Derek Dooley: Dave Hart 'told me he had not made a decision'

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley leaves the field after the Volunteers lost 51-48 to Missouri in four overtimes at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley leaves the field after the Volunteers lost 51-48 to Missouri in four overtimes at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Derek Dooley addresses questions about his job

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University of Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley addressed his team Monday about reports and rumors that his firing was imminent, but said he had received assurances from Athletic Director Dave Hart that no decision had been made on his future.

Tennessee lost to Missouri in four overtimes last Saturday, dropping the Vols’ SEC record to 0-6.

Dooley said he was working on the game plan for Vanderbilt, Tennessee’s opponent Saturday, when the rumors began to penetrate the football complex Sunday.

“Everybody was saying I was fired,” Dooley said, “and I didn’t even know it.”

Dooley said Hart assured him that not only was he not fired, but that no decision had been made on his future at Tennessee.

“We talked very frankly about it,” Dooley said. “He told me he had not made a decision, despite what all the reports are. Either the sources are wrong or Dave wasn’t being forthright with me, and I have no reason to think Dave isn’t being forthright with me. He’s an honest man, he’s always been honest with me, and I’ve appreciated how he’s handled everything about this.”

Still, Dooley said he felt compelled to discuss the issue with his team Monday, because they had heard the rampant rumors and speculation about his status.

“I’m not going to talk about what I told the team, but, yeah, I addressed it,” Dooley said.

Players said they supported the way Dooley addressed the distractions.

“It’s an inside thing, it’s between us and the team. I’m not going to disclose it to the media,” linebacker Herman Lathers said. “We’re a close-knit bunch and we stand together no matter what.”

Dooley said he didn’t press Hart for an answer about whether he would be back in 2013. He also declined an opportunity to state his case to the public.

“I can give you compelling arguments why I should (be retained), and there are plenty of compelling arguments about why I shouldn’t,” Dooley said. “It’s not going to be your decision, it’s not going to be a bunch of these sources’ decisions, it’s Dave (Hart) and the chancellor. It’s their decision, and I can’t control what they think.”

Dooley said the toughest part of the last 48 hours has been the impact on his family. Dooley is married with three children, all younger than 14.

“The hardest thing is when they are seeing things that are contrary to what their dad is telling them,” he said. “That’s where it gets a little tough, but that’s part of the profession. We have to deal with it. That’s how it is.”

Dooley said he was proud of how his players have responded.

“There is no negativity on the team, there are no mean-spirited comments, there is no gossip,” he said. “We probably all ought to learn from them a little bit.”

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

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Comments » 354

dsbyrd#287440 writes:

First.

Hounddawg writes:

Time to think seriously about offering David Howell the Job. Should've been his last time.

FWBVol writes:

in response to Hounddawg:

Time to think seriously about offering David Howell the Job. Should've been his last time.

Who is David Howell and which job are you talking about? Do you mean David Blackburn and the AD job?

Rock85 writes:

FIRE HART!!!!

Rock85 writes:

calm now... I was there to see a coke threw and hit Johnny Majors in the shoulder on his way off the field. This hasn't got that far yet. But it will. Mr. Hart pull the trigger before Kentucky. Dont let fans that love this Team sit and stew. Its not good for Dooley his family or Tennessee fans..

frblalack writes:

The smart thing to do is allow Coach Dooley the opportunity & the respect he deserves. If UT can win out, then let's give Coach our complete support. If we cannot beat Vandy and Kentucky, then probably all the naysayers & negative posters & supposedly "fans" will be happy. Coach Dooley is a CLASS ACT, a genuinely fine representative for our university. If we'd have made a few critical catches, or a few less fumbles, or a few more field goals then we wouldn't be having this discussion. Yeah, the missed defensive assignments have been atrocious...but they can be corrected. I remain hopeful that Coach Hart will honor the contract with our Head Coach. Keeping in mind the circumstances Coach inherited; let's see how the rest of this season plays out.

All Vols - All the Time - Vol for Life - GoBigOrange!

pcorange writes:

If a decision has not been made at this point, it is probably too late. Unless Hart is lying to Dooley, we may as well hunker down and get ready for another rough season in 2013. A coaching search should be under way in earnest by this point in the game if he were actually planning to fire Coach Dooley. Oh, well. We looked decent on offense this year, so maybe the defense can find a way to improve in the off season. Go Big Orange!

BigBadVol writes:

Could the state of the program I love get any more depressing? NO! It couldn't!

Vol_fanatic_666 writes:

So, who is behind the Fathwah on Coach Dooley? Is it the mullahs of big orange mouths or the mule-heads with the checkerboard brains?

vollerdash writes:

This just in>>>> Sources say press confrence in the works for today.. more to come ??

voloffaith writes:

in response to dsbyrd#287440:

First.

grade.................jeepers grow up.....wanna be line leader 2maro on the playground? I'll put in the good word......what was the rest of your comment about the article? Well that will be my LAST comment on your happy moment...hope it was worth it.........

Geofffourmyle writes:

Tony Basilio says:

"This coaching search is going to be really interesting to watch over the next couple of weeks. The picture at UT couldn't possibly be any murkier. A longtime insider @ UT told me last night that Dave Hart could prove to be a real wild card in this coaching search before it's over.

The Colonel has already illustrated above that Hart doesn't like to be told what to do. His handling of all things Lady Vols proves this. As does his handling of the Bud Ford deal. Hart has been borderline out of control early in his tenure. And this fiercely independent streak of his has been tolerable to big $$$ at this point."

Hart's wanting to hang on to Dooley in recent weeks in light of mounting pressure from big $$$ to lance the festering Dooley era was less than amusing. To big $$$ (who I listen to btw), Dooley was done after South Carolina, but Hart was hoping he could win out only to be put in his place at the top of last week. But, what is Hart's place? Here's where it's going to get really interesting.

The real question at UT when it comes this coaching search is this; who's in charge here?

When you get down to it, Dave Hart is such a wild card in this deal that I believe it could come down to a case of two concurrent searches for a head coach at UT."

http://tonybasilio.com/index.php?page...

So who knows what the heck is going on.

Walt

UT '81

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to frblalack:

The smart thing to do is allow Coach Dooley the opportunity & the respect he deserves. If UT can win out, then let's give Coach our complete support. If we cannot beat Vandy and Kentucky, then probably all the naysayers & negative posters & supposedly "fans" will be happy. Coach Dooley is a CLASS ACT, a genuinely fine representative for our university. If we'd have made a few critical catches, or a few less fumbles, or a few more field goals then we wouldn't be having this discussion. Yeah, the missed defensive assignments have been atrocious...but they can be corrected. I remain hopeful that Coach Hart will honor the contract with our Head Coach. Keeping in mind the circumstances Coach inherited; let's see how the rest of this season plays out.

All Vols - All the Time - Vol for Life - GoBigOrange!

Are you for real? Good Lord man, this coach couldn't win in the WAC. He is done, regardless of what happens in the next 2 games. He knows it and so do the players

pcorange writes:

in response to vollerdash:

This just in>>>> Sources say press confrence in the works for today.. more to come ??

One thing this whole debacle has proven beyond any shadow of a doubt: KNS and Times-Free Press writers' sources haven't an ounce of credibility. It looks like they would have some sort of vetting process to go through to ensure their sources know what the heck they are talking about before they report the firing of a head coach for his family to see when, in fact, it is not true.

td writes:

Basilio reports there is a power struggle between Hart and the "Big $$$$" folks. This has all the potential of a royal goat coitus.

Millisa writes:

What time is the press conference? And Fire Dooley and Hart Pat Summitt for AD

TheStupidPolice writes:

in response to frblalack:

The smart thing to do is allow Coach Dooley the opportunity & the respect he deserves. If UT can win out, then let's give Coach our complete support. If we cannot beat Vandy and Kentucky, then probably all the naysayers & negative posters & supposedly "fans" will be happy. Coach Dooley is a CLASS ACT, a genuinely fine representative for our university. If we'd have made a few critical catches, or a few less fumbles, or a few more field goals then we wouldn't be having this discussion. Yeah, the missed defensive assignments have been atrocious...but they can be corrected. I remain hopeful that Coach Hart will honor the contract with our Head Coach. Keeping in mind the circumstances Coach inherited; let's see how the rest of this season plays out.

All Vols - All the Time - Vol for Life - GoBigOrange!

STUPID

MidTennVol writes:

in response to frblalack:

The smart thing to do is allow Coach Dooley the opportunity & the respect he deserves. If UT can win out, then let's give Coach our complete support. If we cannot beat Vandy and Kentucky, then probably all the naysayers & negative posters & supposedly "fans" will be happy. Coach Dooley is a CLASS ACT, a genuinely fine representative for our university. If we'd have made a few critical catches, or a few less fumbles, or a few more field goals then we wouldn't be having this discussion. Yeah, the missed defensive assignments have been atrocious...but they can be corrected. I remain hopeful that Coach Hart will honor the contract with our Head Coach. Keeping in mind the circumstances Coach inherited; let's see how the rest of this season plays out.

All Vols - All the Time - Vol for Life - GoBigOrange!

I actually generally agree with that assessment. We are four plays away from four more wins. If we can win out, I would not be against giving Dooley another year -- provided he does something major (i.e. whatever it takes) to ensure we have an SEC defense next year.

Squid_Vol writes:

in response to td:

Basilio reports there is a power struggle between Hart and the "Big $$$$" folks. This has all the potential of a royal goat coitus.

"goat coitus"...that is hilarious. Nice one...

VolsSquid writes:

in response to frblalack:

The smart thing to do is allow Coach Dooley the opportunity & the respect he deserves. If UT can win out, then let's give Coach our complete support. If we cannot beat Vandy and Kentucky, then probably all the naysayers & negative posters & supposedly "fans" will be happy. Coach Dooley is a CLASS ACT, a genuinely fine representative for our university. If we'd have made a few critical catches, or a few less fumbles, or a few more field goals then we wouldn't be having this discussion. Yeah, the missed defensive assignments have been atrocious...but they can be corrected. I remain hopeful that Coach Hart will honor the contract with our Head Coach. Keeping in mind the circumstances Coach inherited; let's see how the rest of this season plays out.

All Vols - All the Time - Vol for Life - GoBigOrange!

Agreed!

jakethevolguy writes:

in response to td:

Basilio reports there is a power struggle between Hart and the "Big $$$$" folks. This has all the potential of a royal goat coitus.

If I was betting I would put my money on "Big $$$$". aka Haslam

opportunityisnowhere writes:

Well this is awkward

vq4nfo writes:

Maybe the AD is looking for the first person to cough up the $5 Million for CDD and the $4.3 Million for the assistants. Total of $9.3 Million to please a few journalists and posters on KNS website. 89,000+ at the game Saturday? Still in the top 10 attendance for all of FBS.

pcorange writes:

in response to opportunityisnowhere:

Well this is awkward

That is an understatement!

smoky50 writes:

Dave Hart needs to act now and fire Dooley. We have got to be the first out of the chute to get the best coach available. NO PATRINO AND NO TUBERVILLE! There are other coaches out there. I say throw the bone at the Chief. Give him the reigns and welcome him back! I hope wherever Hammy and Fulmer are they are completely satisfied by running this program into the ground. Before all you Fulmer lovers come after me just think back after we won the National Championship and the back to back SEC Championships, Fulmer after a few years sat back on his rear and let the game pass him by. All the coaches had his playbook and knew our game plans week to week. I know he was the winningest coach but he let the program go stale, hammy pulled the trigger and hired that snake kiffin. AD Dave Hart HAS GOT TO MAKE A QUICK AND STERN DECISION or we will be at the bottom of the SEC for several years to come.

pcorange writes:

in response to vq4nfo:

Maybe the AD is looking for the first person to cough up the $5 Million for CDD and the $4.3 Million for the assistants. Total of $9.3 Million to please a few journalists and posters on KNS website. 89,000+ at the game Saturday? Still in the top 10 attendance for all of FBS.

There may have been 89,000 tickets given out, but I can assure you there weren't 89,000 in the stands. 60,000 tops. People who are holding season tickets right now who have stopped attending games are going to eventually quit buying season tickets, at that point the "announced" attendance will start coming more in line with reality.

stoney writes:

Yes, Dooley is a class act and Hart would never lie. (But I would... twice in one sentence)

VolinCalif writes:

in response to pcorange:

One thing this whole debacle has proven beyond any shadow of a doubt: KNS and Times-Free Press writers' sources haven't an ounce of credibility. It looks like they would have some sort of vetting process to go through to ensure their sources know what the heck they are talking about before they report the firing of a head coach for his family to see when, in fact, it is not true.

Is it Polk County Orange? Been a while since I lived in Tenn but you sound like an East Tenn person.
Don't call out the press on just Football, they stink on every issue of news that I read about. Could be that it is just here on the West Coast but I don't see it that a way.
I have a history of just plain liking all Tenn Coaches all the way back to the Gen. Yes I liked Lane , fact is I liked him a lot until he Pooed on UT . I sure didn't think the display of dislike by fans was needed.
I really like Dooley and I think he has done a good job in many ways just not on the field.
I played a lot of competitive sports and was at lease fair at most, but I lost my share also, no one likes that but that is how it is. I wish Dooley had made it, and I really like the support that Barbara showed toward him. They are good people and if he goes lets hope it is with the respect that is offered toward good people.

wildmed writes:

in response to frblalack:

The smart thing to do is allow Coach Dooley the opportunity & the respect he deserves. If UT can win out, then let's give Coach our complete support. If we cannot beat Vandy and Kentucky, then probably all the naysayers & negative posters & supposedly "fans" will be happy. Coach Dooley is a CLASS ACT, a genuinely fine representative for our university. If we'd have made a few critical catches, or a few less fumbles, or a few more field goals then we wouldn't be having this discussion. Yeah, the missed defensive assignments have been atrocious...but they can be corrected. I remain hopeful that Coach Hart will honor the contract with our Head Coach. Keeping in mind the circumstances Coach inherited; let's see how the rest of this season plays out.

All Vols - All the Time - Vol for Life - GoBigOrange!

Hey, blalack, the fans DON'T want the Vols to lose to Vanderbilt, Kentucky or any other team. Fans of the Vols want them to win every game, to show class doing it and to act like gentlemen when they don't, on and off the field. Maybe if Dooley had recruited better than 3-star players, had been able to retain decent coaches, had replaced those who jumped ship with competent motivators, and knew just a smidgeon about game time management, the outcome would have been different, BUT IT HASN'T BEEN!! His teams and results have gotten progressively worse each year and the fourth year would probably be more of the same (reference the current recruit list and status of this coaching staff). I hate for Tennessee to start over AGAIN, but if one is the least bit pragmatic, WE HAVE NO OTHER SENSIBLE OPTION.

Ayres_Hall writes:

My sources tell me that UT fans are the dumbest. Rivals,
247 and KNS feed the dumb.

Squid_Vol writes:

in response to frblalack:

The smart thing to do is allow Coach Dooley the opportunity & the respect he deserves. If UT can win out, then let's give Coach our complete support. If we cannot beat Vandy and Kentucky, then probably all the naysayers & negative posters & supposedly "fans" will be happy. Coach Dooley is a CLASS ACT, a genuinely fine representative for our university. If we'd have made a few critical catches, or a few less fumbles, or a few more field goals then we wouldn't be having this discussion. Yeah, the missed defensive assignments have been atrocious...but they can be corrected. I remain hopeful that Coach Hart will honor the contract with our Head Coach. Keeping in mind the circumstances Coach inherited; let's see how the rest of this season plays out.

All Vols - All the Time - Vol for Life - GoBigOrange!

+1. 4 losses by 10 pts or less against the best league in the NCAA, one of which a narrow touchdown win by the SEC east champs at their house. Not popular to believe in Dooley right now, but I still do...

volhitman writes:

in response to td:

Basilio reports there is a power struggle between Hart and the "Big $$$$" folks. This has all the potential of a royal goat coitus.

We all know it takes two people. One to hold the horns, and....

UkJarhead writes:

I say wait until UK knocks you out of another bowl game to fire him. As bad as we are, nothing except maybe hiring Saban, will give me as much satisfaction as knocking UT from the postseason again. That is assuming you beat Vandy which is a stretch. At least I got my tickets dirt cheap this year.

tensie2004 writes:

If this is true and Hart has not made a decision to replace Dooley then who ever has authority over Hart should move NOW to replace him at once!!! This is the most stupid thing I have heard in several months maybe since Dooley told the other SEC schools that "they would not have Tennessee to kick around any more."

Show-me-your-TDs writes:

Jack Del Rio for head coach Patrino for offensive cordinator and Greg Williams for defense cordinator It's time to turn this program over to the pros And get away from all these amiture coaching staffs

Geofffourmyle writes:

in response to wildmed:

Hey, blalack, the fans DON'T want the Vols to lose to Vanderbilt, Kentucky or any other team. Fans of the Vols want them to win every game, to show class doing it and to act like gentlemen when they don't, on and off the field. Maybe if Dooley had recruited better than 3-star players, had been able to retain decent coaches, had replaced those who jumped ship with competent motivators, and knew just a smidgeon about game time management, the outcome would have been different, BUT IT HASN'T BEEN!! His teams and results have gotten progressively worse each year and the fourth year would probably be more of the same (reference the current recruit list and status of this coaching staff). I hate for Tennessee to start over AGAIN, but if one is the least bit pragmatic, WE HAVE NO OTHER SENSIBLE OPTION.

That's the truth. Well stated.

Walt

UT '81

suttree writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

I actually generally agree with that assessment. We are four plays away from four more wins. If we can win out, I would not be against giving Dooley another year -- provided he does something major (i.e. whatever it takes) to ensure we have an SEC defense next year.

Dooley has one winning season in his coaching career. He has never lost fewer than five games in a season. In 72 games, he has never beaten a ranked opponent. He might be a fine family man but he is not up to this task.

Pay the man and lets turn the page.

JDX47 writes:

in response to Squid_Vol:

+1. 4 losses by 10 pts or less against the best league in the NCAA, one of which a narrow touchdown win by the SEC east champs at their house. Not popular to believe in Dooley right now, but I still do...

Hey Vince, you are busted...responding to your Momma Dooley's post trying to act like there are supporters left out there. Good try.

proudveteran writes:

Forget all the losers out there as potential coaches including Gruten and "Troubleville", oops Tuberville. Offer Peyton Manning the job now. That would solve everything. Manning does not have that much time left in the NFL witness the decisions of Indianapolis, does not need the money, absolutely a believer and promoter of UT as a school, would immediately solve the recruiting problem and could get us competive in two years. Let's go hire Manning.

Volunatic writes:

in response to vq4nfo:

Maybe the AD is looking for the first person to cough up the $5 Million for CDD and the $4.3 Million for the assistants. Total of $9.3 Million to please a few journalists and posters on KNS website. 89,000+ at the game Saturday? Still in the top 10 attendance for all of FBS.

There were NOT 89,000 people at the game.
That might have been the so-called "paid attendance", but that is not the same as the number of people within Neyland. There were quite a few Mizzou fans, though, enough to drown out the Vol fans that were subjected to that nonsense with their "M-I-Z-Z-O-U" chant. Attendance by UT fans over the past 3 home games (as a percentage of seats available) is at an ALL TIME low.

Squid_Vol writes:

in response to 45ReVOLver:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks Tool.

Really articulate. So well done.

Stooley_Dinks writes:

This is a play on words. The "Decision" on what to do may be made, while the "Decision" on when to do it may be in question. So, technically, everyone could be right here.

I think the jury is still out on Hart, but it would be common sense that IF he is already looking, especially if the other candidate(s) are employed, he would want to keep everything regarding a coaching search on the DL.

But, I do think that it is wrong to allow Dooley, the players, the fans, and recruits to dangle. I also think it would be beyond stupid to allow Dooley to coach a Bowl Game after which the possibility remains that he could be fired. Finally, I don't see how there could be any result to the next 2 games that would change anyone's mind.

So, the bottom line is that IF Hart has not made a decision on WHAT to do, then I am baffled. If he has made that decision, but is stalling on the timing, I understand. But, I think it is best for everyone involved to accept that the program has gone nowhere with Dooley and it is time for us all to move on. The issue is not going away until Hart closes the discussion.

JDX47 writes:

in response to proudveteran:

Forget all the losers out there as potential coaches including Gruten and "Troubleville", oops Tuberville. Offer Peyton Manning the job now. That would solve everything. Manning does not have that much time left in the NFL witness the decisions of Indianapolis, does not need the money, absolutely a believer and promoter of UT as a school, would immediately solve the recruiting problem and could get us competive in two years. Let's go hire Manning.

You're kidding right? Manning is on one of the greatest comeback rolls ever. He just tied TD record with Marino and can ascend to number 1 in about 2 years. He also has a little unfinished business to do to win a second superbowl to tie his brother. He won't be avaiable to coach (barring injury) for 4 more years. We CAN'T wait that long.

voloffaith writes:

in response to 45ReVOLver:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Whos is Doofus? Yes I know the real person...some have to play 3rd grade playgound name calling to get some type of relevance to their life they think.....

Colliervol writes:

in response to td:

Basilio reports there is a power struggle between Hart and the "Big $$$$" folks. This has all the potential of a royal goat coitus.

Trust me when I tell you that the Big $$$$'s always win.

pcorange writes:

in response to VolinCalif:

Is it Polk County Orange? Been a while since I lived in Tenn but you sound like an East Tenn person.
Don't call out the press on just Football, they stink on every issue of news that I read about. Could be that it is just here on the West Coast but I don't see it that a way.
I have a history of just plain liking all Tenn Coaches all the way back to the Gen. Yes I liked Lane , fact is I liked him a lot until he Pooed on UT . I sure didn't think the display of dislike by fans was needed.
I really like Dooley and I think he has done a good job in many ways just not on the field.
I played a lot of competitive sports and was at lease fair at most, but I lost my share also, no one likes that but that is how it is. I wish Dooley had made it, and I really like the support that Barbara showed toward him. They are good people and if he goes lets hope it is with the respect that is offered toward good people.

Actually, it is Perry County, a rural area in western Middle Tennessee. I've been a Big Orange fan all my life. I really like Coach Dooley, how he conducts himself, and the face he puts on UT athletics. What I don't like is the fact that our football team is stuck in reverse. At some point, that responsibility has to lie at the feet of the head coach and a change for the future has to be made. As you said, I hope our fans treat him and his family with the respect they deserve if he is fired, because I honestly believe he has tried the best he knows how to do things the right way here. It just hasn't worked out.

govols0463 writes:

in response to frblalack:

The smart thing to do is allow Coach Dooley the opportunity & the respect he deserves. If UT can win out, then let's give Coach our complete support. If we cannot beat Vandy and Kentucky, then probably all the naysayers & negative posters & supposedly "fans" will be happy. Coach Dooley is a CLASS ACT, a genuinely fine representative for our university. If we'd have made a few critical catches, or a few less fumbles, or a few more field goals then we wouldn't be having this discussion. Yeah, the missed defensive assignments have been atrocious...but they can be corrected. I remain hopeful that Coach Hart will honor the contract with our Head Coach. Keeping in mind the circumstances Coach inherited; let's see how the rest of this season plays out.

All Vols - All the Time - Vol for Life - GoBigOrange!

What is your name, so we can call you up to get your participation trophy? I can tell you are one of those. If your goal is to win out against Vandy and UK, please find another team to support.

Tru138 writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

I say wait until UK knocks you out of another bowl game to fire him. As bad as we are, nothing except maybe hiring Saban, will give me as much satisfaction as knocking UT from the postseason again. That is assuming you beat Vandy which is a stretch. At least I got my tickets dirt cheap this year.

Their bowl chances will be dead before they play UK.

Squid_Vol writes:

in response to 45ReVOLver:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Seriously dude?

pcorange writes:

in response to grimpmeister:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It doesn't look much like he is going to be fired no matter how the team performs. If giving up 48 points and 621 yards to Troy and an 0-6 SEC start for yet another season isn't enough to be relieved of your duties, I don't think a loss to a better Vanderbilt team is going to matter much.

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