Comments by TrackVol1975

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Written on UT's Don Mahoney wants to send his line out on winning note:

That these players still would be as dedicated as they are given the recent turmoil of the UT program the past five years speaks volumes as to the character of each of these individuals. They are men of respect in every way.

For the first time since David Cutcliffe went to Duke, I am feeling optimistic about the direction of this football program. No, we won't catch up to Alabama while "Coach Satan" is there, but I believe we will become a whole lot better than we have been in recent years.

Written on John Adams: Tennessee football is due a run of good luck:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I disagree, had Stoerner been sacked (not fumbled) and punted the ball away. UT would have scored (regardless of field position) on their next possession. The "luck" was in the first game against Syracuse when a questionable pass interference call saved the day for UT on the road with Big East officials.

Actually, the officials at the Syracuse game were SEC officials, and a friend of mine made the call to which you refer. He was a back judge, and on the play in question, a fourth down, the side judge was directly behind the Syracuse player who hit the UT receiver before the ball got to him.'

Because the side judge had no angle, he turned to the back judge who had a side view. The back judge said that contact clearly was made before the ball reached the receiver, thus the pass interference call that gave us a first down on that last drive. When I asked him about the call, he told me that he had no doubt at all about it. So, while Syracuse people didn't like the call, at least you know the story behind it.

As for the Arkansas game, the officials already had blown a call in which they mistakenly called a safety instead of giving UT the option of having a safety called against Arkansas or having first down on the 4-1/2 yard line. Also, I believe it was the infamous Al Matthews who was standing in front of Tee Martin on the fourth down play previous to Arkansas getting the ball (on the "fumble" series), and an Arkansas player hit Martin long after he had released the incomplete pass. Matthews, not surprisingly, took a powder. An SEC official (who was not part of the crew of that game but watched it), told me that there should have been a 15-yard penalty and UT should have had the ball back.

As for the blown call on the safety, the head of SEC officials publicly apologized the following Monday and said he was grateful his officials did not cause UT to lose the game. So, let us understand that Arkansas was the lucky team that day, not UT. They should not have been in the lead at that point in the game (thanks to bad officiating), and they should not have even had the ball on that fateful series.

As for UT's luck, good teams make their own luck, and the 1998 team was one heck of a good squad.

Written on Dave Hart, J.J. Clark want to see Tennessee get back on track:

I guess Dave Hart has spoken. It will be interesting when the 40th anniversary of our 1974 NCAA Track Championship comes around next year. The cross country alums celebrated the 1972 NCAA title 40th anniversary with no official ties to the university. My guess is that unless things change and unless Hart and J.J. actually reach out to the track alums, you will see something similar in 2014.

We are not as stupid as the university wants to think we are. The program is in the toilet and none of the track alums believe that the fortunes of the current team will change, as it is obvious the people in charge don't care.

The track and XC alums are not trying to micromanage the program, nor are we trying to give orders to Dave Hart, no matter what he might tell the N-S. We are just noting what is obvious to everyone else, even if Hart will not publicly acknowledge what I am sure he fully understands in private.

Written on From bronze to gold: Sports marketing pioneer Bill Schmidt to be inducted into Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame:

I have known Bill Schmidt for more than 40 years and he always has been a class guy and a man of respect. He was immensely helpful to our track team and it was just good to know he was around.

Congratulations, Bill, on this latest honor. And, yes, I was one of the former tracksters who believed (and still believe) you would have been a GREAT AD for the University of Tennessee. That people in authority there have had little foresight and were unable to recognize what was before them does not speak well of the leadership these days at UT.

Written on Neil Clabo's career includes more than punting:

in response to movol53:

Neil and I graduated FarragUT in 1971 had to "play against" him a lot when were in middle school. No way that was 40 years ago; I'm (we're) not that old!!! I still see him at reunions!!! At one time he had the record for longest punt in a Super Bowl but all records are set to be broken. Great job Neil!!!

Yep, we are THAT old. This is the year of the Big 6-0 for that Class of 1971. That also means Condredge Holloway!

Like Neil, I also am glad I turned down other offers and stayed close to home. (Of course, those of us that went to UT also got to share in the 1972 X-C NCAA championship and the 1974 Outdoor Track NCAA championship. Another time, another era.)

Written on Lady Vols swept in championship series, Oklahoma wins national title, 4-0:

Sooner or later, someone is going to blame this loss on "Bama Dave." I can hardly wait to read more twisted logic.

Written on Jacobs: Auburn review finds no evidence of fraud:

OrangePride, I could not agree more. Selena Roberts during the Duke Lacrosse Case made a number of absolutely false allegations, and then continued to spread falsehoods even after a thorough investigation by the North Carolina attorney general found the charges to be absolutely false. And even then Roberts still spread falsehoods.

Interestingly, she is an Auburn graduate but in my book, she is a sorry excuse for a journalist. Yes, she can hold the Lance Armstrong story in her portfolio, but she hardly was the first writer to make the allegations.

Written on Auburn in self-defense mode over scathing reports:

Selena Roberts is an Auburn graduate and hates the football team. In fact, she hates men in general.

She wrote a number of columns on the Duke Lacrosse Case and none of them were true, with Roberts making up things out of whole cloth. I have no idea if the things she alleges in this article are true, but Roberts and the truth are not always partners.

(I am close to a couple of attorneys involved in the Duke case and can say with certainty that Roberts and her former employer, the NY Times, definitely encouraged outright fabrications in that case. Maybe everything she alleges at Auburn happened, but until someone else who is more credible comes up with material, I am going to be agnostic on it.)

Written on 'Nerves' factored in Meighan Simmons' struggles:

I hate to see people who probably cannot dribble a basketball piling on this young lady. There probably is not a person in the building who wants to succeed in big games more than Simmons, and here is hoping that another year of maturity will be the key.

And she did hit four treys in the second half that really helped the team, so it was not as though she didn't show up. As a former UT athlete, I just do not like to see fans making destructive comments about the players, and especially those who hustle and give their all. I'm sure that nerves do play a role and some athletes do focus better in the big contests, but nonetheless this team would not have made it as far as it did without Simmons, and I would hope people don't forget that fact.

Written on Wayne Whigham, former UT sprinter, dies at 63:

Great article! Wayne was a senior when I was a freshman and no senior did more to help bring the freshmen along than did he. Wayne was a great teammate and a great guy and a lot of people are going to miss him dearly, and I'm one of them.

Written on With Audry Hardy, James Craig and coach Chuck Rohe, the Vols were track forerunners in integration :

Folks, you had to see Audry run just to get a sense of how good he really was. He was still running some workouts when I was a freshman and he was amazing. James Craig also was one tough runner, and by the time I arrived in 1971, we had guys like Darwin Bond, Willie Thomas and Wilbur Hawkins. Willie was a two-time NCAA outdoor 880-800 champion, while Darwin was a multi-times All-American, as was Wilbur.

It was a real privilege to run with these guys and to have them as teammates.

Written on Vols have reason to smile, 54-53 over Alabama :

I just watched the reply and there is no way that was a foul, and I don't care what Jimmy Dykes or Nick Saban or whoever has to say. Stokes was standing at the baseline almost facing the back line with his hands up. The Bama player literally jumped into him and was out of control. A good no-call.

Stokes definitely was a PLAYER this game. Bama had no answer for him at all, and I hope this is the start of something good down the stretch.

Written on Mike Strange: Something is missing ... Vols looking for a closer :

First, while I liked Bruce Pearl, UT had no option but to fire him. Believe me, had we kept him, the NCAA would have gotten its revenge a thousand times, and our basketball program would have been decimated. Furthermore, every other UT athletic program would have undergone the kind of scrutiny that no program could handle.

Second, while Ole Miss currently is winning, it is obvious that the program tolerates some very bad characters, and that will come back to haunt them in the future. A coach that encourages his players to mouth off is not a coach who is going to keep any kind of order.

Does anyone think that Nick Saban would permit that kind of open braggadocio from one of his players? Believe me, Ole Miss will pay for this in the future, as Henderson apparently believes that he can run his mouth and that there will not be payback.

Written on John Adams: CAK QB Charlie High still thinking big despite recruiting rejections :

Bill High was one of my teammates at UT and one heck of a hurdler himself. He made All-American several times and was a tough competitor.

If his son has near the heart of his dad, then he will be a good player for someone, and I only could hope it would be UT. Condredge Holloway was about 5-9 and didn't do too badly for us.

Written on Tennessee's Stokely Athletics Center closing down :

I won a number of races in that venue both in high school and at UT. It was 10 laps to a mile and a flat floor, which meant tight turns. You had to know how to properly negotiate them, but it was a blast and some of us managed to run some pretty fast times there. I always loved to race on that track, and I also saw a lot of basketball games, as well as attending those famed Elton John concerts, James Taylor, and others.

Written on Saugatuck to Sunsphere: Butch Jones' meteoric rise :

This guy is going to do well at Tennessee. I'm sorry that such a large part of the fan base seems determined to be negative, but my sense is that he will prove a lot of people wrong. Is he Nick Saban? No, but, then, Nick Saban was not Nick Saban when LSU hired him in 2000.

In fact, I remember hearing a lot of negative comments on his hiring then, and when UAB beat LSU in Baton Rouge early in the season, the howling got louder. (LSU beat Tennessee the next week, by the way.) And when Saban went 7-6 the first year at Alabama in 2007, Paul Finebaum was all over him. We know how things ultimately turned out.

So, maybe UT fans should be willing to see what happens, as opposed to already having Jones fired in three years, as I have been reading on the message boards.

Written on Pat's first home game: rickety bleachers, ham biscuits, and a small, noisy crowd:

I remember going to the Tennessee Tech game in 1975 and then covering the Lady Vols for the UT Daily Beacon that fall (I finished in December 1975). I told more than a few people that I believed Pat would become the best coach in the country, even though she was just a year older than I was. One could tell even then that she had what it takes to be great.

As a middle distance runner for the UT track team, I, too, did the treadmill thing for Dr. Howley. I'm not surprised Pat's players lasted a long time on it!

Written on Distance medley relay propels Lady Vols to 4th at SEC meet:

Our once-proud men's track program that used to compete for national championships now cannot even compete for the upper division of the SEC. The hole that was dug for the team is so deep that I doubt we ever will climb out of it.

Written on Josh Pastner wants to end series with UT :

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.

Written on John Adams: Jay Graham can sell UT from the heart :

And don't forget that 69-yard scamper against Bama in '96 to beat the Tide or the long TD run against Ohio State just before the half. We have good memories of this guy!

Written on Venue not exactly L.A. story for Lady Vols :

Sorry, Dan, but this economist must take issue with the statement that the smaller venue has increased demand for tickets. My guess is that the typical demand for UCLA women's tickets is greater than 2,000 wherever the game is played, and with UT coming to town, that has increased demand even more.

What that means is that those tickets that are sold to people "on the street" will command a higher price than usual. (Think of the supply curve on a regular supply-and-demand graph shifted to the left.)

Written on AD Joe Alleva staying at LSU after being pursued by Tennessee:

So, let's see here. UT athletics are in trouble because coaches lied. So what does UT do? It goes after an AD who when at Duke declared that the infamous lacrosse case "was not about the truth," and then proceeded to fire the lacrosse coach. (Alleva denies saying it, but other witnesses have told me that he did make those comments, which means that to me, Alleva is dishonest.)

That UT even would go after someone like this is proof that no one has learned any lessons at all. Alleva was part of the Duke administration that lied throughout the case, covered up for an employee who was fabricating information for the corrupt prosecutor, Mike Nifong (he based much of his material on the fabrication), and told the Duke police to rewrite their reports to make Crystal Mangum's claims look to be credible.

And UT wanted to hire Alleva? Who was part of that dishonest scheme? Unbelievable!

Written on Tennessee won't retain George Watts, Norbert Elliott for track program :

in response to AMEDDVOL:

Coach Watts is the type of coach this school should be looking to retain, not to cast out. After he graduated from UT Coach Watts took a job as basically an equipment manager while working also as an assistant coach in order to continue coaching at UT. He stayed at Tennessee despite offers from other schools throughout the years. What alot of people do not realize that there is no such thing as a Cross Country scholarship. There is only track scholarship for which there are only 12.5 total scholarships awarded. Coach Watts had to compete against other schools in the SEC who utilized a large portion of their track scholarships towards cross country/distance runners. Tennessee did not. Coach watts often had to work with less than 1 or 2 total scholarships. Yet he remained competitive against these schools, many of whom brought in foreign runners from places such as Kenya and Europe. How he did it was beyond me. In 2002 with probably about 1 total scholarship divided among 7 runners he was able to defeat an Alabama team filled with Kenyans (including the national champion) at region to qualify for Cross Country National Championship. Imagine Dooley only being able to award 5 to 6 scholarships to his entire football team!

Excellent comment. George really is one of the best coaches in the country, and the track alums are not happy at all about this terrible treatment of a very loyal UT alumnus and coach.

I put Coach Watts in touch with a young man from our church who was a Maryland state champion in the 1600, and ultimately the young man decided on William & Mary. Given what has happened, I am quite happy he made that choice.

And, my name is Bill Anderson and I was on the X-C and track teams at UT from 1971-75 and ran the mile and 800. So, I am not hiding anything.

Written on Tennessee won't retain George Watts, Norbert Elliott for track program :

in response to SserPrun95:

Well my name is Andrew Press and I graduated from the program back in 2008. I, along with the vast majority of male alumni from a 50 mile radius (about 15-20 male guys and not just distance runners), met with Mike "The Destroyer" Hamilton strongly advocating for Watts and opposing the appointment of JJ to head men's track coach. The UT alum are fiercly loyal to their coaches. Guys like Watts, Elliot, and Webb bled orange and their athletes loved them for it. In contrast the feeling within the men's program atleast while I was there towards JJ varied from complete indifference to disgust. He never liked Watts and while I hoped this wouldn't happen it does not surprise me at all. I do know that with this move JJ and the AD has successfully annihilated a combined 30+ years of alumni support. Maybe in a decade or two JJ can rebuild something like the support Elliot and Watts had from their alumni, but somehow I doubt it.

Not having met J.J., I cannot comment on him. However, George Watts' record speaks for itself. George is a first-rate coach, and I remember when we recruited him to UT from high school.

This is a huge blow to the Men's track and field teams, and I only can hope that someone can pick up the pieces down the road. George Watts has given UT most of his working life and has produced very well. He did not deserve to be booted out in this ignominious fashion.

Written on Tennessee won't retain George Watts, Norbert Elliott for track program :

This is a disaster. I have known George for more than 30 years and he has been a first-rate coach. I don't know Coach Norbert but have heard good things about him. We are looking at a full-fledged meltdown with the firing of two respected coaches.

It is painful to watch our program, which once dominated the SEC, now being a bottom dweller in the conference. There is no reason for this, none at all.

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