fluff..NO writer was going to leave the room with anything that we didn't already know..I think the KNS staff does a pretty good job of writing when there is nothing informative to report during these long summer droughts

CoverOrange writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

It's pretty obvious that Adams is a column writer..It's not his job to report the facts.If you want facts and statistics get the info elsewhere..He spins and weaves the story sometimes with humor or personal amusement..Somedays it works and others it's just fluff..NO writer was going to leave the room with anything that we didn't already know..I think the KNS staff does a pretty good job of writing when there is nothing informative to report during these long summer droughts

How about insight into old information. I expect that of a column writer.

TommyJack writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

thanks, john

ElConquistador writes:

in response to woodwr#217203:

Has anyone else noticed how much Comedy Central's Daniel Tosh looks like Lane Kiffin?

Yes, Tosh had his picture on one time, and made a joke about it.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to pomp_and_circumstance:

John? Are you really up there in Indy? What's it feel like to be a cub reporter actually on a scene? Or did you see those orange suspenders on ESPN... I wish there was a an old pro at KNS to teach you how to write. You just can't stop spinning in circles in search of an idea.

You are sick,sick,sick.

Voluvr writes:

When is the sentencing hearing.....2015?

Hopefully the punishment is reduced considering the damage done by the NCAA taking forever. Consider it time served!

BigOrangeSmoker writes:

in response to Imavol4life2:

The votes are in and Adams retains the title of all time worst journalist. Were you drunk when you wrote this?

he might of been drunk...again.Hes the worst reporter the KNS has EVER had

OwensboroVol writes:

in response to VolinCalif:

I guess I don't really agree with you on those issues. I think Pearl was a great hire and I also think that Lane was a great hire for the time. Can't say I am happy with the ending of either but they were what we needed at the time. Mike got rid of a pretty good Baseball coach and I just don't think the hire was as good. Maybe in time I could be happy with the end of the base ball hire, well in a way I was he's gone. As for Mike he made some Boo Boo's with early announcements but for the moat part he appears to have been pretty good, better than the Gator creep and if we really want to see something that needs improvement it is the SEC Comm. Just don't like that Slim

Agree with you on the Pearl and Kiffin hires. I think maybe a clause should have been added to Kiffin's and any other coaches contract stating that if they leave for another job during the first 5 years that the separation penalty is doubled or tripled. Southern Cal's coaching job may have been his dream job, but his leaving left the Tennessee program in terrible shape. I also agree about the SEC Commissioner. I think his suspension of Pearl was the cheapest shot I've ever seen. With all the violations that have occurred in the SEC, can anyone name another coach suspended by Slive? He had a situation where I feel like he thought he could make some points with some of our SEC rivals and took it. The Football officiating in the SEC has dropped in quality to depths that neither I or any of my old friends can remember. Make no mistake, it is one of Slive's primary jobs to keep the officiating up to standards. IT IS NOT AT THIS TIME. Bad calls determining the winners of games is at a rate never seen before in the SEC. Slive should be terminated for that very reason.

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