Josh Pastner wants to end series with UT

Memphis forward Tarik Black (10) reaches for a loose ball against Tennessee defenders Kenny Hall (20), Jeronne Maymon (34) and Cameron Tatum, right, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012, in Memphis, Tenn.

Photo by Lance Murphey, Associated Press

Memphis forward Tarik Black (10) reaches for a loose ball against Tennessee defenders Kenny Hall (20), Jeronne Maymon (34) and Cameron Tatum, right, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012, in Memphis, Tenn.

University of Memphis men's basketball coach Josh Pastner didn't have a say in the school's decision to put San Diego State and Boise State on its nonconference schedule beginning in 2013-14 as part of the Tigers' move to the Big East.

But it appears Pastner might get his way when it comes to Memphis' rivalry with Tennessee, a series athletic director R.C. Johnson had been in discussions to extend for four years beyond next season's game in Knoxville.

Pastner has steadfastly objected to continuing the series, which he feels helps Tennessee's recruiting in Memphis.

On Thursday, just more than a month after he told The Commercial Appeal he was negotiating an extension with Tennessee, Johnson said he's leaving the decision on whether to extend the series up to Pastner and the Tigers' next athletic director. Johnson, who announced the Tigers' move to the Big East on Wednesday, is retiring in June.

"Particularly now with the Big East, I think that should be a decision now between Josh and the next athletic director. That's changed a lot now," Johnson said. "We used to worry about our (nonconference) schedule for name and RPI. Now, that's basically been a role reversal. It's not nearly as significant.

"I don't have any influence on whatever the next athletics director decides he or she wants to do. But from a personal standpoint and as an AD, I always felt it was to our advantage. Every coach I worked with didn't want to play them, and I understand that. But the in-state thing I always thought was kind of a special thing."

Pastner reiterated his thoughts on the Tennessee series Thursday after discussing Memphis' addition of San Diego State and Boise State to its nonconference schedule for four years beginning in 2013, with one foe at home and the other away. As part of Memphis' move to the Big East, Johnson said, Big East commissioner John Marinatto asked Memphis to play the two schools, which are joining the league as football-only members in 2013. Johnson said Marinatto told him Connecticut has also agreed to play the two schools.

"I think obviously San Diego State, that name speaks for itself. So it's a really good game. Boise State I think is a very solid program. So there's two tough nonconference games you're playing on top of the (Big East schedule)," Pastner said.

"I do know that the Tennessee series needs to be cut after next year. Whether we're going into the Big East, Conference USA, any other league, we don't need to play that series. No disrespect to (Vols coach) Cuonzo Martin, because I think he's a heck of a person and he's done a great job. This is just strictly about I believe what (former Tigers) Coach (John) Calipari felt about it. There's no need to play it, and I've not wavered on that stance since Day One I got the job.

"So next year is the last year of the contract. I expect and hope that we are done with them in terms of playing them in the nonconference, obviously unless the Big East-SEC Challenge forces you to do that. That'd be out of our control."

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Comments » 141

wigmeister writes:

Pastner is now crying in his pretzels! Boo Hoo!

blackoutcuffem1592 writes:

What a loser. Memphis is going to get owned in the Big East. I wouldn't wanna play Tennessee these next couple of years either. Tennessee will still go into Memphis and get whoever they want for any sport

bigorangeyankees writes:

Sounds like the little tigers are afraid of the BIG ORANGE.

NashvillePreds writes:

Tiger High

born2ride writes:

Memphis beat UT twice this year. The Tigers won the last game by 18 points. Without Bruce Pearl we can't match up with them.

798orange writes:

If they want to do that then we should return the favor by dropping them in football.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to born2ride:

Memphis beat UT twice this year. The Tigers won the last game by 18 points. Without Bruce Pearl we can't match up with them.

so you dont think the differential in players have anything to do with the outcome and it just comes down to the coach----come now

hillsborovol writes:

in response to born2ride:

Memphis beat UT twice this year. The Tigers won the last game by 18 points. Without Bruce Pearl we can't match up with them.

And you base your entire opinion solely on a single year following a season where UT lost 4 of its 5 starters, yet managed to play in OT on a neutral court??? Both games were played without Stokes, too. Even before Bruce, I believe UT had the series lead.

Razor784 writes:

in response to NashvillePreds:

Tiger High

More like Chicken High, with them joining the Big Least, it won't change anything, they'll always be our little brother and there's nothing they can do about it.

jgvol#313474 writes:

Pastner needs to worry about playing .500 ball in the big E.

VolMoment writes:

in response to born2ride:

Memphis beat UT twice this year. The Tigers won the last game by 18 points. Without Bruce Pearl we can't match up with them.

This also would have been a down year for Pearl with the returning players. Tennessee is ahead of Tiger High in the series so where is you logic. The tiger high coach sees the hand writing on the wall. Coach Martin will get more good players and we will increase our lead in the series so he wants to keep his job.

MrBamSeydu writes:

scared.

ATH writes:

in response to blackoutcuffem1592:

What a loser. Memphis is going to get owned in the Big East. I wouldn't wanna play Tennessee these next couple of years either. Tennessee will still go into Memphis and get whoever they want for any sport

Really? "Whoever they want?" So, Tennessee must not have wanted Joe Jackson, Chris Crawford, or Adonis Thomas, right? Face it, in a few years when Memphis starts Big East play, it won't need Tennessee for football. Tennessee will always need Memphis for basketball, but the Vols won't have the opportunity to come into Memphis every other year. Tennessee fans should be ecstatic about the Stokes signing, but he's the last player Tennessee will get out of Memphis, unless the Tigers pass. You guys might continue to sign all the Dane Bradshaws, but Memphis will keep all of the 5-Stars and McDonald's All-Americans.

Volunteer-Varmint writes:

in response to born2ride:

Memphis beat UT twice this year. The Tigers won the last game by 18 points. Without Bruce Pearl we can't match up with them.

Give it time...

Troll

chuckfromwoodberry writes:

The Commissary, Uncle Lou's and Interstate BBQ. The only reasons for continuing the series.

keepitreal4vols writes:

Pastner is still sour about Stokes leaving.

FWBVol writes:

There is nothing to say that THE University of Tennessee with a campus in Memphis for the Medical School, can't schedule a game in Memphis if it wants to.

I think it is important to play Memphis, but it isn't as big of a deal as some people would have everyone to believe. I think Stokes having a good experience will be a better recruiting tool than any game. He can talk to the players in the city and tell them good things about the Tennessee program.

MothershipChip writes:

In the words of Curly Bill, "Well....Bye".

IBAVolFan writes:

in response to Volunteer-Varmint:

Give it time...

Troll

Three years and he is gone.

MemphisVol writes:

14-10

flatrock writes:

1.) drop Tigers forever in football
2.) schedule a big-time, non-conference basketball opponent in Memphis every season

Razzle writes:

in response to 798orange:

If they want to do that then we should return the favor by dropping them in football.

I agree.

mcever writes:

If the Big East lost their auto qualifier status, I would rofl.

carbonzip writes:

in response to flatrock:

1.) drop Tigers forever in football
2.) schedule a big-time, non-conference basketball opponent in Memphis every season

Just have a game or two in Memhis when they are away and no hard feelings.

alfrizzle097 writes:

Sigh. The Memphis/UT game is just about my favorite each year. and it makes me sad that they are going to end it because Pastner is afraid of losing recruits. Maybe he should just try winning... not that the Big East will help them out that much. They WILL have years with losing conference records now. Might be tough to swallow.

Salpointe writes:

in response to 798orange:

If they want to do that then we should return the favor by dropping them in football.

BINGO!

tennrich1 writes:

As far as playing Memphis I will play them anywhere, anytime and any place in any sport...UT has NO problem beating up on Memphis. However, I dont like the series either. I have long said lets put a top tier ACC or Big Ten school on the schedule...I feel year in and year out it would benefit the Vols..no doubt about it...and Memphis would have to do a LOT of winning to catch up...and make no mistake...THIS IS NOT YOUR DADDYS BIG EAST ANYMORE....

doh writes:

pastner wont be there much longer anyway. good recruiter but cant coach. beating us this year wasnt something to hang his hat on. besides it took two overtimes to do it on a nuetral court. calipari set the bar high in memphis. pastner is falling way short.

lamardog#628889 writes:

what a woose Pastner is - Calapari was a chicken about the series and Pasnter falls right behind him - typical Memphis State Tiger High

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

in response to flatrock:

1.) drop Tigers forever in football
2.) schedule a big-time, non-conference basketball opponent in Memphis every season

Now there's a couple of hit ideas.

Since Tiger High doesn't need the $$$ generated by a UT-Memphis State football game (or the basketball games, either), leave 'em out. Book the basketball games in Memphis and keep the gate.

If Pastner thinks Calipari got it right, it speaks volumes to me. What's next, Josh? Supporting the idea of someone else taking tests for your players?

JayTee writes:

It's a good idea because it doesn't help the recruiting at UT getting beat by an in state rival especially twice in the same season.

Sir_Spanky writes:

in response to 798orange:

If they want to do that then we should return the favor by dropping them in football.

2nd!..... I could do that deal all day long.

Vol4EVA writes:

This is laughable. As a lifelong Vol fan and Memphian, I remember well the Memphis State fans whining and moaning about wanting to play Tennessee in basketball. They were consumed with the desire in the early to mid 80’s when they thought they were so very dominant. When the series finally came to be it just did not turn out their way. This was going to be Memphis' way of evening the score for all the years of dominance the Vols have on them in football. Did not turn out the way they expected. Tennessee (despite two loses this year to the Tigers) leads the series. Every game of significance in the series Tennessee has won (first game...UT won, first game in Memphis...UT won...NIT game played in Memphis, UT won....The game of the century year before last...UT won...). I find it ironic that Memphis is now the one wanting out of the series.

I do not have access to the conversations inside the UT Athletic offices concerning the official position of the university, but I imagine it is something along the lines of "who cares". And I will add, let's drop them in football and forget that favor we extend to them. Considering the only football game that ever puts any fans (even though they are 80% Tennessee fans) in the Liberty Bowl is when Tennessee plays there, I think that will make the Tigers go into their moaning and groaning "Tennessee is so mean to us" mode again.

Simply put, who gives a big phooey if Memphis State does not want to play Tennessee in basketball anymore? I say bye bye. This will have absolutely no impact to Tennessee...and before anyone starts pointing at this series being key to Tennessee recruiting out of Memphis, that idea has no substance to it. Our recruiting out of Memphis has never been impacted positively or negatively by this series. No we do not recruit there as well as some of us would like, but the pace never quickened after the series started and it will not be impacted if it ends…..One final thing- prediction – Memphis will never win a Big East Conference Championship…Boys, that ain’t Conference USA….Good luck Tigers! We will see you down the road…..

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to hillsborovol:

And you base your entire opinion solely on a single year following a season where UT lost 4 of its 5 starters, yet managed to play in OT on a neutral court??? Both games were played without Stokes, too. Even before Bruce, I believe UT had the series lead.

No borntobealoser bases his/her opinion on being a pot stirring, instigating troll. The only reason she is on this site is to get under folks skin. She, bodeanenotvol and dirty rice and the other scum are very good at it

brod writes:

in response to Vol4EVA:

This is laughable. As a lifelong Vol fan and Memphian, I remember well the Memphis State fans whining and moaning about wanting to play Tennessee in basketball. They were consumed with the desire in the early to mid 80’s when they thought they were so very dominant. When the series finally came to be it just did not turn out their way. This was going to be Memphis' way of evening the score for all the years of dominance the Vols have on them in football. Did not turn out the way they expected. Tennessee (despite two loses this year to the Tigers) leads the series. Every game of significance in the series Tennessee has won (first game...UT won, first game in Memphis...UT won...NIT game played in Memphis, UT won....The game of the century year before last...UT won...). I find it ironic that Memphis is now the one wanting out of the series.

I do not have access to the conversations inside the UT Athletic offices concerning the official position of the university, but I imagine it is something along the lines of "who cares". And I will add, let's drop them in football and forget that favor we extend to them. Considering the only football game that ever puts any fans (even though they are 80% Tennessee fans) in the Liberty Bowl is when Tennessee plays there, I think that will make the Tigers go into their moaning and groaning "Tennessee is so mean to us" mode again.

Simply put, who gives a big phooey if Memphis State does not want to play Tennessee in basketball anymore? I say bye bye. This will have absolutely no impact to Tennessee...and before anyone starts pointing at this series being key to Tennessee recruiting out of Memphis, that idea has no substance to it. Our recruiting out of Memphis has never been impacted positively or negatively by this series. No we do not recruit there as well as some of us would like, but the pace never quickened after the series started and it will not be impacted if it ends…..One final thing- prediction – Memphis will never win a Big East Conference Championship…Boys, that ain’t Conference USA….Good luck Tigers! We will see you down the road…..

well said, i actually think that it will help tennessee recruiting in memphis if we end the series and the rivalry goes away.

westknoxrepub writes:

It's ok, we'll just do what we did when Cal wanted to end the series. . .not play them in football. Good luck with that Memphis.

rclarkvols#224537 writes:

missouri and texas A & M joining SEC nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey goooood bye

Noogaorange writes:

in response to ATH:

Really? "Whoever they want?" So, Tennessee must not have wanted Joe Jackson, Chris Crawford, or Adonis Thomas, right? Face it, in a few years when Memphis starts Big East play, it won't need Tennessee for football. Tennessee will always need Memphis for basketball, but the Vols won't have the opportunity to come into Memphis every other year. Tennessee fans should be ecstatic about the Stokes signing, but he's the last player Tennessee will get out of Memphis, unless the Tigers pass. You guys might continue to sign all the Dane Bradshaws, but Memphis will keep all of the 5-Stars and McDonald's All-Americans.

One word describes you ..... delusional!
What a stupid post. Did you have to think about this one for a while? Give us a break for pete's sake. GBO

rootin4volz writes:

Tiger High.

1voiceofreason writes:

If I remember correctly, Calipari and his AD tried to do this a few years ago only to have the University Presidents end up getting involved and forcing the continued home&home. I believe UT told memphis that without a H&H, we would not play them in football. With the sorry state of memphis football, that million dollar payday is worth a few recruits.

That said, I agree with the poster above that mentioned we should let them drop the series, also drop them in football, and then play a big non-con game at Fed-Ex Forum every year. Heck, even the Arkansas game would be a big neutral site draw.

TrackVol1975 writes:

I remember when Tiger High got its people in the state legislature to demand that if UT got a new arena, then Tennessee had to play Memphis every year. (At that time, Don DeVoe did not want UT to play against TH. Now things are reversed.)

Yes, Memphis got what it wanted, and now it wants out. This is deliciously ironic.

Dexter writes:

in response to Fall_Creek_Vols:

Now there's a couple of hit ideas.

Since Tiger High doesn't need the $$$ generated by a UT-Memphis State football game (or the basketball games, either), leave 'em out. Book the basketball games in Memphis and keep the gate.

If Pastner thinks Calipari got it right, it speaks volumes to me. What's next, Josh? Supporting the idea of someone else taking tests for your players?

From a West TN Vol fan, we need to get past the anger at Pastner and realize this is bad for hoops recruiting. Arkansas used to get a lot of Memphis players, but once the series stopped, they stopped getting players.

And where would we play in Memphis? The Forum scheduling is determined by the NBA Grizzlies and Tigers. The Pyramid is being converted to a Bass Pro store, and the Coliseum is mothballed.

lowdown66 writes:

Probably makes sense now that Tennessee has fallen so hard in football. It really doesn't give Memphis incentive to play UT in FB anymore as long as Dooley is the coach so now is the best time to drop hoops.

hcjournals#206623 writes:

The series needs to go on in basketball and football. The players love it. The fans love it. Surprised at Pastner.....Didn't think he was scared....

V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO writes:

Pastner = Pan-zee

brokebackvol writes:

Pastner is the Head Scaredy-Cat. We don't need Tiger High on the schedule anyway.

Central_IL_Vol writes:

in response to ATH:

Really? "Whoever they want?" So, Tennessee must not have wanted Joe Jackson, Chris Crawford, or Adonis Thomas, right? Face it, in a few years when Memphis starts Big East play, it won't need Tennessee for football. Tennessee will always need Memphis for basketball, but the Vols won't have the opportunity to come into Memphis every other year. Tennessee fans should be ecstatic about the Stokes signing, but he's the last player Tennessee will get out of Memphis, unless the Tigers pass. You guys might continue to sign all the Dane Bradshaws, but Memphis will keep all of the 5-Stars and McDonald's All-Americans.

...and MEMPUSS will continue to be owned by the BIG ORANGE in every sport whenever they may play. Let's face it, TENNESSEE OWNS THE CITY OF MEMPHIS AND TIGGER HIGH!

Central_IL_Vol writes:

in response to lowdown66:

Probably makes sense now that Tennessee has fallen so hard in football. It really doesn't give Memphis incentive to play UT in FB anymore as long as Dooley is the coach so now is the best time to drop hoops.

^^^^^STUPID COMMENT!

Mempuss couldn't have beaten the Vols in football this past season. The Tigger's only win came in 1996 on a gift KO returned for a TD from the referee's that would have been overturned with today's replay system!

Central_IL_Vol writes:

Mempuss is pissed that the SEC didn't invite them to the big party!

dvols writes:

the big east is really not that good at basketball......Uconn is the only team that ever pans out!

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