Derek Dooley says worst is over, progress ahead; DeAnthony Arnett granted release

Dooley talks about releasing WR DeAnthony Arnett

In his first public comments in 37 days, Derek Dooley on Tuesday addressed a wide range of topics in hopes of assuring Tennessee fans — and recruits — that the football program is not in disarray.

Dooley had nothing but positive things to say about defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and linebackers coach Peter Sirmon, who have been announced in their new positions at the University of Washington.

While acknowledging that it's important to move quickly on three staff hires due to recruiting, Dooley said the search is "in the early stages" and that he wouldn't compromise on making quality additions to the staff.

He also said freshman receiver DeAnthony Arnett has been granted a release to transfer that does not bar him from Michigan State or Michigan.

While stopping short of getting specific about roster status, he said sophomore receiver Da'Rick Rogers is on the team and "is good.''

There has been confusion and speculation since the Vols lost to Kentucky on Nov. 26 that Rogers was in some sort of disciplinary process due to attitude issues.

Dooley also said conversations with quarterback Tyler Bray have been "awesome" and that there are no shortage of candidates for leadership going forward.

Asked about his relationship with new athletic director Dave Hart, Dooley said he "is 100 percent" supportive of Hart and that Hart has been reciprocal.

Dooley had not spoken in public since the stunning loss to Kentucky that ended the season at 5-7 and cost the Vols a bowl invitation.

Since then four coaches have left and there have been several decommitments from recruits — that on top of the speculation of team chemistry issues starting with Bray and Rogers.

"Drama can become reality if it's not addressed and I acknowledge that,'' Dooley said. "That's one of the reasons I'm here today.''

More details later online and in Wednesday's News Sentinel.

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Comments » 223

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor also suggest University of Tennessee quit acknowledging Journalism credits with Drama dept credits. Witch Doctor say big poo all about nothing...
Bones never lie.

BankerVol writes:

Doesn't appear Shannon is a done deal if there was even a deal at all...

tulelakevol writes:

You need to start winning Dooley. ON and OFF the field.

FearMyMohawk writes:

And its only going to get worse...

Witch_Doctors writes:

*PS Witch Doctor say Rucker..told you. Rogers still on the team always has been. Witch Doctor say your buddies with "sources" might should be vetted first.
BNL

drum56 writes:

GBO!!!

Central_IL_Vol writes:

John Chavis for DC and Dale Jones for LB/Special Teams coach!!

ASAP!!

movinonup writes:

Let me preface this by saying that I am not on the "fire Dooley bandwagon." but if this is not "disarray", it's not going to be pretty if we ever get there.

tennvolsman19651965 writes:

Dooley had a lot to say about absolutely nothing in this press conference. It is simply the press conference he should have had two to three weeks ago addressing the issues of DaRick, and team leadership. I was sure hoping that it was to announce Shannon as our D Coordinator. I shoulda known better. And shame on the Knoxville sports writers for not asking the hard questions. What a joke.

lomas98 writes:

in response to BankerVol:

Doesn't appear Shannon is a done deal if there was even a deal at all...

Really??? Imagine that? Based on past searches, I believe nothing until a coach is signed. Jay Graham was a small rumor but it didn't have any legs like most rumors do. Then all of a sudden he is RB coach. Rumors like Shannon with sources being claimed are 99% wrong. Did fans really think Wilcox leaves at 10:00 AM and Shannon is interviewed, has terms of contract in place, and signs by the end of the day. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. I think fans really believe a real football program is handled like a playstation game....one coach leaves and another is replaced. How is Dooley even our football coach, I thought at one point it was Muschamp, Cutcliffe, Chris Peterson, Whittingham, Troy Calhoun, all of which were rumored to be having the presser. Jamie Dixon was going to be our replacement for Pearl for crying out loud.

chl1958 writes:

The word for 2012 is Positive. Think Positive and good things happen for the VOLS and everyone and their personal life. Think negative and the reverse happens. Do not worry about things you have no control of.The Vols are coming back!

Pompey writes:

....all I need to know is why Wilcox would make a lateral career move, and will Charlie Baggett retire as announced, or will he coach again...those answers will tell me much of what I need to know!

SIMSVOL writes:

Fact is the VOLS are far better off now than we were when Dooley was hired. With a good DC hire and a good recruiting class, Tennessee will be in great shape and on track to improve dramatically over the next two seasons. Go VOLS!

tn_rockytop writes:

now unleash the chicken littles:]

volzrock54 writes:

Basically you can take everything Dooley said and turn it around backwards and that was his true meaning..

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to tennvolsman19651965:

Dooley had a lot to say about absolutely nothing in this press conference. It is simply the press conference he should have had two to three weeks ago addressing the issues of DaRick, and team leadership. I was sure hoping that it was to announce Shannon as our D Coordinator. I shoulda known better. And shame on the Knoxville sports writers for not asking the hard questions. What a joke.

Witch Doctor say what hard questions could they ask knowing they had made up half this stuff reported? Witch Doctor say Dooleys HAS to win..period but he aint responsible for irresponsible sports writers reporting everything THEY know is lies...really they know they are making this stuff up..what "Multiple sources" told them things PROVEN that never happened? Witch Doctor say Hart isnt gonna have Dooley run out every day and save them from themselves..look at what they have said...what we now know...and who should you be calling out?
Bones never lie.

888657 writes:

This should have been taken care of last week. Firm believer that if you don't want to give Tennessee your all, pack up and go elsewhere. I myself am sick and tired of so called Vol fans who give up so easily, and players and coaches who do the same. I am in no way a huge fan of Dooley, but he isn't going to lose my support as long as he is the coach of the Tennessee Volunteers. All the loses does hurt, but we will move on, and find the true Vols For Life.

voloffaith writes:

in response to FearMyMohawk:

And its only going to get worse...

New name(poster child) same old doomsday stuff.......Although we are FearLesshawk prone! Mommy that man/lady is talking all that bad stuff again and it just never seems to stop....2012 has hope for those who know where to rightly put their hope......SUSEJ for all you Mensa puzzle solvers.......BTW the sun did come up this morning...And THE SON is still reigning....

SIMSVOL writes:

in response to lomas98:

Really??? Imagine that? Based on past searches, I believe nothing until a coach is signed. Jay Graham was a small rumor but it didn't have any legs like most rumors do. Then all of a sudden he is RB coach. Rumors like Shannon with sources being claimed are 99% wrong. Did fans really think Wilcox leaves at 10:00 AM and Shannon is interviewed, has terms of contract in place, and signs by the end of the day. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. I think fans really believe a real football program is handled like a playstation game....one coach leaves and another is replaced. How is Dooley even our football coach, I thought at one point it was Muschamp, Cutcliffe, Chris Peterson, Whittingham, Troy Calhoun, all of which were rumored to be having the presser. Jamie Dixon was going to be our replacement for Pearl for crying out loud.

Good post lomas - many of the fans on this site compare a real football program to a playstation game because they're spending their days playing playstation games in momma's basement...
Those with any sense know it takes time to make a great hire and to right a ship as wronged as Tennessee was by past mediocrity under Fulmer. Go VOLS!!!

FanNotSheep writes:

The reason Dooley did not address the rumors sooner is they were only rumors. Just because the John and Jimmy show and its callers do not like Rogers and Bray does not mean the head coach is stupid enough to get rid of his best players. Doing so might make Jimmy happy but it would make Dooley unemployed.

And unless LSU is looking to fire Chavis, would somebody (with a brain) tell me why he would leave a national championship program to come here and take the same position?

If either of these guys were stupid enough to do what some fans want them to do, nobody should want them anywhere near their football program -- or any sharp objects.

RoadTrip writes:

in response to movinonup:

Let me preface this by saying that I am not on the "fire Dooley bandwagon." but if this is not "disarray", it's not going to be pretty if we ever get there.

Stated as well as it can be stated! I have moved on from angry to LMAO. Let;s watch this dark comedy play out. Happy endings, anyone?

allvol8 writes:

If you play his interview backwards it says Paul is dead..

volpreacher writes:

in response to BankerVol:

Doesn't appear Shannon is a done deal if there was even a deal at all...

Don't think it is completely done, but don't be surprised when it is announced

tennvolsman19651965 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say what hard questions could they ask knowing they had made up half this stuff reported? Witch Doctor say Dooleys HAS to win..period but he aint responsible for irresponsible sports writers reporting everything THEY know is lies...really they know they are making this stuff up..what "Multiple sources" told them things PROVEN that never happened? Witch Doctor say Hart isnt gonna have Dooley run out every day and save them from themselves..look at what they have said...what we now know...and who should you be calling out?
Bones never lie.

I guess one person that Dooley should be calling out is Palardy. He is the one that tweeted Shannon as our new D Coordinator. But, maybe he was baiting our low end media circles in Knoxville.

VolunteerLifer writes:

It's about time we heard from Dooley. He needs to talk to us more often.

jack_2222#231746 writes:

This "unoffer" to Khalid Henderson bothers me. The kid is not a bigtime recruit yet CDD offered him months ago. Now CDD tells him to look elsewhere. In other words, CDD's offer was bogus.

How is that any different from a kid committing then backing out? It's bad enough when a 17 year old does it.

Maybe this is the way recruiting is now but I don't recall this happening under CPF- not a public offer followed by a "nevermind." Can anybody name names and say this was common practice then?

I just don't get how CDD expects commitment and loyalty when he demonstrates none of his own.

wazzya69vol writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say what hard questions could they ask knowing they had made up half this stuff reported? Witch Doctor say Dooleys HAS to win..period but he aint responsible for irresponsible sports writers reporting everything THEY know is lies...really they know they are making this stuff up..what "Multiple sources" told them things PROVEN that never happened? Witch Doctor say Hart isnt gonna have Dooley run out every day and save them from themselves..look at what they have said...what we now know...and who should you be calling out?
Bones never lie.

Great reply WDr. That's keeping it real, and in perspective. GBO

VolMoment writes:

in response to Lane_Kiffins_Daddy_Wears_Diapers:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hart didn't fire Dooley because he is realistic about college football. Guess what, Wilcox was the DC and Sirmon was the linebacker coach who could not stop the wide receiver playing QB. I appreciate what they did but I believe they were over their head in the SEC.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to tennvolsman19651965:

I guess one person that Dooley should be calling out is Palardy. He is the one that tweeted Shannon as our new D Coordinator. But, maybe he was baiting our low end media circles in Knoxville.

Witch Doctor say until the Knox media police themselves things like this gonna keep happening I guess.
Bones never lie.

Ironcity writes:

in response to chl1958:

The word for 2012 is Positive. Think Positive and good things happen for the VOLS and everyone and their personal life. Think negative and the reverse happens. Do not worry about things you have no control of.The Vols are coming back!

I thought positive in 2011. Why didn't it work?

McMinnVol writes:

in response to allvol8:

If you play his interview backwards it says Paul is dead..

That was a good one! Beatles reference for the uninformed.

hikerdude writes:

i guess we are supposed to be grateful that Dooley finally reappears. I've been a supporter but these disappearing acts are getting a little tiresome.

skyhawk836 writes:

in response to FearMyMohawk:

And its only going to get worse...

How?
You going to keep posting?

tennvolsman19651965 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say until the Knox media police themselves things like this gonna keep happening I guess.
Bones never lie.

I agree Witchy. Guess I will do some tweeting this evening and see how many fish I can catch in the sports writers world in Knoxville. lol.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say until the Knox media police themselves things like this gonna keep happening I guess.
Bones never lie.

* Witch Doctor add, how many TRUE things have happened knox media reported since Dooley took over.....?
0 thats correct 0 (zero) they didnt know about Graham either...0..didnt know about Wilcox/Sirmon...0
Witch Doctor say now we trust Hyam or Basillo to "lead" the Knox media? they are the face of it right now. Witch Doctor say they losing cred fast.
Bones never lie.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to tennvolsman19651965:

I agree Witchy. Guess I will do some tweeting this evening and see how many fish I can catch in the sports writers world in Knoxville. lol.

Witch Doctor say they really bad right now and just reporting horribly and even making stuff up...sad day for knox media. lol
Bones never lie.

BankerVol writes:

in response to volpreacher:

Don't think it is completely done, but don't be surprised when it is announced

Would be very surprised... Very pleasantly surprised.

FanNotSheep writes:

in response to 10seVol85:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If he came back to just be a defensive coordinator on this staff he needs to be checked out for mental illness.

Now if you want to make him the next head coach, maybe that would be worth his time. I think he has a pretty good job right now. He is in line to be fitted for another ring right now. Not sure he would live long enough to have another national championship opportunity at UT.

VOLSONTHECOMEBACK writes:

Other than the possibility of losing some recruits, It does not hurt my feelings that we are losing Wilcox and Sirmon. I understand that they were playing with a lot of freshman, but guys were continuously out of position throughout the year. Every game that I watched it seemed like we had at least 3 blown coverages a game. At first I blamed it on youth, but after 7 or 8 games those guys should know where they need to be. The Arkansas game was the nutt cracker. That was probably one of the worse defensive games I've ever seen by a UT team. They not only were out of position every other play, but they did not have the wheels or the talent to keep up with Arkansas's speed when they were in position. I don't think it would have mattered who the defensive coordinator was in that game, since we were obviously overmatched, but I think that we could at least held them to a respectable number and been in position better to make plays. Our guys are also taking bad angles, which is a disaster when you don't have much speed to begin with. If the rumors are true about Randy Shannon, I think that is a good hire. He's a very clean cut coach who doesn't take phooey and continuously coached top 10 defenses at Miami. It's hard to say how credible those defenses were, since my little sister could have coached those defenses to a respectable level having 20 first round draft picks in a 4 year period. However, this guys has experience verse top level competition and has proven that he can recruit and seems like a class act. The guy that I really want UT to get is Al Wilson. Al Wilson was probably one of the best leaders that we have ever had and was always in position to make a play. You don't make it in the NFL being a 5ft 11 220 pound linebacker for 10 years not being knowledgeable of the position. During the 90s, I think Leonard Little had the most raw talent out of any linebacker that we have had, at least in my life time, but I believe Al Wilson was our best linebacker. His relentless competitive nature, his knowledge of the game, and his ability to make every player around him better is why he would be an exceptional coach. I remember hearing stories about him making the weight room a competition and getting on players butts about getting pushed around like being on roller skates against Nebraska. I believe he was the catalyst for why we improved our strength and determination the following season. Dooley needs to go after him ASAP and tell AL were tired of being on roller skates. Go Vols.

Voldodger writes:

in response to VolMoment:

Hart didn't fire Dooley because he is realistic about college football. Guess what, Wilcox was the DC and Sirmon was the linebacker coach who could not stop the wide receiver playing QB. I appreciate what they did but I believe they were over their head in the SEC.

I have to ask those who criticize the defense, did you watch the games, including Kentucky, this year? When the offense over and over and over and over puts the defense in horrible positions, it's hard to play well, and overall, the defense was pretty good except against the absolute elite teams. The defense played well against Kentucky overall. The offense was, like it was most of the season, pathetic.
Defense wasn't our big issue at all, and Wilcox and Sirmans leaving is a big blow.

shipperman#280095 writes:

Guys, I love the VOLS and have for over 50 years. I have seen the good the bad and the ugly, and right now is about as ugly as it gets. I truly believe Dooley was a rush, bargain basement hire, and has a losing record as a head coach, everywhere. Best thing that could happen would be for him to quit

CrankE writes:

Hart is 100% supportive of Dooley. Kiss of death.

Also: Arnett has been appeased. Maybe that Saginaw homer will say that Dooley has a heart now (if not actual wins on the field). See, childish antics DO pay off where Dooley is concerned.

I presume then that Arnett will maintain his scholarship while he's doing. . . uh. . . "distance learning" courses and trying to get hisself recruited by MSU or UM? What a deal. Announce that you're not coming back under any circumstances, throw a fit to the press, but keep your scholarship (that another deserving player cannot have) until you're READY to go to another school. What a deal!

tennvolsman19651965 writes:

in response to Voldodger:

I have to ask those who criticize the defense, did you watch the games, including Kentucky, this year? When the offense over and over and over and over puts the defense in horrible positions, it's hard to play well, and overall, the defense was pretty good except against the absolute elite teams. The defense played well against Kentucky overall. The offense was, like it was most of the season, pathetic.
Defense wasn't our big issue at all, and Wilcox and Sirmans leaving is a big blow.

Words of wisdom! Finally, someone else actually watched the Kentucky game. How can you blame a defense that held a team to 10 points for a loss. Surely our offense could have scored 11 or 12? Right? Right? WRONG! But we continue to blame the defense for that game. Ludicrous.

skyhawk836 writes:

in response to Voldodger:

I have to ask those who criticize the defense, did you watch the games, including Kentucky, this year? When the offense over and over and over and over puts the defense in horrible positions, it's hard to play well, and overall, the defense was pretty good except against the absolute elite teams. The defense played well against Kentucky overall. The offense was, like it was most of the season, pathetic.
Defense wasn't our big issue at all, and Wilcox and Sirmans leaving is a big blow.

Good post. Defense executed much better all year than did the offense.

volwr88 writes:

in response to jack_2222#231746:

This "unoffer" to Khalid Henderson bothers me. The kid is not a bigtime recruit yet CDD offered him months ago. Now CDD tells him to look elsewhere. In other words, CDD's offer was bogus.

How is that any different from a kid committing then backing out? It's bad enough when a 17 year old does it.

Maybe this is the way recruiting is now but I don't recall this happening under CPF- not a public offer followed by a "nevermind." Can anybody name names and say this was common practice then?

I just don't get how CDD expects commitment and loyalty when he demonstrates none of his own.

Obviously u didn't listen to the press conference. CDD made it very clear the 25 rule along with inability for schools to help recruits with qualifying issues changed a lot of the ways SEC schools use to be able to recruit.

Ayres_Hall writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor also suggest University of Tennessee quit acknowledging Journalism credits with Drama dept credits. Witch Doctor say big poo all about nothing...
Bones never lie.

We should change our mascot to the Drama Queen. It sure fits our fanbase.

lomas98 writes:

in response to hikerdude:

i guess we are supposed to be grateful that Dooley finally reappears. I've been a supporter but these disappearing acts are getting a little tiresome.

I don't really understand what fans expect from the coach. I don't know of any other coach whose team didn't make a bowl game who had a press conference to keep fans updated. What is there to update? He has no obligation to answer questions based on internet rumors and tweets and perception. He is out recruiting and talking to families in their living rooms about the status of the football program. After all that has been speculated I do agree Dooley needed to come out now for sort of a state of the union, but he has had nothing to say up until now. He can't comment on recruits until signing day and there are no games to be played...I know we are all information hungry and love the program but give the guy a break. I am not a Dooley lover and don't think he can coach our team back to glory, but pleas get off his back about disappearing.

AtlantaTide writes:

in response to SIMSVOL:

Fact is the VOLS are far better off now than we were when Dooley was hired. With a good DC hire and a good recruiting class, Tennessee will be in great shape and on track to improve dramatically over the next two seasons. Go VOLS!

Koolaid is as popular as UT hostesses. No wonder Clay Travis stays in business.

SummittsCourt writes:

Everything is going to be alright people. Time to turn your frowns upside down and be supportive of who is in uniform and on the sidelines and stop crying about who's not.

Dooley is the coach and will be for at least 2 more season. Time to stop the belly aching and get on board before you lose your right to jump on board when the winning starts.

SC, Bama, GA are losing a lot of talented players to the draft. Vandy is senior laden, kentucky will be about the same, Florida is a mystery right now so is Missouri, the non conference schedule is very doable including NC State.

Bottom line 8 wins is very achievable barring major injuries to key players like this past season.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

We should change our mascot to the Drama Queen. It sure fits our fanbase.

Witch Doctor say its like "Toddlers and Tiaras!" lol.
Bones never lie.

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