No opinion, but multi-year scholarships don't add up to Derek Dooley

Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley talks to the media during a news conference on Friday, Jan. 13, 2012.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley talks to the media during a news conference on Friday, Jan. 13, 2012.

Derek Dooley began his answer by saying he "didn't really have an opinion."

The Tennessee coach finished by delivering the strongest response of any SEC coach who fielded a question about the implementation of multi-year scholarships on National Signing Day.

In short, Dooley stands against what at least nine of 12 Big Ten teams and, as far as we know, Auburn and Florida did Wednesday. Representatives from all of those schools and a number of others are on the record saying that all of the members of their 2012 class received four-year scholarships rather than the one-year deals that have been the norm in modern college athletics.

Without specifically saying whether or not UT's 21 signees received more than a one-year scholarship, Dooley clearly laid out where he stands on the latest hot topic in NCAA reform.

"We forget this is a contract, a two-way street," Dooley said. "I think it's humorous that the academic institution can give an academic scholarship and take it away when a student doesn't perform at a certain GPA-level, but it's absolutely the worst thing you can do as a coach — it's so wrong what you do to these young people — when he doesn't do what he's supposed to do."

And then, well, Dooley reminded the gathering of reporters that he has a background in law.

"I'm still trying to figure out what I'm missing," he said. "You have these contracts. It's called quid pro quo. We give you this. You give us that. But if they don't give us that and we decide not to give them this, then it's the worst thing you can do. I'm still struggling to understand that issue.

"I'm not smart enough to figure it out. I have to spend more time on it before I give an opinion."

The majority of those decision-makers above Dooley don't agree. As soon as this month, the NCAA Board of Directors could pass legislation, which was previously tabled in October because a handful of schools opposed it, that would make multi-year scholarships permanently available.

That would put coaches like Dooley who are opposed to the idea in a bit of a bind. Rival schools who do distribute the multi-year scholarships could use it as a reason to say, "Hey, we here at State U obviously care more about your well-being than that guy."

Considering how SEC commissioner Mike Slive called for the implementation of multi-year scholarships at last year's Media Days, that might not ever be an issue. It could very well be universally adopted and enforced.

Much like the SEC's newly instituted 25-player signing cap, which drew the ire of a number of the league's coaches, similar grumbling has already emerged from the usual suspects.

"I think this is some people's cynical approach, to think that coaches don't have the best interests of the young people that they coach in mind, which I've already said I resent," Alabama coach Nick Saban said at his Signing Day press conference. "I think that every coach that I know has the best interests of his players in mind. I don't know of situations where players are not getting treated fairly in terms of what their responsibility is to what they need to do as college football players and student athletes, in terms of the rules, both academic and behavioral that they need to represent themselves and the university that they represent."

Saban makes a good point. It wasn't a newsworthy event this past summer when UT and the rest of the SEC's schools renewed the vast majority of their players' one-year scholarships and it won't be one when they do the same this year.

The rare exceptions, while still unacceptable and the reason why this legislation has gained so much traction, receive a disproportionate amount of exposure. Just like the controversial oversigning debate. The success stories from grayshirts (UT cornerback Tino Thomas) don't garner anywhere close to the exposure like the recent story of Atlanta area running back Justin Taylor, an Alabama commitment who was told more than a month before National Signing Day that he would have to grayshirt the 2012 season because there wasn't room for him in this year's class.

And, again, much like the oversigning debate, fewer and fewer coaches are coming out against the proposed legislation because it seems all but inevitable.

Coaches like Dooley, Saban and Virginia's Mike London no longer represent the majority even if their opinions truly resonate with their peers.

When asked about Florida's distribution of four-year scholarships, coach Will Muschamp provided three consecutive one-word answers before moving on to a different topic of discussion. At Auburn, coach Gene Chizik mistakenly said that his 2012 class all received one-year scholarships before a compliance official clarified that the Tigers had, in fact, gone the four-year route.

Clearly, the coaches aren't spearheading this movement.

"I've got to coach you, teach you, give you the examples of what's expected," London told The Washington Post. "And then you have to do what's expected in order for every July, when you renew those scholarships, to make it happen again."

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

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Comments » 51

RashaadSalabeb writes:

You just can't say anything good about Coach Dooley, huh? I've never seen a local newspaper so negative about the local team. Come on guys, you're supposed to be on our side. Try to keep at least some of it positive.

Go Vols!

Ironcity writes:

Dooley is right if the kid doesn't try, the coach should not have to keep him. If he skips training shows up late and slacks off all the time, then let him loose. IF he puts in effort but just isn't good enough, he deserves to stay. The problem is with guys like Saban who blur that line.

CoverOrange writes:

Does giving 4 year rides automatically reduce the yearly limit from 25 to 21 in order to stay under the 85 cap? So now four would be signees now go somewhere outside the SEC to get scholarships. Are the University Presidents trying to kill the fatted football calf?

voloffaith writes:

in response to andforhisnexttune:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not so fast my young(assumption) young one. The only thing that is as plain as day is your one-track misguided thinking. You don't have to like him,but when moving to mere speculation any credibility you had going for you goes round the bowl and down the hole. Rainy days and Mondays probably get you up......

Vol_in_Mich writes:

As much as I dislike Dooley, I have to agree with him on this. It's a contract, preform or make room for someone who will (kinda like in the real world) Injuries don't count.
ps: hear these Big 10 or 11 or 12 coaches crying about Urbie stealing their recruits on singing day? Welcome to big time recruiting, SEC style.

VolMan126 writes:

Alot of this mess comes from the state of the game and the money and pressure to win. Until ALABUBBA hired Saban and paid him 5 mill or so this didnt come up very often. That one hire caused a landslide of money paid to keep or get coaches all over the country. With the money comes more and more pressure to win and keep that money or get more. This game is very close to the NFL these days. In the pros if you dont put out they replace you and take away the money when the contract runs out. Its getting that way at every school who wants to win. I think the issue is not losing the scolly its the numbers they give the coaches to work with. As the numbers get smaller the pressure to pick the right guy gets worse. Chris Donald...one of CPF last big recruits. He was one of the top rated LB's in the country when he came to TN. He was a bust here and ended up at Chattanooga. If not for the 25 limit he could have stayed and maybe developed. Its going to get to a point where if they dont pan out by the end of there soph year they will get released. Thats a shame but it may be a reality. In the 80's and 90's the way you lost your scolly was to get in trouble. CJM didnt make 2.5 or 3 mill a year either. Ask yourself how many kids over the years came in a jr's or sr's and gave there all for TN and are forever remembered. Just a few you finish....JJ Mcleskey, Nick Reveiz, Tony Thompson. GO VOLS!!!

packagestore writes:

I agree with CDD and his analogy to a student receiving an academic scholarship and the GPA that they must maintain to keep that scholarship(s). Why should student athletes be treated differently than other students.

As others have stated here, if a player is meeting their academic requirements and putting forth the required effort in the training room and the practice field they are upholding their part of the "contract"

IMO this is another step by the college presidents to regain some power that they have lost. There is a deeper agenda that will surface in the future.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

Derek Dooley then went on to say: "Still, it's perfectly fine for a larger school to sway me from my contract and my personal, oral and moral commitments to my players and recruits whenever that larger school can afford to offer more money and pay my buy-out clause."

Dooley abruptly had to leave before answering the following question from rising 2nd year UT law student Tom Shiester: "Don't you think you're being a bit disingenuous by emphasizing the players' obligations to keep their grades up as part of the contract, but then ignoring the University's unilateral right to cancel..i mean, not renew...a player's contra...I mean scholarship...even if the player keeps his grades up and doesn't violate team rules?"

As he left, Dooley could be heard excitedly muttering to his staff: "Why didn't someone tell me there would be other lawyers in the room?!"

volforeverandever writes:

People like to bad mouth that mean ole coach or university for not letting a player leave( aka Arnett )when they won`t honor their end of the deal or work hard or even go to class and they expect a universiy to guarantee them four years.If thats the case then there should no transfer rule and when you sign your there period.Make it tough on any player who doesn`t go to class,causes any trouble or won`t put forth the effort, lazy or whatever.If a contract is broken by either party there are damages to be paid.So if a player quits, transfers or whatever they should pay that univesity back what it has invested or you can`t` go.Fair is fair.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

"'I think this is some people's cynical approach, to think that coaches don't have the best interests of the young people that they coach in mind, which I've already said I resent,' Alabama coach Nick Saban said at his Signing Day press conference."

Nick Saban went on to emphasize his desire to help less younger people should Tom Coughlin decide to retire and the NY Giants coaching spot come open. "I know I could do a LOT of mentoring in New York. There are more people in Queens than in all of Alabama. I would love an opportunity to make the same 6 figure salary and help out so many young people."

This reporter could not help but notice that the more Coach Saban spoke about leaving the college ranks for the NFL, the more obvious Bobby Petrino's salivating became.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Does giving 4 year rides automatically reduce the yearly limit from 25 to 21 in order to stay under the 85 cap? So now four would be signees now go somewhere outside the SEC to get scholarships. Are the University Presidents trying to kill the fatted football calf?

No it appears that it is like the countries wealth. make sure it is spread evenly. But at least at this point it is all in this country.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to packagestore:

I agree with CDD and his analogy to a student receiving an academic scholarship and the GPA that they must maintain to keep that scholarship(s). Why should student athletes be treated differently than other students.

As others have stated here, if a player is meeting their academic requirements and putting forth the required effort in the training room and the practice field they are upholding their part of the "contract"

IMO this is another step by the college presidents to regain some power that they have lost. There is a deeper agenda that will surface in the future.

The problem with Dooley's argument is that if an academic scholarship student posts a required GPA then, under most scholarship contracts, that scholarship is renewed automatically. There is a degree of separation between the entities awarding the GPA (teachers/University) and the entity renewing the scholarship (usually a scholarship board or trust...and yes, even if it is a University Awarded scholarship).

However, where athletic scholarships are concerned, the head coach is the evaluator of whether the kid complied with the scholarship requirements AND has the authority to terminate the scholarship. With a one-year scholarship, the coaches hold a huge amount of power over the heads of their players and, as far as I know, there is no review process by which a player could challenge Dooley's decision to cut his scholarship.

One year academic and one year athletic scholarships are NOT interchangeable entities. Dooley knows that, but he's hoping that he'll say "I'm a lawyer" and everyone will just shut up and accept what he says as fact because he is, you know, a lawyer.

nomietn#281095 writes:

"No opinion?". Can anyone prove this guy went to law school?

Ironcity writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

The problem with Dooley's argument is that if an academic scholarship student posts a required GPA then, under most scholarship contracts, that scholarship is renewed automatically. There is a degree of separation between the entities awarding the GPA (teachers/University) and the entity renewing the scholarship (usually a scholarship board or trust...and yes, even if it is a University Awarded scholarship).

However, where athletic scholarships are concerned, the head coach is the evaluator of whether the kid complied with the scholarship requirements AND has the authority to terminate the scholarship. With a one-year scholarship, the coaches hold a huge amount of power over the heads of their players and, as far as I know, there is no review process by which a player could challenge Dooley's decision to cut his scholarship.

One year academic and one year athletic scholarships are NOT interchangeable entities. Dooley knows that, but he's hoping that he'll say "I'm a lawyer" and everyone will just shut up and accept what he says as fact because he is, you know, a lawyer.

Well said. You have almost swung me. I do believe the kids need to meet some requirements to maintain the scholly. What those requirements are I am not really sure.

clvolfan writes:

Muschamp made the only answer he is intelligent enough to make..one word!

jack_2222#231746 writes:

in response to andforhisnexttune:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Your ignorance is palpable.

OwensboroVol writes:

I am completely disappointed in Coach Dooley for his stance on this. May I remind him of the quid pro quo We have with Him? We give him millions of Dollars and he gives us winning football teams. Looks like he isn't holding up his end of the "CONTRACT" as he puts it. I guess he will have to leave with no expense to the University of Tennessee Athletic Department.

orange_eVOLution writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

The problem with Dooley's argument is that if an academic scholarship student posts a required GPA then, under most scholarship contracts, that scholarship is renewed automatically. There is a degree of separation between the entities awarding the GPA (teachers/University) and the entity renewing the scholarship (usually a scholarship board or trust...and yes, even if it is a University Awarded scholarship).

However, where athletic scholarships are concerned, the head coach is the evaluator of whether the kid complied with the scholarship requirements AND has the authority to terminate the scholarship. With a one-year scholarship, the coaches hold a huge amount of power over the heads of their players and, as far as I know, there is no review process by which a player could challenge Dooley's decision to cut his scholarship.

One year academic and one year athletic scholarships are NOT interchangeable entities. Dooley knows that, but he's hoping that he'll say "I'm a lawyer" and everyone will just shut up and accept what he says as fact because he is, you know, a lawyer.

Nice post, DEMDHC.

givehim6 writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Does giving 4 year rides automatically reduce the yearly limit from 25 to 21 in order to stay under the 85 cap? So now four would be signees now go somewhere outside the SEC to get scholarships. Are the University Presidents trying to kill the fatted football calf?

In the case of Arnett he wanted to go whined and cryed till CDD let him go. In the other guys case they were just dead weight. UT is rebulding like you said UT is working under a 25 per year limit, only way UT can move forward is cut the fat to make room for more beef. Sounds to me someone, aka KNS, other SEC coaches, want to keep UT stuck in the ditch.

OwensboroVol writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

The problem with Dooley's argument is that if an academic scholarship student posts a required GPA then, under most scholarship contracts, that scholarship is renewed automatically. There is a degree of separation between the entities awarding the GPA (teachers/University) and the entity renewing the scholarship (usually a scholarship board or trust...and yes, even if it is a University Awarded scholarship).

However, where athletic scholarships are concerned, the head coach is the evaluator of whether the kid complied with the scholarship requirements AND has the authority to terminate the scholarship. With a one-year scholarship, the coaches hold a huge amount of power over the heads of their players and, as far as I know, there is no review process by which a player could challenge Dooley's decision to cut his scholarship.

One year academic and one year athletic scholarships are NOT interchangeable entities. Dooley knows that, but he's hoping that he'll say "I'm a lawyer" and everyone will just shut up and accept what he says as fact because he is, you know, a lawyer.

Excellent Post! Dooley needs to read!

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Well said. You have almost swung me. I do believe the kids need to meet some requirements to maintain the scholly. What those requirements are I am not really sure.

I don't know what the answer is either, but what Dooley is putting out there isn't accurate and being a lawyer, he does know that.

Vol74 writes:

There is no easy answer, however (IMO) if 4 year scholarships are to be mandated, it is a contract so the transfer of student atheletes because they "want to" should no longer be allowed. This, I want to play simewhere else routine will have to stop. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

volforeverandever writes:

in response to RockyTopUT:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Won`t happen.He will be here for 2013

packagestore writes:

DEMDHC ... points you made well taken.
I may be to close to the parent/student side to see objectively.

The idea of an athlete being required to repay the school/athletic dept. if they leave early is interesting. If the four year athletic scholarship becomes the rule, I can see this being considered but never implemented. Can you fathom the cost to repay Notre Dame, Vanderbilt etc... this would put them at such a disadvantage the presidents would never approve IMO.

Tennfan4075 writes:

in response to RashaadSalabeb:

You just can't say anything good about Coach Dooley, huh? I've never seen a local newspaper so negative about the local team. Come on guys, you're supposed to be on our side. Try to keep at least some of it positive.

Go Vols!

The story seemed to report what Dooley and others thought about the duration of scholarships, if the thought is negative then the response of the coach is the negative part. The job of the newspaper is to report and that seems to be what was done in this article. Don't kill the messenger when you dislike the message.

Orange_Power_T writes:

in response to packagestore:

DEMDHC ... points you made well taken.
I may be to close to the parent/student side to see objectively.

The idea of an athlete being required to repay the school/athletic dept. if they leave early is interesting. If the four year athletic scholarship becomes the rule, I can see this being considered but never implemented. Can you fathom the cost to repay Notre Dame, Vanderbilt etc... this would put them at such a disadvantage the presidents would never approve IMO.

Funny, I don't see anyone piling on the government when a student leaves school early and the government garnishes their wages for student loans. A case in point, I know of a young lady who quit school early to help support her mother. She was voluntarily repaying her student loan at 15% of her wages, yet that wasn't good enough for them. They garnished her wages and started taking 60%...that's right...60% of her wages for repayment of student loans. Don't expect me to get teary eyed if an athlete who breaks team rules or doesn't try to earn their scholly and expects it to be a four year gimme.

THEKIDWISCONSIN writes:

Much like his team last year, Dooley lost me as well. And he's got a lot of proving to get me back.

But I'll say this; I couldn't agree with him more on this one.

He says a lot of stupid things (WWII, bamboo shoots, soap operas, etc.) to deflect us from the truth and/or try to make himself look smarter than everybody else...but he's dead on when it comes to comparing athletic & academic scholarships.

Merv writes:

Dooley has no reason to complain, so long as everyone faces the same rule.

If the rule requires only one-year scholarships, then Dooley can live with the fact that good athletes will go to schools that offer four-year scholarships. ... If the rules requires four-year scholarships, then everyone else must offer four-year scholarships.

I'll mention that if Dooley favors the one-year scholarship (contract), then at the end of the year he should favor letting athletes transfer schools freely, with no penalty.

Sir_Spanky writes:

in response to doesitmatter:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Buy out? You need to take that up with your former athletic director.

OrangePride writes:

I frankly don't like the idea. We don't have to go too far back to see players who have come here with high expectations and they just never got into the system at all. IF...they don't bring the right work-ethic and passion, then there should not be additional years gauranteed. But if the NCAA should go ahead and enact this rule, then there should be a similar charge to the athlete.....you can't change your mind and transfer because you didn't get the playing time you thought you would. No more Bryce Browns,Arnetts, etc! You come, you make a commitment to be here and PRO-DUCE! Dooley and the other coaches are right on this one!! Keep it up NCAA.....pretty soon there will be a new organization and YOU will be out of business. We get closer every year.

OrangePride writes:

in response to andforhisnexttune:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Let's see, Dooley has some concerns about a proposed NCAA rule change (similar to a majority of other coaches), and that's somehow clear evidence to you he is self-centered and only interested in a paycheck. Interesting line of logic.....but I think it's just your Dooley-hatred showing again. Good grief!

GetSimmsandTeagueout writes:

What about him living up to his contract with the school?

GetSimmsandTeagueout writes:

It doesn't seem to me that TN has ever taken away anyone's scholarship for not performing on the field. Maybe I have watched different games the last ten yrs. than everyone else.

LocoPhan (Inactive) writes:

What many of you would like is a contract with Dooley (or any coach) that says "and that sum will be paid to the coach and his staff when the 8th win of the season is accomplished" or some other arbitrary goal that you or the Athletic Board seem ok with.

Otherwise, Dooley and his staff owe YOU for infringing on your good times and ruining your fall afternoons and evenings.

If we can only come up with a fitting contract which allows our fans to get the wins that they so desire (and deserve, since they are the ones paying the coach's salary), and restitution by repayment of salary or termination of the coach's contract, then all will be happy in Volunteer Country.

Munsterlander writes:

Couldn't disagree with you more, DEMDHC. I have no problem whatsoever with CDD being the final arbiter with whatever criteria he chooses. Kids are given a scholarship TO PLAY FOOTBALL, with an expectation of effort and performance. The fact that they get a tremendous benefit (a largely free college education) is not a right, it IS the quid pro quo. A football scholarship isn't their only path to a successful life and the univerity/coach shouldn't be obligated with no in-turn obligation on the players part. We expect the coaches to win (no matter what) - they have to make the right choices on a million things, so I have no problem whatsoever with them making this choice. It is revealing (and insulting, as Saban said) that people like you always come at this from the negative side - the coach is arbitrary and evil and doesn't have the best interests of the kid at heart - which is total BS.

You give kids a guaranteed 4 year scholarship no matter what, they meet an Al Wilson over the middle and decide the game is to tough for them at that level, back it off a notch, never really competitive again - so you expect the hands of the coach to be tied and that scholarship is just sunk for 4 years? 5 star (Chris Donald) never contributes - guaranteed 4 years? I suppose that is the "fair" thing to do? Good grief.

(Slive, btw, seems to be on an SEC deathwish. Reducing number of recruits relative to other conferences and requiring 4 year scholarships is a guaranteed way to reduce the competitiveness of the SEC versus other conferences.)

Never ceases to amaze me how reflexively vicious so many of you are toward CDD. I can only hope you all wind up in similarly difficult circumstances.

hueypilot writes:

Several years ago a now retired D1 football HC told me that every year he and his assistant's threw $10 in a pool and each coach picked an upperclass player that they thought would decide to shut it down and cruise through his last year or two, but at the same time become a cancer in the lockerroom, or dorm or campus apartment, by infecting freshmen and sophomores with the same attitude. He said they'd have to cull out the rotten apple before he spoiled the barrel.

In a perfect world, eveyone always tries hard, puts forth substantial effort (wouldn't you expect maximum effort from a scholarship athlete) and does everything they can to help their team. We all know that we live in less than a perfect world, that some people get lazy or distracted or just plain quit. To embrace a system that allows those who would do that the same benefits as the ones who still strive to excel is counterproductive, a disservice to the majority and outright foolish.

We have several systems in society that in recent years have adopted this philosophy. To the detriment of the body, IMO. Not every kid should get a trophy, not everybody who wants a welfare check should get one. Human beings respond to carrot and stick consequences. It can't only be the carrot and it can't be carrots for everybody all the time. You wouldn't train a puppy like that. Why would you condition people that way?

dillpic writes:

in response to andforhisnexttune:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Based on what??? He has an opinion. You do too.
Difference is his name and picture are in front of his.

dillpic writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

The problem with Dooley's argument is that if an academic scholarship student posts a required GPA then, under most scholarship contracts, that scholarship is renewed automatically. There is a degree of separation between the entities awarding the GPA (teachers/University) and the entity renewing the scholarship (usually a scholarship board or trust...and yes, even if it is a University Awarded scholarship).

However, where athletic scholarships are concerned, the head coach is the evaluator of whether the kid complied with the scholarship requirements AND has the authority to terminate the scholarship. With a one-year scholarship, the coaches hold a huge amount of power over the heads of their players and, as far as I know, there is no review process by which a player could challenge Dooley's decision to cut his scholarship.

One year academic and one year athletic scholarships are NOT interchangeable entities. Dooley knows that, but he's hoping that he'll say "I'm a lawyer" and everyone will just shut up and accept what he says as fact because he is, you know, a lawyer.

Actually, under most academic Scholarship contracts, once you lose it it is gone \nd off to another deservind student.

I held a scholarship under an organization that if you did not meet the requirements you not only lost the scholarship but were required to pay it back.

GONAVY writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

The problem with Dooley's argument is that if an academic scholarship student posts a required GPA then, under most scholarship contracts, that scholarship is renewed automatically. There is a degree of separation between the entities awarding the GPA (teachers/University) and the entity renewing the scholarship (usually a scholarship board or trust...and yes, even if it is a University Awarded scholarship).

However, where athletic scholarships are concerned, the head coach is the evaluator of whether the kid complied with the scholarship requirements AND has the authority to terminate the scholarship. With a one-year scholarship, the coaches hold a huge amount of power over the heads of their players and, as far as I know, there is no review process by which a player could challenge Dooley's decision to cut his scholarship.

One year academic and one year athletic scholarships are NOT interchangeable entities. Dooley knows that, but he's hoping that he'll say "I'm a lawyer" and everyone will just shut up and accept what he says as fact because he is, you know, a lawyer.

Well said.

1vavolfan writes:

Dooley is right. The kids will have no incentive to do well and follow rules if they are guaranteed a free ride for four years. He will be at a recruiting disadvantage going this route though if everyone else if offering a free four year ride. These are like guaranteed contracts to NFL or NBA rookies that can destroy franchises. Sometimes these kids get big paydays and then check out after they get the money. That is why the NBA has capped rookie salaries to make players actually earn the right to get the big payday.

AWOLVol writes:

If a kid comes in, goes to class, gives good effort M-F and still never sees the field on Saturday, I have no problem with him keep his scholarship. If, however, you have a kid who fails to give effort on the practice field, lets his grade slip, and generally seems to be milking the system, I say a school should be able to cut him loose. As CDD rightly says, academic scholarships are very strict on such things as GPA (not to mention class load, subject matter of classes, etc), and they'll pull those scholarships in a heartbeat. Athletic scholarships should be year-to-year for everyone across the board. This is just another example of Mike Slive being weak and being too afraid of the PC police. Quid Pro Quo!!!

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to dillpic:

Actually, under most academic Scholarship contracts, once you lose it it is gone \nd off to another deservind student.

I held a scholarship under an organization that if you did not meet the requirements you not only lost the scholarship but were required to pay it back.

I think you raise a good point here. I have no problem with the "once it's gone, it's gone" rule. What I have a problem with is that we offer these kids a scholarship and then we naively stick our heads in the sand and say that the coach will always make an impartial judgment regarding whether or not to renew the scholarship AND we just blindly assume that a coach will not terminate one scholarship for the sole purpose of making room for another player. Measuring whether or not a STUDENT athlete meats the minimum GPA requirements of the scholarship is not difficult and, unless there is an act of fraud by his teachers, it is a relatively impartial system.

However, once we get into measuring whether the student athlete has met the requirements of the scholarship regarding athletic performance, then we have system that is heavily rigged in favor of the university rather than the student athlete. Then the question becomes how does Dooley measure things like dedication, heart, effort, etc.? Are we so naive to believe that Dooley is going to do whatever is in the best interests of the player rather than what is in the best interests of the team?

It calls into question whether or not we are going to run UT's football program like a business or as an institution where academics come first and athletics come second.

Of course, I would rather it be run as a business, but since the NCAA continues to insist that their multi-billion dollar college football enterprise is a focused on academics, then awarding four year scholarships is the right way to go. Otherwise, lets admit that college football is a profit making entity, call a spade a spade, pay the players, and allow players to use their names to endorse NCAA approved products.

If it's not a business then four year based scholarships with an emphasis on the player maintaining a minimum GPA and complying with team rules is the morally correct way to handle this football enterprise.

My point being: FBS football is either a business or it's a pastoral collegiate athletic diversion. You can't have the administration making money based on 21st century t.v. rights and keep the students locked into scholarships firmly based in the realities of the 1940s. By forcing coaches to issue four year scholarships, we are giving an assurance to a player that if he meets minimum requirements, then his scholarship will continue on during the term of his academic studies. As long as UT and other Universities continue to insist that their football players are scholars first and athletes second, then four year schollys are the correct decision.

Just my opinion.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

Dooley is right. The kids will have no incentive to do well and follow rules if they are guaranteed a free ride for four years. He will be at a recruiting disadvantage going this route though if everyone else if offering a free four year ride. These are like guaranteed contracts to NFL or NBA rookies that can destroy franchises. Sometimes these kids get big paydays and then check out after they get the money. That is why the NBA has capped rookie salaries to make players actually earn the right to get the big payday.

See...this is the problem with using the term "contract" to describe a scholarship. It IS a contract, but it is not a contract like the NFL gives it's players.

First of all, there is no negotiating a college scholarship. The kid either takes the deal or does not. That is a significant difference between an NFL contract and a college scholarship. The university will be able to include, without any opposition by the player, terms and conditions that will allow it to terminate the scholarship for things like: failure to maintain a certain GPA, failure to follow team rules, etc. What a four year scholarship won't allow is for a coach to terminate a scholarship for the sole reason of offering that scholarship to another player.

As long as four year scholarships are mandated across the board in the SEC, then I don't see UT being at a significant disadvantage when compared to other teams.

One final note: it's naive to think that the NBA has capped rookie salaries in order to make the rookies "earn" a big payday. The NBA has capped rookie salaries because owners don't like negotiating high salaries with new players.

FWBVol writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

I am completely disappointed in Coach Dooley for his stance on this. May I remind him of the quid pro quo We have with Him? We give him millions of Dollars and he gives us winning football teams. Looks like he isn't holding up his end of the "CONTRACT" as he puts it. I guess he will have to leave with no expense to the University of Tennessee Athletic Department.

IMO that is a bad analogy. UT gave Derek Dooley a five-year contract with the knowledge that it would take time to clean up the mess he inherited.

To the best of my knowledge the biggest gripes against CDD now are he came from La. Tech where he didn't have a winning record. He hasn't won a big game at UT, and has lost badly to certain teams most of us despise. He lost the last game of last season to a team that hadn't beaten us since Reagan was President. He seems to demean players and assistant coaches in public. And he sounds too much like a lawyer.

Maybe I missed one or two gripes, but none of those things are grounds for UT to break his contract, at least not after two years considering what he walked into.

In the next year or two the lack of big wins and not winning enough will become an issue even for those who still support CDD.

To judge Dooley now would be like someone with no knowledge or a limited knowledge of construction hiring a contractor to remodel their house and giving him a 10 month contract and then firing him at the end of four months because the progress wasn't going as they thought it should or because the contractor down the street seemed to be working faster than the contractor they hired.

Dooley is recruiting and trying to build a team. So far we may not like the results, but it is a work in progress.

Kids on scholarhips have certain obligations too. I agree that they shouldn't be shown the door just because there is a recruit a school wants to sign and they need to get rid of a current player.

Basically, in most cases it isn't hard for a kid to keep his scholly. All he has to do is go to class, team workouts, practices, keep the grades up and stay out of trouble.

If the four-year scholarships become the norm my question is what happens if a kid like Tyler Bray decides to go to the NFL after his junior year? The contract works both ways. Would Bray owe UT money for not living up to his four-year committment? Could a school like UT sue for damages when they were counting on Bray to be the starting quarterback his senior year and recruited with that in mind and then Bray breaks the oontract?

FanNotSheep writes:

The thing is, NCAA and SEC rules are making it harder to rebuild. Naturally the coach of a team trying desperately to make up ground against the top teams in the league is going to oppose rules that make it harder to do that.

If everybody was on the same level and Alabama and LSU had not just shown the world they are stockpiled with talent the rest of the league can only dream about, then rules like this would have the same impact on every team. But that is not reality.

If our coach were dumb enough not to realize that this hurts Tennessee right now, then we would really be in trouble.

joeaubie writes:

FWBVol:
If the four-year scholarships become the norm my question is what happens if a kid like Tyler Bray decides to go to the NFL after his junior year? The contract works both ways. Would Bray owe UT money for not living up to his four-year committment? Could a school like UT sue for damages when they were counting on Bray to be the starting quarterback his senior year and recruited with that in mind and then Bray breaks the oontract?
.................................................
A scholarship is not a contract. If any kid chooses to return a scholarship prior to completion, there is no penalty. If a student on academic 4 year scholarship finishes their degree in 3 years, are you going to expect them to stay an extra year? No. And you folks who think it is ok to process out a kid because he doesn't "pan out" are just as bad as lil nicky saban.

botetourtvol2 writes:

in response to Munsterlander:

Couldn't disagree with you more, DEMDHC. I have no problem whatsoever with CDD being the final arbiter with whatever criteria he chooses. Kids are given a scholarship TO PLAY FOOTBALL, with an expectation of effort and performance. The fact that they get a tremendous benefit (a largely free college education) is not a right, it IS the quid pro quo. A football scholarship isn't their only path to a successful life and the univerity/coach shouldn't be obligated with no in-turn obligation on the players part. We expect the coaches to win (no matter what) - they have to make the right choices on a million things, so I have no problem whatsoever with them making this choice. It is revealing (and insulting, as Saban said) that people like you always come at this from the negative side - the coach is arbitrary and evil and doesn't have the best interests of the kid at heart - which is total BS.

You give kids a guaranteed 4 year scholarship no matter what, they meet an Al Wilson over the middle and decide the game is to tough for them at that level, back it off a notch, never really competitive again - so you expect the hands of the coach to be tied and that scholarship is just sunk for 4 years? 5 star (Chris Donald) never contributes - guaranteed 4 years? I suppose that is the "fair" thing to do? Good grief.

(Slive, btw, seems to be on an SEC deathwish. Reducing number of recruits relative to other conferences and requiring 4 year scholarships is a guaranteed way to reduce the competitiveness of the SEC versus other conferences.)

Never ceases to amaze me how reflexively vicious so many of you are toward CDD. I can only hope you all wind up in similarly difficult circumstances.

Good Post - This is the healthiest discussion I have seen on this site in a long time. CDD is not billing hours here - I can only imagine the amount of time and energy he is putting in to build a foundation stronger than we realize. It is frustrating to see almost every article spun in a way that makes puts CDD in a bad light - just more nutrition for the unobjective and unrealistic fans to keep piling it on. It is getting old. Keep focusing on the process CDD - the progress will be apparent before we know it!

adimatteo#261830 writes:

Im far from knowledgable on all this, but seems pretty clear.
If you recruit someone and give them scholarship, assuming they follow rules and all requirements, they keep it for four years.
Just becaus he/she doesnt turn out as "good" as you thought changes nothing... assuming they dont follow the rules, that is different.

Not sure what Im missing,
is someone suggesting that because that athlete may not be your starter or you think someone else is a little faster, you can terminate the scholarship, sorry, as long as following all guidelines, and a team member they stay...

It seems black and white, although Im sure there is more

hueypilot writes:

in response to adimatteo#261830:

Im far from knowledgable on all this, but seems pretty clear.
If you recruit someone and give them scholarship, assuming they follow rules and all requirements, they keep it for four years.
Just becaus he/she doesnt turn out as "good" as you thought changes nothing... assuming they dont follow the rules, that is different.

Not sure what Im missing,
is someone suggesting that because that athlete may not be your starter or you think someone else is a little faster, you can terminate the scholarship, sorry, as long as following all guidelines, and a team member they stay...

It seems black and white, although Im sure there is more

What if you think pretty strongly that the kid just isn't putting forth the effort? What if there is a walk on that is busting him hump on the field and in the weight room, studying film, first one to get there and last one toe leave and you have a scholarship player who is just doing the minimum and that minimum puts him way behind the walk on on the depth chart. Does the scholly kid get to keep his just by getting by, denying the walk on a grant in aid? Doesn't seem right to do that does it?

adimatteo#261830 writes:

in response to hueypilot:

What if you think pretty strongly that the kid just isn't putting forth the effort? What if there is a walk on that is busting him hump on the field and in the weight room, studying film, first one to get there and last one toe leave and you have a scholarship player who is just doing the minimum and that minimum puts him way behind the walk on on the depth chart. Does the scholly kid get to keep his just by getting by, denying the walk on a grant in aid? Doesn't seem right to do that does it?

appreciate the response, I concede not black and white.
Still think you need minimum reuquirements and if they dont make that ok, but otherwise, I still think, you hit on most I hope, and miss on a few.
I assume youll always have a few who do just go thru the motions, given the amount of work involved, I would like to think the numbers cant be too high, college would be a lot easier without football practice assuming you really didnt care...
In your example, I would assume that the followign year you may give that walk on a scholarship...

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