NCAA hearing opened Derek Dooley's eyes

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Less than 12 hours before he was set to appear with the rest of Tennessee’s top brass at last week’s NCAA Committee on Infractions hearing in Indianapolis, Derek Dooley bumped into Boise State athletic director Gene Bleymaier.

It was then that the Tennessee football coach truly realized he would be in for a long Saturday, as Bleymaier had just spent the previous 13 hours defending his school against a variety of allegations.

“I was ready for a long one,” Dooley said Friday while he signed a table full of footballs at the Bradley Sunrise Rotary Sunset Gala, a fundraising event to benefit those affected by the deadly tornadoes that swept through the area in April.

“It’s OK with me because we have long staff meetings. I was used to it.”

Dooley made sure to have one of those long staff meetings after last week’s hearing, which ended just shy of 11 hours compared to Boise State’s 13.

Because his assistants are the ones “out in the field” more than he is, Dooley said it was essential to relay what he learned.

“You’re constantly trying to promote an atmosphere of compliance,” Dooley said. “You’re pushing your coaches to perform and pushing them to get results in recruiting but at the same time you’ve got to make sure they understand it’s never at the expense of the rules. That’s just something you’ve got to constantly do.”

Though neither Dooley nor men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin had anything to do with the 12 major violations levied against UT in February’s Notice of Allegations, both were required to attend the hearing, per NCAA rules.

Dooley admitted before the hearing that he didn’t exactly want to be there and joked that he would try to watch movies on his iPad during the proceedings. In hindsight, though, Dooley said he couldn’t stress how important it was to attend.

“There were a lot of lessons that I took from it,” he said. “I do think when you see how one bad choice or one bad decision can impact so many different lives, it resonates with you.

“I think it was also sort of a good reminder of how the landscape is changing. It really is moving away and putting more and more responsibility on the head coach to really have command of the whole shop. It’s challenging to be able to do that, but that’s the landscape right now.”

Per NCAA rules, Dooley couldn’t divulge into the specifics of the hearing. The Vols won’t hear from the NCAA on potential penalties for at least seven weeks.

Dooley said he hopes it’s the last UT hears from college sports’ governing body.

“I just think that everybody’s got a line that they got to never cross,” he said. “No matter what pressure you feel it should never cause you to do something that would ultimately result in losing your job and affect the program.”

Andrew Gribble may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble

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 » 25

JimmyJoe writes:

I agree with you coach!

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

What's this new investigation they keep talking about on The Sports Animal, anyone know? They are saying the NCAA is on The Hill again, but nobody has any answers why.

CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED writes:

Rich,

Guess you are speaking of the investigation into the recruiting practices in South Florida...Not just UT, but all schools that have been getting recruits from that area. Supposedly reports of money changing hands in several cases. UT cases supposedly involve Trooper Taylor and Eddie Gran..Not sure how much if any of this is true, but it could get ugly.

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED:

Rich,

Guess you are speaking of the investigation into the recruiting practices in South Florida...Not just UT, but all schools that have been getting recruits from that area. Supposedly reports of money changing hands in several cases. UT cases supposedly involve Trooper Taylor and Eddie Gran..Not sure how much if any of this is true, but it could get ugly.

Well Clemson, I live in Alabama so I KNOW that Trooper couldn't possibly be involved because he's part of the Auburn "family" and according to them, once Chizik got there, they are now the paragon of conduct in the entire NCAA and that towel-waving idiot is the best thing since sliced bread. Yeah, it makes me sick too. Go Vols!!!

VOLliven2it writes:

Winning is NEVER worth doing the wrong thing. When a rule is broken once, with our human nature, it becomes easier each time you feel a need to do it. I would much rather win by keeping the rules than have championships doing it the wrong way. Say all you want about "others are doing it" etc. Any program, our own beloved included, deserves whatever they get when they try to consider themselves above the rules. I know some of the rules are ridiculous but when you know and violate them, it's on your head.
By the way, all SEC conspiracy theorists, let's wait and see how they deal with Ohio State and their nice little mess up Bigwhatever Conference way. If that gets swept under the table and little happens, I might get on the bandwagon with you. Here's hoping they get what's coming to them.

JJMcCleskey writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

TheOpinion writes:

in response to asleep#212036:

Well Clemson, I live in Alabama so I KNOW that Trooper couldn't possibly be involved because he's part of the Auburn "family" and according to them, once Chizik got there, they are now the paragon of conduct in the entire NCAA and that towel-waving idiot is the best thing since sliced bread. Yeah, it makes me sick too. Go Vols!!!

Were you shooting for a sarcastic joke? If you were I'm afraid it's not that funny but if you're being serious that's ignorant. Trooper was a coach here and a great recruiter so maybe he did offer some $ to kids. I have no idea just trying to clear your comment up.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED:

Rich,

Guess you are speaking of the investigation into the recruiting practices in South Florida...Not just UT, but all schools that have been getting recruits from that area. Supposedly reports of money changing hands in several cases. UT cases supposedly involve Trooper Taylor and Eddie Gran..Not sure how much if any of this is true, but it could get ugly.

Yeah, I just read it somewhere else. Money exchanged between Gran and Nu'Keese's family. Thanks Clemson.

VolunteerLifer writes:

Too bad they didn't take Bruce Pearl to an ncaa hearing in his first years to learn the lessons that Dooley learned.

JJMcCleskey writes:

in response to JJMcCleskey:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks a lot staff for supporting the Big Orange. All I did was post a link to a poll on ESPN so Tennesse would top Georgia!

arkyvol writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

Too bad they didn't take Bruce Pearl to an ncaa hearing in his first years to learn the lessons that Dooley learned.

i loved him as our coach, but he is what he is. he could have spent a summer in k.c. or 6 years in the hanoi hilton and he'd still be bruce. great coach, slick operator.

FWBVol writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

Yeah, I just read it somewhere else. Money exchanged between Gran and Nu'Keese's family. Thanks Clemson.

If someone at UT did give Nu'Keese or his family money, I hope they returned it as he didn't even do enough to fulfill the obligations of his freshman season.

chrisw2967 writes:

If somebody gave Nuke money it couldnt of been no more than .50 cents,if it was anymore than that he wouldnt of been trying to rob a guy at the pilot for a hamburger.

OwensboroVol writes:

in response to asleep#212036:

Well Clemson, I live in Alabama so I KNOW that Trooper couldn't possibly be involved because he's part of the Auburn "family" and according to them, once Chizik got there, they are now the paragon of conduct in the entire NCAA and that towel-waving idiot is the best thing since sliced bread. Yeah, it makes me sick too. Go Vols!!!

Yeah!! I honestly believe that in four years or less Auburn will lose the NC they just won and will go on some kind of Probation for Paying Cam the Sham to play football. No Doubt at all. The only doubt I have is that Auburn has broken the rules so many times and gone through the NCAA situation comedy so many times that they may be experienced enough to actually get away with it!

OwensboroVol writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yes and remember, the NCAA was ready and wanting to wrap it up. The uncovering of the vast extent of the violations by Ohio State was done by Sports Illustrated asking the right questions to the right people that the NCAA should have been asking and didn't.

jawbreaker writes:

My cousin in Waco, Texas, has maintained for years that Trooper was the "bag-man", that is, the "money-man" for Baylor when he coached there. Of course, cuz doesn't have any hard evidence of that; and, it certainly didn't seem to do Baylor any good, but I'm just sayin'.

volsfannsc writes:

in response to VOLliven2it:

Winning is NEVER worth doing the wrong thing. When a rule is broken once, with our human nature, it becomes easier each time you feel a need to do it. I would much rather win by keeping the rules than have championships doing it the wrong way. Say all you want about "others are doing it" etc. Any program, our own beloved included, deserves whatever they get when they try to consider themselves above the rules. I know some of the rules are ridiculous but when you know and violate them, it's on your head.
By the way, all SEC conspiracy theorists, let's wait and see how they deal with Ohio State and their nice little mess up Bigwhatever Conference way. If that gets swept under the table and little happens, I might get on the bandwagon with you. Here's hoping they get what's coming to them.

But odds are, you would be on the bandwagon for having the coaches head if we were to have a 4-8 season. I'm not defending crooked coaches but they do seem to be between a rock and a hard place. I think it's the system that should undergo the overhaul.

CCLC writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

What's this new investigation they keep talking about on The Sports Animal, anyone know? They are saying the NCAA is on The Hill again, but nobody has any answers why.

Recruiting some kids in south Florida hs. Auburn, LSU and Tennessee being looked at.

cloudodust writes:

So, is the NCAA trying to get the point across coast-to-coast that a college athlete watering grass at a car dealership over a summer doesn't pay the wages to earn the price of a Corvette also..? Jus' wondering.
signed, Ken Stabler

gillblog writes:

I'll put this out again; we must un-couple academic scholarships from big-time sports players. Schools should franchaise their teams just like they do with book stores which carry school names but are not under the academic umbrella. There is simply too much money running around for anyone to stay completely clean for very long. The NCAA is (to borrow a phrase) trying to chase a Mazarati in a Yugo, and they are un-accountable in their procedures. Paying players to play but keeping scholarships out of the contract is the only way these semi-pro sports will ever be able to function on a truly 'level' field.

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

in response to FWBVol:

If someone at UT did give Nu'Keese or his family money, I hope they returned it as he didn't even do enough to fulfill the obligations of his freshman season.

If somebody gave Nukeese money, why did he try to rob a car full of poor hillbillies in the parking lot of the local convenience store?

DMyles writes:

Allegations of cheating have always been used for political reasons. That is how they got Bear Bryant when he started winning a little to much at Texas A&M. Were they playing players? Sure, but so was everybody else, just like everybody is still doing it now. You cannot win in college sports unless you cheat, both in terms of paying players and using performance enhancing drugs. The NCAA is a political body that goes after the schools it doesn't like.

RockyTop1_old writes:

in response to LaneKiffinFan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I have heard rather be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt. You sir have accomplished the latter quite well.

joeaubie writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

Yeah!! I honestly believe that in four years or less Auburn will lose the NC they just won and will go on some kind of Probation for Paying Cam the Sham to play football. No Doubt at all. The only doubt I have is that Auburn has broken the rules so many times and gone through the NCAA situation comedy so many times that they may be experienced enough to actually get away with it!

And yet it is Tennessee awaiting penalties from the NCAA in 7 weeks. No doubt at all.

Chartervol writes:

Dooley is probably smart enough not to play with fire anyway, but I guarantee he's astute enough to watch that mess in Indy and learn from other people's screwups.

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