One year into Butch Jones era, Vols AD Dave Hart talks future

Vols' AD enthused by Jones' direction

Tennessee head coach Butch Jones celebrates with Athletic Director Dave Hart after Tennessee beat South Carolina 23-21 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Lau

Tennessee head coach Butch Jones celebrates with Athletic Director Dave Hart after Tennessee beat South Carolina 23-21 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

The Tennessee football season ended with a dismal and all-too-familiar 5-7 record, which means athletic director Dave Hart is spending another December in Knoxville rather than a bowl site.

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Comments » 17

topbanana writes:

Best thing for UT sports is to say bye-bye to Hart

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

in response to topbanana:

Best thing for UT sports is to say bye-bye to Hart

Do you think we should also say bye bye to Butch Jones since it was Dave Hart who hired him? Believe me, there is someone in the administration higher than Hart that we should say bye bye to.

hcspraker#205735 writes:

The entire administration is at fault for the position Tennessee sport's programs are in. Sport's had gotten to big for the administration to handle so they had to bring it down.

OrangePride writes:

Actually, from what I read in this article, Hart has made some sound decisions. Small raise and no extension for CCM; holding the line on football salaries; focusing on the future, but cautioning no one is signed. Like many, I am optimistic that Butch is the right guy if we can simply be a little more patient. So Merry Christmas to all...even Mr. Hart.

Plasticman85 writes:

in response to snowpeapod#263184:

Do you think we should also say bye bye to Butch Jones since it was Dave Hart who hired him? Believe me, there is someone in the administration higher than Hart that we should say bye bye to.

So how long will it be before they get rid of the real culprit for the demise of UT Athletics, Jimmy Cheek?

slb1zellwood#1421797 writes:

I personally believe that Jimmy will be outta there only when the men with the Big Bucks feel he is the real source of the problems for our athletic programs. This phooey as we all know started before Hart came on the scene. Cleaning up this mess has begun but will take some more time in conjunction with sound business & personnel decisions. This is a business and it has to be run like one starting with the leadership and if Cheek is the one who isn't providing the leadership the guys with the big bucks have to remove him from the CEO position.

We got to Act not react to the facts before us.

mithomas writes:

Guys. If we all agree to be honest truth is our demise started with shoving Fulmer out the door. While our offense had become stagnant and penalties displayed a lack of discipline i believe that given time (which Fulmer earned) he could have righted the ship. We can't expect excellence with as many coaching staff changes as we have had to deal with since then. Lastly, the Kiffin debacle could not have been foreseen. Had he stayed and we experienced success there are certainly those who would have looked past his issues. NOW we have a coach who embraces OUR traditions, is a proven recruiter and motivator. We are clearly on the right track. What doesn't help is the constant criticism of an athletic department that is clearly better off today than say 4 years ago. If you can't find your way to support the department in every way shape or form than you should find something that is more aligned with your philosophy and support that as opposed to spending your waking hours criticizing. I know a lot of you won't agree with these sentiments but as a supporter and VFL it frustrates me to see people who hide behind screen names for fear someone might actually know who you are. If you are truly VFL then you are VFL in good times and bad. I hope all of your wives and husbands still look as they did when y'all married given how most of you react to adversity and change.

knspiegel#1429269 writes:

Mr. Hart thinks it is impressive that we had 96,000 fans per game. Mr. Hart is apparently unaware of how many people Neyland Stadium actually holds, and the fact that folks once had to wait for years to get the opportunity to buy season tickets. It has been a mighty long time since I heard one of those announcements about breaking attendance records.

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

I concur the firing of Coach Fulmer in the middle of a potential bowl attending season started the debacle of Tennessee athletics. His next class including Bryce Petty and Taj Boyd would have had Tennessee winning big. The shortsighted incompetent Hamilton trashed longstanding season ticket holders to build the East/West Club seats, Tennessee Terrance and the club seats in TBA that no one sits in. The buyouts and unfocused construction nearly bankrupted the budget. Hamilton's choice of Kiffboy and Doofus has put the program in the losing tank allowing Vandy to be the most dominant football program in the state.
"Bama" Dave might be a good manager but there is not one legitimate nationally competitive program left on campus. The LV'S proved that again last night. They would lose to UConn by forty.
With the new SEC network coming and cheap 60" TV's at Costco, who wants to deal with the Tennessee Fund, parking issues, 12:00 games, excessive ticket prices to watch Austin Peay and other worthless non-conference games in FB and BB. Enjoy it from home or sports bar and click it off when the Vols show up uninspired and lose.
The most challenging issue going forward is whether anyone cares to show up with a football team that goes 8-4 or 9-3 and still loses to your big 3 or 4 rivals every year ? Basketball, the curtains are coming back and who cares about baseball.
The high water mark of National Championships at UT in football, track, swimming and being in the conversation in every other sport appear to be fleeting.

mithomas writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

I concur the firing of Coach Fulmer in the middle of a potential bowl attending season started the debacle of Tennessee athletics. His next class including Bryce Petty and Taj Boyd would have had Tennessee winning big. The shortsighted incompetent Hamilton trashed longstanding season ticket holders to build the East/West Club seats, Tennessee Terrance and the club seats in TBA that no one sits in. The buyouts and unfocused construction nearly bankrupted the budget. Hamilton's choice of Kiffboy and Doofus has put the program in the losing tank allowing Vandy to be the most dominant football program in the state.
"Bama" Dave might be a good manager but there is not one legitimate nationally competitive program left on campus. The LV'S proved that again last night. They would lose to UConn by forty.
With the new SEC network coming and cheap 60" TV's at Costco, who wants to deal with the Tennessee Fund, parking issues, 12:00 games, excessive ticket prices to watch Austin Peay and other worthless non-conference games in FB and BB. Enjoy it from home or sports bar and click it off when the Vols show up uninspired and lose.
The most challenging issue going forward is whether anyone cares to show up with a football team that goes 8-4 or 9-3 and still loses to your big 3 or 4 rivals every year ? Basketball, the curtains are coming back and who cares about baseball.
The high water mark of National Championships at UT in football, track, swimming and being in the conversation in every other sport appear to be fleeting.

Not one legit program?? Lady Vols BBall is top ten and losing Stanford (a top 5) program on the road by 6 is causing you concern? How about Lady Vols softball? World Series last year!! Tennis and Golf continue to compete nationally. As you I long for the days that EVERY one of our programs is competing for national championships EVERY year but quite frankly NCAA rules allow for more competition. And that is probably a good thing. Take a look at how Belmont beats NC and forces the big blue of KY to hyperventilate. And that is just men's ball. The same thing holds true for all intercollegiate athletics. What Saban has done at bama is remarkable and clearly an exception to the rule. But it does prove that consistency breeds success. WE ARE ALMOST THERE DON'T JUMP SHIP JUST YET!! GBO

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

in response to Plasticman85:

So how long will it be before they get rid of the real culprit for the demise of UT Athletics, Jimmy Cheek?

Exactly the culprit of whom I was referring.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

in response to mithomas:

Not one legit program?? Lady Vols BBall is top ten and losing Stanford (a top 5) program on the road by 6 is causing you concern? How about Lady Vols softball? World Series last year!! Tennis and Golf continue to compete nationally. As you I long for the days that EVERY one of our programs is competing for national championships EVERY year but quite frankly NCAA rules allow for more competition. And that is probably a good thing. Take a look at how Belmont beats NC and forces the big blue of KY to hyperventilate. And that is just men's ball. The same thing holds true for all intercollegiate athletics. What Saban has done at bama is remarkable and clearly an exception to the rule. But it does prove that consistency breeds success. WE ARE ALMOST THERE DON'T JUMP SHIP JUST YET!! GBO

You don't have to worry about "nextyear" jumping ship because he never was on board in the first place. It always amazes me why someone who obviously hates UT would spend money reading anything about Tennessee sports programs. But, as I've always heard, fact is stranger than fiction!!!!

fannotsheep writes:

OK, the Lady Vols are still pretty good. Not good enough to beat UCONN, but nobody else is either. Maybe not even a WNBA team.

But as proud as UT should be of its women, I don't think that is the relevant subject. On the other hand, Dave Hart does looks like a little woman in the ridiculous photo that seems to always go with any GVX article about him. I think it's funny but maybe they should shelve it now.

Back to men's athletics and the reason we are reading this: I don't think Hart said anything I disagree with in this article. Jones has done a good job so far, outstanding actually in recruiting, academics and rebuilding the program's ties to its fans and to area high school coaches. Just like Dooley, Jones is playing very tough schedules with little depth and too many scholarship athletes who are not SEC-caliber.

Give him time and we will see if he can compete with better players. Until then we only know he is not a miracle worker. But come to think of it, this class -- if it gets signed intact -- might qualify as a miracle.

ChesterDrawers writes:

in response to fannotsheep:

OK, the Lady Vols are still pretty good. Not good enough to beat UCONN, but nobody else is either. Maybe not even a WNBA team.

But as proud as UT should be of its women, I don't think that is the relevant subject. On the other hand, Dave Hart does looks like a little woman in the ridiculous photo that seems to always go with any GVX article about him. I think it's funny but maybe they should shelve it now.

Back to men's athletics and the reason we are reading this: I don't think Hart said anything I disagree with in this article. Jones has done a good job so far, outstanding actually in recruiting, academics and rebuilding the program's ties to its fans and to area high school coaches. Just like Dooley, Jones is playing very tough schedules with little depth and too many scholarship athletes who are not SEC-caliber.

Give him time and we will see if he can compete with better players. Until then we only know he is not a miracle worker. But come to think of it, this class -- if it gets signed intact -- might qualify as a miracle.

I agree that Hart should do a KNS "buyout" of the photo that accompanies this article!

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

in response to snowpeapod#263184:

You don't have to worry about "nextyear" jumping ship because he never was on board in the first place. It always amazes me why someone who obviously hates UT would spend money reading anything about Tennessee sports programs. But, as I've always heard, fact is stranger than fiction!!!!

You have no idea what you are talking about. However, that is ok on this site since it is your opinion and I don't really care if you want to be factual or not.
I concur the LV BB and SB teams are very good and nationally ranked yearly. I have no confidence for a myriad of reasons that they will win a NC.
With the greed of the SEC athletic directors adding Mizzou and A&M, sadly, UT is a middle tier program across the board.

philcable#1432406 writes:

in response to topbanana:

Best thing for UT sports is to say bye-bye to Hart

Apparently you know nothing about football or sports in general.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to mithomas:

Guys. If we all agree to be honest truth is our demise started with shoving Fulmer out the door. While our offense had become stagnant and penalties displayed a lack of discipline i believe that given time (which Fulmer earned) he could have righted the ship. We can't expect excellence with as many coaching staff changes as we have had to deal with since then. Lastly, the Kiffin debacle could not have been foreseen. Had he stayed and we experienced success there are certainly those who would have looked past his issues. NOW we have a coach who embraces OUR traditions, is a proven recruiter and motivator. We are clearly on the right track. What doesn't help is the constant criticism of an athletic department that is clearly better off today than say 4 years ago. If you can't find your way to support the department in every way shape or form than you should find something that is more aligned with your philosophy and support that as opposed to spending your waking hours criticizing. I know a lot of you won't agree with these sentiments but as a supporter and VFL it frustrates me to see people who hide behind screen names for fear someone might actually know who you are. If you are truly VFL then you are VFL in good times and bad. I hope all of your wives and husbands still look as they did when y'all married given how most of you react to adversity and change.

Preach it, brother! This has turned out to be a long, strange journey for most of us fans, coaches and administrators alike. Unlike some, I don't claim any special insight into the workings of the program. I do know that in any arena as complex as big-time college sports, it is hard to make decisions that please everybody. If there is any real problem about who does or doesn't do what they should be doing, then I surely hope somebody can straighten that out.

In the meantime, it seems to me that the major sports are in the right coaching hands, at least. I don't suppose any coach gets as many resources as they would LIKE to have, so somebody has to say "no", a necessary word that nobody likes to say or hear. All such issues should be decided on their merits, but all the relevant parties seem to be quite thoroughly human and thus capable of endless chicanery and mere misunderstandings of various sorts.

These situations are like the weather in their effect on fandom. It might make it marginally harder to act and feel the way a fan should, but it is always going to be that some will make the effort anyway and some won't. The players might have to accept any extreme of rain, wind, heat, etc., and still try to do what they can. Meanwhile, those of us who put up with it just wish it would clear up for a change. But of course, I'm still all-Vol. Some would see it as a possibly unhealthy mental and emotional condition, but there it is!

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