Derek Dooley said one thing Thursday I agree with 100 percent.
I would hate to have my livelihood depend on the decision-making capacity of 85 college guys.
Dooley referred to it as the "No. 1 professional hazard" in coaching. Now, we wait to see how hazardous Da'Rick Rogers' latest and apparently last episode is to Dooley's career.
Turning the calendar back 2 1/2 years I wonder if Dooley and/or his staff spotted any red flags when they were recruiting Rogers out of Georgia — and away from his commitment to Mark Richt's Bulldogs.
Rogers has been one productive but volatile Vol. Sometimes that's the bargain with elite prospects.
More often than not, I'd bet coaches are willing to roll the dice on a gifted athlete with potential issues if he projects to be a difference-maker. High reward vs. high risk.
In the recruiting business, only a couple dozen prospects per year are awarded a five-star ranking. Virtually everyone drools over them.
I'm certainly not painting the bluest of the blue-chippers with one broad brush. Plenty have turned out to be good citizens and scholars who only created mayhem between the white lines on Saturdays.
But consider the exploits of several recent five-star headliners.
Ohio State took a chance on Terrelle Pryor. The Buckeyes won a Rose Bowl before Jim Tressel had to walk the plank. Michael Dyer helped Auburn win a national championship before trouble cropped up. Isaiah Crowell helped Georgia get to the SEC championship game last year before wearing out his welcome.
The Vols don't haul in the five-star guys like they once did. And they've gained little tangible reward from the ones they did land.
In 2009, Bryce Brown and Janzen Jackson were five-star signees for Lane Kiffin. Brown's curious career lasted one season. Jackson stayed two eventful seasons before he was booted about this time last year.
Rogers was Dooley's first and only five-star signee in 2010. He vindicated the hype last year, leading the SEC with 67 catches and earning first-team All-SEC.
Off the field, however, Rogers has had Dooley pulling his perfectly coifed hair from time to time. Still, it seemed that despite repeated rumors otherwise, the coach and his high-maintenance star were going to make a go of it one more season.
That blew up Thursday.
It is worth noting that Rogers wasn't flat-out dismissed from the team. The terms are indefinite suspension, with an allusion to "a process." But Dooley ventured that he did not expect Rogers to return.
As with Brown and Jackson, Rogers never delivered any hardware to a trophy case that's been sitting on status quo for a while now. Maybe this would have been the year.
In better days UT had the capacity to overcome setbacks like Rogers. Reggie Cobb goes out in 1989? SEC title. Chuck Webb goes down in '90? SEC title.
Jamal Lewis limps off in '98? National championship.
These are leaner times. Last year the Vols lost Justin Hunter, then Tyler Bray, and the wheels came off.
The 2012 roster is stouter than last year's. Why, there's even a new blue-chip receiver to plug in Rogers' vacancy.
Cordarrelle Patterson is a four- or five-star recruit, depending on which scouting service you prefer. As far as I know, he's all clear on the issues front.
For Dooley's professional sake, I hope so.