Derek Dooley says GPA is under control

2.08 in fall blamed on not having 'good working dynamic'

A look at how Tennessee's athletic teams fared for the fall semester:

Sport Fall GPA Overall GPA

Baseball 2.74 2.71

Basketball (Men) 2.37 2.59

Basketball (Women) 3.17 3.03

Football 2.08 2.47

Golf (Men) 3.45 3.28

Golf (Women) 3.37 3.39

Rowing 3.26 3.22

Soccer 3.05 3.03

Softball 3.34 3.32

Swimming (Men) 2.92 2.95

Swimming (Women) 3.17 3.19

Tennis (Men) 3.28 3.36

Tennis (Women) 3.43 3.31

Track (Men) 2.80 2.80

Track (Women) 3.30 3.30Volleyball 3.33 3.42Overall 2.86 2.94Total athletes: 483 Below 2.0: 79 2.01-2.49: 68

2.50-2.99: 98 3.0-3.49: 123 3.49-4.0: 115

The reminder was issued to Tennessee almost as soon as spring practice officially ended.

There will be tests for the Vols to see if they were paying attention.

A team grade-point average of 2.08 in the fall suggested there were plenty of football players spending the spring semester on academic probation with a GPA under 2.0. Radio station WNML reported earlier this week that the number was as high as 30 players and included 24 scholarship athletes.

School officials could not confirm nor deny the report due to federal privacy laws.

The News Sentinel reported on Feb. 6 that the football team had a "tough fall" academically after attending a presentation by NCAA faculty representative Dan Murphy to university faculty.

Donna Thomas, who was the director of the Thornton Athletics Student Life Center at the time, said the football team's GPA was below a 2.45 and no sports team fell below a 2.0.

And while coach Derek Dooley wasn't able to discuss players specifically during in an interview Thursday with the News Sentinel, he pointed to a number of factors that helped contribute to the lowest academic marks of his two-year tenure with the program. He repeatedly stressed that the Vols have addressed them as they close out spring off the field.

"Supporting the team academically is a team effort, OK, and it starts with the players — their effort

and willingness to do it," Dooley said. "It extends with the coaches and genuinely enforcing the accountability policy and weekly emphasis on the importance of getting their degree. Thirdly it's the support system academically at Thornton Center. All of them have to work together as a team, and we did not have a good working dynamic last fall when you look back, and it was a surprise when it happened.

"There were a lot of things that I think had an impact on it, and all of those things have been ironed out and addressed."

Those issues appeared to range from lack of motivation after the Vols lost a regular-season ending game at Kentucky that kept them out of a bowl game to upheaval on the staff in the Thornton Center, which included new faces in at least four positions critical to the football team.

But regardless of how it happened, the Vols couldn't afford to wait long for improvement with the possibility of players getting dismissed if they posted another semester with a GPA under 2.0.

The Vols already had examples they could point to about the importance of continuously working to maintain eligibility with offensive lineman JerQuari Schofield and defensive lineman Corey Miller both missing valuable practice time this spring due to academic issues. And with the deepest of his three teams expected to be on campus this fall, Dooley made clear he didn't want that list to grow when finals roll around at UT.

"Every semester matters, and there are a few guys we're always worried about," Dooley said. "But we have less guys this year that we're concerned about from an eligibility standpoint, believe it or not, than we've had in the past.

"Ultimately what happens on finals and afterward can really impact your football team. ... I think we're having a great semester now and we shouldn't have that problem. This is my seventh academic term and we hadn't had one like that, and I don't think we'll have another one like that again."

Austin Ward covers Tennessee football. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Vols_Beat and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/ward

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Comments » 172

Theo writes:

I am willing to be patient regarding the football teams record due to turnover and the lack of depth. I draw the line, however, at poor academic performance. These guys have every advantage needed to succeed academically. Tutors, scheduled study halls, special study facilities etc. Totally unacceptable.
This is an issue that Hart needs to reengineer some coache's rear ends over.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

Cue the trolls....

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say smart football players go to Vandy and get their butts kicked. Witch Doctor say this look like promising season!
Bones never lie.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to Theo:

I am willing to be patient regarding the football teams record due to turnover and the lack of depth. I draw the line, however, at poor academic performance. These guys have every advantage needed to succeed academically. Tutors, scheduled study halls, special study facilities etc. Totally unacceptable.
This is an issue that Hart needs to reengineer some coache's rear ends over.

I tend to agree, to a point.

These kids do get all those benefits, many that other students don't, and they also get special treatment in the classroom. If UT is like other schools (and I'm sure it is), then they are allowed more absences, and a lot of teachers will look the other way if they aren't totally doing their own work (if you know what I mean). On the other hand, the demands on their time and energy are beyond most of our comprehension. Some of them aren't going to be willing (or maybe unable) to give up having a social life, like they were used to during high school. Not all of them can make the adjustment, and they won't be able to make the grade if they don't. For some of them, there's not a damn thing the coaches can do about it.

hcjournals#206623 writes:

This can be fixed. Studying. Tutors. Studying. No chron. Studying...No throwing down...Studying...Cut down on the girlfriend drama...Going to class....Studying......That's it. Get on it.....Now....

born2ride writes:

Nobody cares about the team GPA or academic performance. The only thing that matters is winning - something Dooley has failed to do.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

A guy brought up a good point on the radio the other day...and he wasn't being smart or anything. But he brought up the morning practices. Might not mean anything. But we've all (well some of us) have been to college. To have noonish classes is one thing. But to have a morning practice, get showered, sit down for a meal....MAN I don't feel like going to class. Not saying its happening, but it's logical. Just a thought.

eduardo writes:

Wonder if he has gotten losing to kenlucky under control??? Take a pg from Jeremy Foley Dave Hart and do the inevitable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Timbo_Slice writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

A guy brought up a good point on the radio the other day...and he wasn't being smart or anything. But he brought up the morning practices. Might not mean anything. But we've all (well some of us) have been to college. To have noonish classes is one thing. But to have a morning practice, get showered, sit down for a meal....MAN I don't feel like going to class. Not saying its happening, but it's logical. Just a thought.

I was listening when they were talking about that and I agree, the early practice has been an experiment gone wrong! It was mentioned last fall that the a.m. practice could have been part of the reason why we saw such a drop off in the 2nd half last year. They get used to playing at 9 in the a.m. all week and then Saturday rolls around and a lot of the games don't start 'till 7 or 8 at night. It explains the lack of intensity. And now it could be causing low g.p.a.'s. I hope Dooley takes this into consideration when setting the practice schedule during the summer and fall.

SpiralBound writes:

Dooley this, Dooley that. When the fit hits the shan, it's not up to the Head Coach. Yes, he's ultimately held responsible because if he can't field the best players then he loses games and possibly loses his job, BUT it all falls back to the players. If they WANT to learn a new defensive scheme, they study it. If they WANT to learn Prob & Stats, they need to study it.

I hope this problem is corrected. I'm guessing 9 of 11 defenders came to UT to play football and not to learn that 81.81% came to perform for the fans.

rootin4volz writes:

Grades freakin' Schmades!

flatrock writes:

in response to Sammy_Burklows_Revenge:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are sad. Very sad.

flatrock writes:

Not sure what the exact changes were, but I have heard from ex-players that the Thornton Center has been a mess since being moved from the UTAD's control to the University's control.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

The Derek Dooley Problem Solving Method:

Step 1: Present problem as not really a problem.

Step 2: Present the problem as a complicated flowchart, pie chart, obscure colloquial metaphor, or simply string big words together until reporters' eyes glaze over.

Step 3: Blame the process.

Step 4: Blame the players.

Step 5: Act incredulous and claim that everything is wonderful and better than it ever has been.

Step 6: If you believe the problem has been solved, then it has been solved. If problem continues to be a problem, repeat step 4.

Step 7: Hire entire new staff.

knoxchatter writes:

FOOTBALL TEAM FINAL EXAM QUESTIONS:

#1) How many feet in a yard?

Football team answer: Duhhhhh, well how many
people standing in the yard?

punkin writes:

It would be nice to see a comparative to other SEC schools, i.e. KY basketball.

burpee_von_rotweiler_IV writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

A guy brought up a good point on the radio the other day...and he wasn't being smart or anything. But he brought up the morning practices. Might not mean anything. But we've all (well some of us) have been to college. To have noonish classes is one thing. But to have a morning practice, get showered, sit down for a meal....MAN I don't feel like going to class. Not saying its happening, but it's logical. Just a thought.

Let's see here. I know of a lot of 18-22 year olds that get up at O:dark thirty. They immediately start their day with grueling physical activity. They go to classes. They have more intense workouts and drills. More classes. More workouts. Eventually they go to bed and repeat the cycle the next day.

They may not be blessed with the genetic mutations or talents to play Division I football or even get to attend colege. But when "the game" is on the line in a hostile locale, they will prevail. None of them say, "I don't want to do this."

Just a thought.

Tennfan4075 writes:

Is there no one driving this bus?

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to Sammy_Burklows_Revenge:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are a joke. A sick joke at that, Flowers. ES&D

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Won_and_Done:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Football team- team GPA

UGA-2.67
SC-2.7 or above for the last 3 semesters
UK-2.35 for scholly players, 2.41 overall
UF-averaged 2.6-2.8 the past couple years,last years couldn't be found.

UT-2.06 overall, 1.90 amongst scholarship players.

These were reported. Not sure about the other schools, maybe they're worse maybe better....don't know. I'm reAlly just worried about 1 school. Atleast they have the spring and summer to make it up. Here's to hoping they do so.

volinlm writes:

Looks like the smart folks are playing tennis and golf. Fewer head injuries??

kyvol98 writes:

in response to Sammy_Burklows_Revenge:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Did someone cut the cheese?

thevoice writes:

in response to Timbo_Slice:

I was listening when they were talking about that and I agree, the early practice has been an experiment gone wrong! It was mentioned last fall that the a.m. practice could have been part of the reason why we saw such a drop off in the 2nd half last year. They get used to playing at 9 in the a.m. all week and then Saturday rolls around and a lot of the games don't start 'till 7 or 8 at night. It explains the lack of intensity. And now it could be causing low g.p.a.'s. I hope Dooley takes this into consideration when setting the practice schedule during the summer and fall.

What we have is a coach-in-training... at the expense of my alma mater.

JayTee writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Anyone care to guess at what point Sammy/troll/Flowers is going to be removed from this site?

Seems he's asking for it.

willblitz4bacon writes:

I'd bet our GPA is alot higher than Allerbammer & Flawduh.
Flawduh is still sadd from the loss of Chaz Bono,Front Butt, aka charlie

volfanz writes:

in response to burpee_von_rotweiler_IV:

Let's see here. I know of a lot of 18-22 year olds that get up at O:dark thirty. They immediately start their day with grueling physical activity. They go to classes. They have more intense workouts and drills. More classes. More workouts. Eventually they go to bed and repeat the cycle the next day.

They may not be blessed with the genetic mutations or talents to play Division I football or even get to attend colege. But when "the game" is on the line in a hostile locale, they will prevail. None of them say, "I don't want to do this."

Just a thought.

Great post and having been to Iraq twice and Afghanistan once, I do believe I understand your logic......Excuses are just that, excuses. When you have a responsibility to execute, you execute. No questions asked, no feeling sorry for yourself, no beating around the bush. Some kids today just don't get it, of course that is when you give them a reality check!

MikeInTN writes:

Sorry to vent....Dooley is a joke, and the football program is irrelevant not only nationally, but in the SEC. JMO When will this nightmare end???

jbc writes:

Looks like football could talk to several other coaches in the athletic department and get some good suggestions on what works for them.

I would initially think evening through 2 pm or so starting Sunday evening thru Friday afternoon are set as schoolwork time. Drop the morning practices.

willblitz4bacon writes:

Allerbammer &Flawduh has more citizens on welfare,weight loss pills&driving on revoked license than Tennessee

GBO! VFL!

GONAVY writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say smart football players go to Vandy and get their butts kicked. Witch Doctor say this look like promising season!
Bones never lie.

Why throw stones at the kids at Vanderbilt? They study, make good grades, and they made it to a bowl this past fall. UT didn't. Grades are one of those unpleasent necessities that are a part of this ugly thing called eligibility. Dooley inherited a mess and is in the process of righting the ship. He doesn't need clowns not studying creating yet another hole in the boat.

Ayres_Hall writes:

The Kentucky game was the last week of November... so how does one game at the end of the semester influence all those weeks BEFORE it?

Some of you people are so focused on one GD game. Get over it.

smokey-vol writes:

in response to flatrock:

You are sad. Very sad.

Troll or not he speaks the truth....

Madkels writes:

in response to born2ride:

Nobody cares about the team GPA or academic performance. The only thing that matters is winning - something Dooley has failed to do.

I understand your point, but to win on the field, these guys have to be disciplined. Disciplined to make the right blocks, run the correct routes, and to not make mental errors. If they lack discipline in the classroom and have poor study habits, that will carry over on the field. The two go hand in hand.

rtrchatt writes:

All these kids have dreams of grandeur and millions in the NFL. Get your butts in class and graduate. Just another hurdle for DD to jump on the recruiting trail with those parents
asking about academic progress.

How about that Bama draft... All 4 teams trade UP to selection, TR, MB, DH, and DK. Barron and Hightower have graduated, and Trent is 21 hrs short after 3 yrs. Saban does not play around lol.

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to MikeInTN:

Sorry to vent....Dooley is a joke, and the football program is irrelevant not only nationally, but in the SEC. JMO When will this nightmare end???

Mike..its OK to vent. Yes I get mad as **** when we lose but at the end of the day, I will always bleed orange. Since you think UT is irrelevant, please pick another team to "support". You have well over 100 to choose from. So get busy. We don't need sour-pusses like you as so-called "fans". GBO!!!

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to BlueTickHound4:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor say thank you for your service to our football program!(lol) Witch Doctor say the Wonderlic test shows after most of these guys get out they didnt learn anything...lol. Witch Doctor say bones predicting good year!
Go Vols!
Bones never lie.

UTQB70 writes:

in response to GONAVY:

Why throw stones at the kids at Vanderbilt? They study, make good grades, and they made it to a bowl this past fall. UT didn't. Grades are one of those unpleasent necessities that are a part of this ugly thing called eligibility. Dooley inherited a mess and is in the process of righting the ship. He doesn't need clowns not studying creating yet another hole in the boat.

Navy,

You get upset because someone says Vandy kids are smart yet it's ok for you to say one of the UT players is dumber than a rock.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to GONAVY:

Why throw stones at the kids at Vanderbilt? They study, make good grades, and they made it to a bowl this past fall. UT didn't. Grades are one of those unpleasent necessities that are a part of this ugly thing called eligibility. Dooley inherited a mess and is in the process of righting the ship. He doesn't need clowns not studying creating yet another hole in the boat.

Witch Doctor did pull "hammy" reaching for the low hanging fruit that is Vanderbilt. lol. Witch Doctor swerve to miss them crossing streets in West End daily. lol
Bones never lie.

MilitaryBrat writes:

in response to 10seVol85_Part_Deux:

I tend to agree, to a point.

These kids do get all those benefits, many that other students don't, and they also get special treatment in the classroom. If UT is like other schools (and I'm sure it is), then they are allowed more absences, and a lot of teachers will look the other way if they aren't totally doing their own work (if you know what I mean). On the other hand, the demands on their time and energy are beyond most of our comprehension. Some of them aren't going to be willing (or maybe unable) to give up having a social life, like they were used to during high school. Not all of them can make the adjustment, and they won't be able to make the grade if they don't. For some of them, there's not a damn thing the coaches can do about it.

I knew I guy that played for Michigan State as a lineman,who after Knee problems quit the team because he knew he had no chance at the NFL. but he said he hated it, because you had no time to do anything. Between practice, weight training, class, and study time, he never had time to get it all done. He said he also had constant aches and pains, even before his Knee problems.

If you wanted any personal life, you either had to cut down on sleep or study time. Usually both.

Then you have the star players in high school who never had to care about their academic performance, and had a very active social life. They get to college and expect the same treatment.

CroKev writes:

Here's a bothersome notion. If the average is 2.09, then there are several players whose GPA's begin with a 1 or less. You know there are some serious students on the team who hold 3.0+ GPA's, which means that there must be some really low GPA's out there in order to bring the average down to a 2.0.

I recognize there are some issues re. confidentiality, but the leaders on the team know exactly who is not putting in the effort so the leaders need to emerge on the field and in the classroom and get out front by example.

mdvol writes:

Must have been the bowl practices. Uh, wait....

holleyab writes:

That means a large number of the group are consistently making D's...Jeez guys.... It's not like you are bio majors.... I was embarrassed of my 3.21....

MilitaryBrat writes:

in response to BlueTickHound4:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And of course the head coach never got any flack from it because they were winning.
Unfortunaely, no one will care about this, if the team starts winning this season. In our win at all costs society.

Vol43 writes:

I predict that this too shall pass and come September, the only GPA of concern is Game Point Average. This is not to dimish the importance of the classroom, but it's not a new problem. I vote--hit the books. Most all these guys will need a good education.

movol77 writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

The Derek Dooley Problem Solving Method:

Step 1: Present problem as not really a problem.

Step 2: Present the problem as a complicated flowchart, pie chart, obscure colloquial metaphor, or simply string big words together until reporters' eyes glaze over.

Step 3: Blame the process.

Step 4: Blame the players.

Step 5: Act incredulous and claim that everything is wonderful and better than it ever has been.

Step 6: If you believe the problem has been solved, then it has been solved. If problem continues to be a problem, repeat step 4.

Step 7: Hire entire new staff.

The Derek Dooley Attack Method:

1. Present Dooley as a problem.

2. Blame everything (including the sunset) on Dooley.

3. Repeat

Voloyalty writes:

I have never talked trash to another team about thier team's GPA. You think Alabama fans really care about the team's GPA? No, they care about wins and losses. All I care about is that they are eligible come Fall. I am sorry, I really could care less if they graduate or not. That decision, just like all the other students at UT, is ultimately up to them. Ask a UK basketball fan right now if they are concerned with thier team's GPA. Next story please...

MilitaryBrat writes:

I don't mind articles like this one, that bring up problems in the program, but I just wish KNS would have also have articles on the good things about the Vols.

A poster had a link to The Daily Beacon (UT student publication) where someone taked to former players on how they felt about the upcoming season, and they were excited about it.
I understand KNS wouldn't want to post an article from a student publication. But you would hope that the "Journalists" on KNS, would have wanted to talk to former players for an informative article. but I guess KNS wouldn't want to do it unless the former players were talking bad about UT.

Also I read (2 days ago) a US Today article (a major publication), that John Chavis is getting a 3 year deal with LSU, that will make him the first Assistant to make a million in a year ( in 2013).
(Kirby Smart makes 950,000)
I have been looking to see if GoVolsXtra would put an article about it, but I haven't found one yet.
I would think that Vols fans would like to know about it. Especially when Jack Lain defended articles about other SEC teams, saying the people want to know about the other teams in the SEC, when a poster complained about Florida and Alabama articles.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to movol77:

The Derek Dooley Attack Method:

1. Present Dooley as a problem.

2. Blame everything (including the sunset) on Dooley.

3. Repeat

That's ridiculous. I would never blame the sunset on Dooley.

The sunset is consistent and has never been beaten by a UK Wide Receiver running a junior high playbook...clearly Dooley has had no effect on the sunset.

jack4444 writes:

Sammy_Burklows_Revenge writes

"If Dooleave is so great at all these things, then how did this situation (the one that we never faced under "low character Kiffin") happen...."

because all kiffin's recruits were in jail, silly boy.

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