Tennessee does not need Bryce Brown aggravation


It’s Friday. Mercifully, the season is only two weeks away. And this is your day to talk about anything that is on your mind, even if it’s not college football. And as I’ve said before, please keep it clean because my momma reads this blog.

I’ll get things rolling.


1. Tennessee does not need the Bryce Brown aggravation. But you had to know that some aggravation was coming: Bryce Brown, Tennessee’s highly-recruited freshman running back, had a messy recruitment from the beginning with his “advisor” Brian Butler. For a while, you’ll recall, Butler was selling recruiting updates on Brown from a dedicated website. He had to back away from that. Now the NCAA is sniffing around some fundraising Butler and others did to help Brown and other students take a number of “educational” trips to Southern colleges. Now it may turn out that no NCAA rules were violated here. If some were, Brown may have to sit a couple of games.

 This much is clear and this is important: Tennessee’s recruitment of Brown is not the issue. So the institution and the football program don’t appear to be at risk. But everybody in the recruiting process knew that Brown, because of Butler, had some potential baggage. There were schools that backed off Brown because of it. Tennessee felt it was worth the risk and, in the final analysis, Lane Kiffin and his staff will probably be right. But this is an aggravation Tennessee does not need with the first game of the Kiffin era two weeks away.


2. Should Auburn be doing a reality TV show?  In the interest of full disclosure I need to tell you that I work for CSS on a show called “Talkin’ Football.” They are incredibly professional people who have done a lot for me. Having said all that, I question the wisdom of Auburn’s decision to do a reality show for CSS called “Auburn Football: Every Day.” The idea is to give the cameras unprecedented access to the football program on a daily basis. The cameras will show both the good and the bad. Originally, Ole Miss had agreed to do the show. The Rebels are picked to have a big, big season. But in the final days before shooting was scheduled to start, coach Houston Nutt had a change of heart. I understand Auburn’s rationale. When you’re recruiting in the same state with Nick Saban, you need every advantage that you can get. This show will be watched by a lot of people, including recruits. If it makes a handful of top high school players take a second look at Auburn, then it’s probably worth the risk involved. Football teams can be very volatile families. I’m going to try to keep an open mind on this one. What do you guys think?


3. The recent ruling in the Florida State case is the right one, but it will have an impact on future NCAA cases.  Florida Circuit Judge John Cooper ruled yesterday that if a state institution, in this case Florida State, receives documents in any form, those documents are public records. The documents in question dealt with the ongoing NCAA investigation into the academic cheating scandal at Florida State, which would strip coach Bobby Bowden of 14 of his 382 career victories. The NCAA’s records in the case were sent to Florida State on line in a “read only” format. The NCAA’s claim was the public had no right to the documents because Florida State had not received them in paper form and did not physically possess them. Media agencies sued, claiming that the NCAA’s claim violated the state’s open records laws. The court agreed. In a digital age, if a state body gets a document, no matter how it is transmitted, it is subject to open records. The NCAA claims it will be tougher to get people to testify in future cases. That may be true. But full disclosure of how the NCAA conducts its business overrides that concern.


4. Who will call Phillip Fulmer first? How about Louisville? After a posting on my recent meeting with Phillip Fulmer, the former Tennessee coach, several peopled asked where he could potentially land if he gets back into coaching. Fulmer made it clear that he wants to go somewhere that has made a commitment to compete for conference championships. I would suggest that you keep an eye on Louisville, where Steve Kragthorpe has really been struggling (11-23) since he took over for Bobby Petrino. The Cardinals have a chance to get off to a rocky start with road games to Kentucky and Utah followed by a home game with Pittsburgh in the first five weeks. If Kragthorpe doesn’t show some improvement early, don’t be surprised if Fulmer gets a call. Would he take it? I don’t know. But he could certainly win that league in 2-3 years.


5. Was Charlie Ward better than Tim Tebow? This comes from our friends at the Orlando Sentinel and it is a fascinating debate. Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, like most coaches in the South, has been asked if Florida’s Tim Tebow has a chance to be called the greatest football player of all time. Bowden told the Sentinel that he thought Charlie Ward, his 1993 Heisman Trophy winner, might have been better than Tebow. First of all, Coach Bowden is always going to stick up for Ward, who he really admires and likes.

Here are the stats:

CHARLIE WARD: 473-of-750 passing (63 percent), 5,747passing yards, 49 TDs, 22 INTs, 889 rushing yards, 10 rushing TDs

TIM TEBOW: 448-of-681 passing (65.8 percent), 6,390 passing yards,  67 TDs, 11 INTs, 2,037 rushing yards, 43 rushing TDs

It is a great argument today. But if Tebow plays on his third national championship team and/or wins a second Heisman Trophy, the argument is over. It’s Tebow.

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191 comments Add your comment


August 21st, 2009
2:10 pm


Great post. All excellent points from the inside perspective not many of us would have or even think about. Thanks.

Lenny in Ludowici

August 21st, 2009
2:23 pm

How long did it take them the NCAA to investigate and come out with a statement? How long has it taken for the NCAA to let us know what’s going on with the U$C/Reggie Bush investigation?

Here’s an interesting article: http://cfbwizard.com/2009/08/21/breaking-college-football-news/


August 21st, 2009
2:29 pm

JB, you forgot to add in HOW ATHENS WAS WON , last Nov, and how GT will win the hearts of UGA’s fans in Nov. 09. How could you cut down a bunch of 0-1 star football players coached by a chubby guy, using a high school offense in a half full 52K stadium, that knocks off their instate rival who is always higher ranked, full of 5 stars, good-looking coach, supported by many vocal fans, but so far have been unable to beat CPJ. Think about it!!!


August 21st, 2009
2:33 pm

Tebow is 10 times better than Charlie Ward, who was a mediocre passer a good but not great runner. Tebow can do it all and is much better leader. If there was no bias in the voting, Tebow could have won 3 heismans.

Bored will all SEC

August 21st, 2009
2:36 pm

Are you going to write something about the ACC again? You focus too much on just the SEC.

Tide Rising

August 21st, 2009
2:38 pm


Interesting article. As usual it looks like the NCAA is back to their usual NAZI tactics. Why are they investigating Bryce Brown’s whole life and childhood. What the hell is that all about? Business as usual for the ncaa when they want to get someone.

The 2nd big point in the article is that the NCAA has known for some time about Bryce Brown’s and his trainer/handler, the fund raising, and all of that stuff. According to its own rules the NCAA is supposed to step in and warn either the player and or the university recruiting him of possible violations and malfeasance. Instead the NCAA is doing the exact same thing they did in the Bama case. Rather than informing UT of the problem or potential problems they knowingly let the problem continue so that they can later go after Brown and or UT. I’ve seen this one before.

As for Reggie Bush nothing will come of it. Doesn’t anyone out there think its odd that when it comes to probation and sanctions that the sec is the only one of the bcs conferences constantly getting nailed? Is the sec that dirty and every other bcs conference that squeaky clean?


August 21st, 2009
2:48 pm

UT96, all good points I concede. I wasn’t crazy about that whole Bama/NCAA thing either! Also most coaches would be guilty of riding a good thing (offense) as long as possible. After all if it ain’t broke, why fix it? But I think you’re right about a down cycle and that in the last 8-9 years other teams began catching up with them. But at least give the man some credit for bringing it all together . . . Consider this . . . in 17 seasons at Tennessee, Fulmer compiled a 152-52 record. That’s an average of 9 wins a season (yes I know we in the SEC expect more but many ADs would give their left nut for such a coach). . . winning 75% of his games . . . taking the Vols to 15 bowl games and winning 8 of them . . . and leading his teams to 8 top 25 finishes, 6 top 10 seasons, and 1 national championship. I know we in the SEC expect a lot from our coaches, but any way you cut it these stats speak for themselves. And if this is complacency . . . what could he do if motivated to show that he can still do it . . . which you know he will be if he ever gets another chance. Like I said if he does coach again and flops, I’ll be the first to admit that I was wrong. But somebody out there is going to see these stats and come to the same conclusion. The man knows how to coach!

Lord have mercy, what’s the world coming to . . . a bulldawg defending a Vol coach from one of the Vol faithful! LOL!

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

August 21st, 2009
2:51 pm

Just my 2 cents worth, Atl Gator, as a Ga Fan I have grown up believing that H Walker was the best college football player I would ever see. After this year I may have to change my mind. Good luck to the Gators until TWLOCP


August 21st, 2009
2:58 pm

UT96, I forgot to add that I can’t speak to how he got the job to begin with because I just don’t know. Did he give Majors the old dagger in the back? I also plead no contest to knowledge about hiring UT assistants. Not being a Tennessee fan or alum I just don’t follow the program that closely.


August 21st, 2009
3:01 pm

59BullDawg, your points are well taken. I’ll say this: if he will surround himself with a quality staff and allow them to do their jobs. He will have some success.


August 21st, 2009
3:06 pm

59BullDawg, the Majors thing was much more complex than “a dagger in the back” but let’s just say he took to kicking a man while he’s down to a whole new level. To be honest, he (Majors) made some enemies with the wrong people (high powered boosters, the university president, and Doug Dickey). One thing Fulmer was good at was kissing enough of the right rear ends, Majors wasn’t.

T'ville Dawg

August 21st, 2009
3:18 pm

Maybe just maybe Kiffin and the new Auburn regime are after all two of a kind, and has all the runny mouth Kiffin stuff died down now?


August 21st, 2009
3:24 pm

This hurts like hell to say but the best football player I ever saw on the field in person and I have seen all the above is Herschel Walker. He is absolutly the only player Tech ever played against that I felt totally changed the game, against Tech. I knew those years going to the stadium we were going to lose. We had Ward and FSU by 21 point in the fourth quarter with Bill Lewis, so what is the big deal there. Tim Tebow lost to Mississippi last year at home, you remember Walker every losing like that.


August 21st, 2009
3:39 pm

I can understanding Rising Tide’s obvious discomfort with the NCAA. If the SEC headquarters was not located in Birmingham and staffed by Alabama people (who spend their time protecting Alabama from the NCAA), Alabama would have had the death penalty on more than one occassion.


August 21st, 2009
3:43 pm

GT, I agree: Tebow is a great player, maybe the best player in the last ten years, no doubting it. But, without Tebow, Florida is still a very good team; UGA without Herschel would have been an average team,IMO.


August 21st, 2009
3:43 pm

stain simon all i heard since that georgia georgia tech game is 45to 42 i did not hear anything from you thou 7 years in aroll that ga won where were you during thou 7 years it just one game

Atlanta Truth

August 21st, 2009
3:47 pm

And I have a small penis.

GT Brill

August 21st, 2009
3:49 pm

Tebow, Walker, Ward……whatever. The greatest college player I ever saw was…..Reggie Ball.
Running out the back of the end zone, having hissy fits. Throwing the ball away on 4th down. I am thinking they will waive the 5 year rule and put him straight into the Hall of Fame.
“Bear” Gailey can present the award.

GT Brill

August 21st, 2009
3:52 pm

…and I really am a Tech fan, just adding a little brevity.
My two cents, Herschel Walker and Bo Jackson stand out to me as the greatest college players I ever saw. But Deion Sanders in college was pretty incredible, too.

Tim Teblow

August 21st, 2009
4:03 pm

Tebow is awful. He’s not the best player in college football and to say that is idiotic! He is better than Charlie Ward. I’ll give him that. But if Tebow didn’t have Percy Harvin, he would not even have one national title and probably wouldn’t have won the heisman!


August 21st, 2009
4:07 pm

Typical lying trash. Why is it UT96 and Tide Rising have tons of examples to back their opinions up, yet you just spout your typical “Bammerz cheetin” drivel and are out? Your credibility is sh.t.

Dunwoody Mom

August 21st, 2009
4:14 pm

As an Auburn alum, can the shame I feel for my alma-mater’s football program sink any lower?


August 21st, 2009
4:29 pm

Seems to me that the thing that Mr. Majors kissed a bit too much was the narrow end of a Jack Daniels bottle…then decided to talk with ‘high-powered boosters, the university president and Doug Dickey’…that’ll pretty-much get you fired anywhere.

As for Tennessee not needing the Bryce Brown aggravation, are you insane? You say that their recruiting of Brown is not the issue then you turn around and say that there was baggage associated with his ‘messy’ recruitment from the beginning…that other schools backed away because of it…but that UT felt that the ‘risk’ was worth it. My God man, if they knew it was messy and risky then they absolutely deserve every aggravation and hassle that comes their way. The kid was, apparently, using this guy as an agent in every sense of the word but ‘agent’, and that means he runs the risk of losing his eligibility…can you say Jack Manton?

General Feeling

August 21st, 2009
4:38 pm

Alabama LB slaps and chokes his girlfriend and is arrested by police. His coach looks the other way. That’s aggrevation, Tony. Where is the story?


August 21st, 2009
4:52 pm

No contest on Ward and Tebow…Ward was a 6 year player..Tebow a true senior..Ward went to a Tallahassee JC, then redshirted,then punted 2 years before ever starting at QB..

Tim Teblow is a DA

August 21st, 2009
4:55 pm

Tim Teblow,

Harvin didn’t even play in the SECC. It was pretty much Tebow’s show (& the Gator D) that won that game.

Try watching some games

Not Phil Fulmer

August 21st, 2009
5:11 pm

That was a pretty fair take on Bryce Brown except I would ad that the guy seems to be a good student. He pulled a 3.5 or 3.6 in high school and has matched it at UT thus far. He seems to have good character as well. Butler took a bunch of kids on trips just like Brown (some at the same time as Brown) and none of them are being punished or investigated even though they participated in the same activity and are now at colleges across the country. This is the kind of thing that gives the NCAA a bad name.

I don’t blame them for wanting to prevent football from becoming like basketball with the Worldwide Wes mess and street agents running around everywhere but they aren’t going about it the right way IMO. Shoe companies pour all kinds of money into AAU tournaments and no one says squat even though lots of funds are raised to send kids to the games to play. I guess it would have been alright if Nike were doing it? Are they going to go after all of the bake sells and car washes that people use to raise money to send kids to camps? The whole thing is just absurd and sends entirely the wrong message.

Gen Neyland

August 21st, 2009
5:17 pm

Dirty Dawg : Apparently, the Brown incident will be just a minor inconvience. The blocks building the future are taking place. Won’t happen overnight and Tennessee has to take a few risks, but you know what they say, The bigger the risk the greater the reward…Hey, they can’t all be Tebow’s…


August 21st, 2009
7:15 pm

JB, glad you feel better. How are you going to act coming back from Still Waters?
…..still wondering why dogs start with a ranked team. Look at your SEC big brother..FL..they play a stable full of cupcakes just so they will be fresh for Jax.

Bama linebacker slaps and chokes girl

August 21st, 2009
7:26 pm

General feeling,

Knowing the facts of the case regarding the bama linebacker might help. He didn’t “choke” the girl. Nor did he slap her. In fact, she slapped him because he was talking to another girl so I don’t know where on earth you get the idea that he slapped her or that he choked her for that matter.

An argument then ensued and he pushed her and grabbed her and he held her by the forearm. A campus policeman who was going by on his beat saw the whole thing and simply arrested both of them.

And for what its worth the girl’s father spoke out the next day and said the whole thing was her fault for slapping him and that when he held her it was to keep her from slapping him yet again.

Either get your facts straight or quit with the bald faced lying. Slapping and choking her my azz!

Bama linebacker slaps and chokes girl

August 21st, 2009
7:28 pm

And another thing you dang fool. When you check out her mug shot the girl has a smile wider than the Mississippi. No bruises, swollen eyes, lips, or noses, no marks on her neck where he supposedly “choked” her you worthless lying sack of sh_t!

David Smith

August 21st, 2009
7:43 pm

I’d take My chances with Brice Brown,He’s a great talent. I think Tennessee still goes 8-4 with or without Him.


August 21st, 2009
7:47 pm

hey, utfaninga, if TN and Brown did nothing wrong, why do you say he probably gets a 2 game suspension? Nothing wrong=NO suspension


August 21st, 2009
9:12 pm

ut 96 i agree with your accessment of Fulmer, never took responsibility when the chips were down, and would throw anybody ( players and assistant coachs) under the bus to defray any negative attention toward him. The Brown deal sounds silly , no games should be lost for someone helping kids. Has any body checked out David Oku’s highlights out on youtube? That kid is ready to play day one. Not as big as Brown but will be a player. Barnhart get out of Fulmer’s azz!


August 21st, 2009
9:14 pm

College football, there are no sure things. Bring on the upsets.


August 21st, 2009
9:48 pm

Hey guys, unless this whole thing is total BS, the issue is did this Butler guy act in any way that could be construed as an agent, which since before the days of Hershel, the New Jersey Generals, Donald Trump and Jack Manton, has been a no-no. If, as was said, the kid and his ‘rep’ did nothing wrong, then his eligibility shouldn’t be in question; however, if he/they did, and they still let him play, then I say the NCAA should award Hershel Walker another year of eligibility and let him break the all-time rushing record for ever and ever.


August 21st, 2009
10:01 pm

Tony–the argument is already over, just look at the stats. Plus, Tebow has another year.

Tebow will end up with 4000 more passing yards, close to 2000 more rushing yards and 40 more touchdowns. I loved watching Charlie Ward play, but there is no comparison between the two.

By the way Vol fans, welcome to the Lane Kiffin era. Get used to almost all your publicity being negative and non-football related. I wonder if Lane understands that there’s a difference between fame and notoriety?


August 21st, 2009
10:13 pm


August 21st, 2009
10:28 pm

Maybe the Bama LBer was guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time but Saban will discipline this guy for bringing distraction and negative attention to the program. You can bank on that.

Geaux Tigers


August 21st, 2009
11:26 pm

Tebow is good… never would I discriminate against an alternative lifestyle QB. Even though he couldn’t carry Herschel’s jock (though he may want too)

Gator Growl

August 21st, 2009
11:30 pm

Tony, I think the bigger underlying story regarding Bryce Brown is how Lane Kiffin has drawn the attention of the NCAA with of his antics, from mentioning Browns name on sports radio to other secondary recruiting violations. Kiffin not only has made brash moves and statements, but has also declared that these have been “intentional” in order to hasten the revival of the Tennessee program. Personally, I believe that Kiffin is just trying to save face for the many dumb initial mistakes he has made on a job that sometimes seems to be a bigger bite that he can chew. But regardless, I think he has raised the ire and a big red flag with the NCAA brass, and I am sure that they were not pleased at all with his disregard of the rules. Don’t think for a moment that Mike Slive’s warnings about possible punitive action on future violations was not aimed directly at Lane Kiffin…

dawg man

August 21st, 2009
11:36 pm

Enter your comments here

dawg man

August 21st, 2009
11:37 pm

GT the scum of college football-hahahahahahahahahah!

Gator Growl

August 21st, 2009
11:41 pm

Also, I look at Auburn and I don’t know if I disagree with their approach. For one, they are vastly overshadowed by Nick Saban and Bama within their own state plus there is a perception that they are starting to fall behind many other teams in the conference. I think that the only way they reclaim Auburn football is to be innovative and different while maintaining integrity (unlike the Vols). I believe that to a large degree , they are making some inroads. Of course with both AU and UT, only time will tell, but for now my money is on the Plains…


August 22nd, 2009
12:48 am

I like Tebow. Have since he was in high school. But he isn’t even rated the top QB among potential draft pix and he did not win the Heisman last year, Bradford did. Tebow is NOT even the best player to play in the SEC, so there is NO WAY he is the best college FB player ever. Remember this is a TEAM sport, not an individual one and no one player wins or loses games for a team.


August 22nd, 2009
1:29 am

11 – 23 at louisville he’s only been a coach there for 2 years . 17 games a year?


August 22nd, 2009
2:31 am

As long as Kiffin is at UT there will be aggravation…the court made the correct decision in the Florida State case…Auburn should have avoided the reality television bit, i.e., victories will bring in recruits quicker than any other method…I’d prefer to see Fulmer in the Big 12 (Texas A&M, the ACC (Virginia), or at Notre Dame…coaching at Louisville would be a step down relative to his competency…Tebow is better than Ward already and he’s only played three years…enjoy your weekend, Mr. Barnhart!

Gator Mike

August 22nd, 2009
9:15 am

I remember watching the circus in Knoxville when UT ran Bill Battle out of town to get Johnny Majors from Pitt. Battle was a superb coach and a class guy. I believe he played for Bear at Bama, but UT wanted their favorite son at that time in Johnny Majors.
The Gators were awful during those years, but UT was very good under Bill Battle. Why a class school with rabid fans would hire a jerk like kiffin still amazes me. The UT AD must have been hitting too muck Jack and Coke when he made the hire. That is UT’s problem, but the SEC doesn’t need a clown like kiffin. SEPT 19 in the Swamp should be fun.
Go Gators!


August 22nd, 2009
9:36 am

Auburn already has a reality tv show. It’s called the Saban Spy Tapes.

Frankly, I always liked Bowden, but it’s time to retire. That being said, he does not deserve to have 14 games stripped for a self-reported violation where players were punished.

To all the UF fans who rag on us about still talking about Herschel, don’t think you won’t talk about Tebow thirty years from now. I mean, heck, you still talk about Kerwin Bell. Speaking of Herschell 5289 yrds., 49 TDs, 9 games over 200 yds. I think he has to be in the discussion regarding best college player (even if it is kind of a worthless discussion).


August 22nd, 2009
10:08 am

Mike Slive told Lane Kiffin not to sign Bryce Brown? Source?