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As The World Turns UT Edition
Posted: Friday, March 27th, 2015, 6:35 PM
The deal with Tyndall and Tennessee hoops WAS ALWAYS going to come down to a strange mix of Hart/UT admin & the NCAA. And believe me, that's an unpredictable confluence of collaborators. I wrote yesterday (and I believe this still) that the NCAA's case against Tyndall isn't air tight. If it was, we would have seen the letter long before now.

I believe in talking to people that the NCAA has shared parts of their official charges (yesterday afternoon) with Dave Hart who looks to be blinking.

Sources tell me that Tyndall and Dave Hart will meet at mid morning. As of this writing at 7:30AM, he's still the head coach here.

Tyndall staying or going was ALWAYS going to depend on Hart/UT Admin fighting for him. They've obviously decided he's not worth it.

Look, I'm not married to Donnie Tyndall like some think that I am. No one person is bigger than the program. Period. End of sentence.

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I'm going to say this once again today, my position is that if Tyndall goes, Dave Hart and Jon Gilbert must go to. We simply must start to value ourselves around here as fans and boosters and concerned sports citizens.

Even the fact that we're in the mess to begin with is enough to pop Hart let alone his treatment of the fine women on that campus coupled with the way he treated a Vol legend like Bud Ford. It's time for Bama Dave to pack up and leave. He has ZERO business in getting to choose the next b-ball coach.

I'm calling on the Board of Trustees of this University, my university, to get this guy out of here. He's a fight picking disaster. Have some pride in US. Get him out of here please.

As for Tennessee and where they will go from here if Tyndall is dismissed, Orange Throat sets the scene followed by Colonel. These are two of our wonderful insiders.

Orange Throat
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'There was a strange, deafening silence around the UT athletics department Thursday. This coincided with expected communication between the NCAA and UT on the Southern Miss case involving Donnie Tyndall.

Don't ever think these things are well thought out, no matter how long the lead time might be. How else do you see coaching searches bungled even though the school knows they're going to fire somebody two months ahead of time?>BR?

The timing of the NCAA prelim report might drive events at this point. We are at the peak of the coach hiring market for this cycle. Auburn struck gold with Bruce Pearl last year. Mississippi State made the obvious choice and took the best available coach off the board by hiring Ben Howland this week. Howland would have taken the Tennessee job last year, for sure.

Alabama is making all kinds of noise about giving Gregg Marshall a ton of money but i think that's a smoke screen. It will be interesting to see where they go if Marshall doesn't sign. There is unprecedented heat on Bill Battle because Auburn's Jay Jacobs spent a ton of $$$ on Bruce and upped the ante in the Heart of Dixie. Alabama wouldn't normally care, but they can't abide Auburn stealing the thunder.

Which brings us to our basketball job. Every indication seems to point to Dave Hart cutting a deal with Donnie Tyndall to step down in the next day or two and avoid a protracted NCAA process, but that's not certain.

The scary part is where Hart and deputy Jon Gilbert, who headed up the search that ended up with Donnie, will go this time. Hart is grooming Gilbert to succeed him at UT, which I wouldn't discount, given the stupidity of our university administration and lack of engagement from our trustees.

The smart money on Volunteer Boulevard is saying they'll go small if they let Donnie go. Don't expect a big, bold strike, even though our job should be the #2 job in the league. We're talking the proverbial "up and comer" hire. Maybe the guy at Univ of Chattanooga. Hope I'm wrong.

We should be warned. SEC schools, at least those who haven't been ravaged by Mike Hamilton's reckless financial mismanagement, under Jimmy Cheek's supervision, are flush with cash and they are investing in basketball. It is unconscionable that we are pleading poverty and Auburn and Mississippi State can make better BASKETBALL hires than us. Is that financial, or just stupidity, or both?

Have I used the word stupidity too much here? If the shoe fits, we must wear it.

I'm going to hold on to a positive thought as of this writing Friday morning and hope Donnie stays with us. God help us, and him, if he doesn't.

Orange Throat'

Thanks Throat. So much wonderful and troubling stuff there. Our BOT must get engaged and hold these people accountable. Dime Store Dave got us into this mess, not to mention the whole Lady Vol name fiasco. This guy must go and he should not be allowed to choose our next coach. Do we have any self pride in these parts? This guy is a Bammer!!

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Here's Vol Colonel to fill in some holes in his excellent report.

Vol Colonel
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'Let's get to the meat of the matter in swift fashion. All eyes are on Donnie Tyndall and Dave Hart today in Big Orange Country. I believe Hart and Tennessee now know from the NCAA, the findings on the investigation on Donnie Tyndall. All through this basketball season and over the winter into spring, I have believed Tennessee and Dave Hart would live with a suspension and retain Donnie Tyndall as our basketball coach I can say with a straight face, that I believed that to be 100% the case.

I now believe the chances of Donnie Tyndall retaining his job as Head Basketball Coach at Tennessee as of this writing (early Friday AM) is 50/50 at best.

I want to make it clear I am 100% in Coach Tyndall's camp and I hope he is retained as our coach. Late last night I talked to someone I trust, who tells me, he thinks Donnie Tyndall is done here.

While I value his opinion and knowledge, I want to believe that a path to retaining Donnie's services is still on the table.

I think today is going to be a very telling day around here. I think for Coach Tyndall, no news from UT today would be a good thing.

I think if the local media is notified of a press conference or press opportunity today, that Tyndall's fate could be sealed. The reason I say that, I believe UT knows right now or has a damn good idea whether they can live with what the NCAA has or not. I see no reason for this to drag on any longer unless we are prepared to keep our coach.

My theme for today? No News is Good News. The clock is ticking and the ball is in Dave Hart, Jimmy Cheek and Joe DiPietro's court. Does that make you feel better? I didn't think so, it makes me want to throw up too. Here's to praying for no news!

Have a Great Weekend and Go Big Orange!

Your Vol Colonel'

VC: What kind of leadership is it to hire a guy and then not fight for him for 24 hours with a weakened NCAA. And let's face it, the NCAA is weakened, internally, externally and in the eyes of the media and sporting public. We are just going to tuck tail and run. This Tyndall guy can really coach.



-The first day of the tournament was as remarkable as any in recent memory. For the first time in tournament history there were 5 games decided by one point as well as three other one possession contests. Considering the modern day player’s penchant for fouling three point shooters at crucial junctures I’m counting Notre Dame’s 69-65 victory over Northeastern as one possession affair as well, meaning 9 of 16 games came down to the last team with the ball....

SPRING FOOTBALL=UNANSWERABLE QUESTIONS: I love a little college football in the spring if for no other reason than to whet my appetite for fall. It’s the same premise as watching the MLB Channel in the dead of winter with the real season still months away....

JUST DON’T KNEE-JERK: As time to post the blog rapidly approached the national drumbeat was deafening that Donnie Tyndall and AD Dave Hart would know the charges against Tyndall by nightfall and the embattled coach’s fate here might be decided much sooner than thought. I have no idea what the rap sheet will look like or to what extent Hart and company are willing to go to keep the coach who was seemingly instantly popular among the masses but I do know it's a situation that calls for strong and determined leadership...[more]

Keith Hatfield closes today. He follows me today on the App/live stream. Should be interesting. Get the app! Droid | iPhone

Hatfield's Nine
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'With uncertainty swirling around Tennessee basketball, we hit regional finals weekend. It will be a couple of days to remember.

1. Dave Hart must make a decision immediately. The lingering controversy is choking Vol hoops.

2. That said, Donnie Tyndall has earned the backing he is receiving from the rank and file fan. Here's hoping we still get to support him next season.

3. Steve Forbes to ETSU is a winning move for both parties. Forbes gets a well deserved opportunity and the Bucs get a quality coach.

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4. Dean Smith leaving each of his lettermen a couple of hundred bucks to have a dinner is a nice story. Watching Kenny Smith talk about during the CBS game coverage last night was touching television.

5. Notre Dame is on a real roll. Scoring at that clip against a stout Wichita State defense is no Easy feat.

6. Wisconsin survived a thriller against North Carolina to keep their title quest alive. The Badgers made just enough clutch plays down the stretch hold off the game Tar Heels.

7. Kentucky was totally dominant in dispatching West Virginia. Their size totally smothered the Mountaineers.

8. Arizona was able to withstand a challenge from gritty Xavier. That sets up a rematch of last year's classic regional final against Wisconsin.

9. Elite Eight matchups carry crushing pressure. The outcome is the difference between a trip to college basketball's Promised Land and coming agonizingly close.


Final thought....It was literally in the 70's this week in East Tennessee. Beautiful weather! The forecast for tonight? A wintry mix with temps in the mid 20's. Apropos. Right in time for the nuclear winter our hoops program might become under Bama Dave Hart. Is anybody out there going to do something about this guy please?

Final Final thought....What a special time of the year...Too bad we have really special leadership at the university level here. Is anybody out there?

Tony B

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