The embarrassing loss to Kentucky, the first in 26 years, has brought a lot of heat on University of Tennessee football Coach Derek Dooley. The message boards and the sports talk shows are rife with vitriol.
Sources close to the program understand fan frustration with the lack of a kicking game, the inability to run the football, and the inability to score touchdowns. The fans’ bad attitude will have far-reaching effects on ticket sales, attendance, and ad revenue from radio and television broadcasts, which go directly to the program’s bottom line. But sources say Dooley has two things on his side to get a longer run. Given that the school has had three coaches in four years, another change would create unacceptable instability. New Athletic Director Dave Hart has only been on the job for four months and is hesitant to create a new controversy.
Thus Dooley is likely to get another year in the job. A key question will be what kind of recruiting class he will be able to bring in next year, given that the Vols aren’t going to a bowl and the humiliation of the Kentucky game ended the season with a losing record.