SEC media days: Tennessee and Dooley take center stage

Derek Dooley is dealing with a much bigger mess at Tennessee than he dealt with at Louisiana Tech.

Derek Dooley is dealing with a much bigger mess at Tennessee than he dealt with at Louisiana Tech.

HOOVER, Ala. — Vince Dooley said he went through “all three phases” of the SEC’s preseason media access.

“The first phase was when [former Atlanta Journal and Constitution columnists] Furman Bisher and Jesse Outlar would come down [to Athens] and take their individual tours and I’d spend the day with them,” the former Georgia coach and athletic director said. “Then we had the ‘Skywriters Tour’ where I guess 30 or 40 writers would load up a Southern Airways Martin 404 and go from one school to the other. Then they came up with this thing in Birmingham. It was big, of course, but not as big as it is now.”

Dooley knows what awaits his son today. It’s Day 3 of of SEC media days, where there are nearly 1,000 credentialed media. Tennessee, coached by Derek Dooley, is likely to emerge as the biggest story today. (Also on tap: Auburn, Mississippi and LSU.) The Volunteers have been a soap opera ever since Lane Kiffin’s resignation after last season.

“He’ll be fine with the media,” papa Dooley said by phone. “He’s been in the arena a little bit, getting his feet wet. Derek, from the time he was six years old, would sit on my lap for press conferences after every football game. So he’s gotten a little taste of it.”

It was another newsy say Thursday:

– Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green responded to allegations that he attended an agent’s party in Miami Beach earlier this summer by saying he’s never even been to Miami.

– Coach Mark Richt said he has come to expect there will be issues in the offseason, commenting:  “It’s like, you know [something is] gonna happen. It’s just like a ballgame. You know there’s going to be a penalty or a turnover, even though you don’t want there to be.”

– South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said he never thought he would see the day that he would get a salary bonus for his team’s graduation rate and not its performance on the football field (which hasn’t been as successful).

Tennessee will draw the most interest today. They were in the news when Kiffin bolted after one season to chase his dream at Southern Cal (Hah! How’s that working out for ya, Lane?) They were in the news when they made the somewhat surprising decision to hire Dooley as his replacement. And they’re in the news now for one of the worst incidents of this offseason — a late night/early morning bar fight in Knoxville two weeks ago that involved several Tennessee players.

The incident entailed far more than the usual cases of underage drinking. An off-duty police officer was knocked to the ground and reportedly kicked several times. Safety Darren Myles Jr. (out of Atlanta’s Carver High School) was kicked off the team, and two other players were indefinitely suspended. Also arrested was coveted recruit freshman receiver Da’Rick Rogers from Calhoun, Ga. He was booked on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, but Tennessee has yet to take action against him.

I’ll get into this more later in a column but Dooley really has stepped into a tough situation at Tennessee. The program was sliding under Phil Fulmer, and then came Kiffin.

As always, I’ll be sending remarks out on Twitter during press conferences. You can follow me @JeffSchultzAJC.

Now, it’s Gene Chizik time.

Previous SEC/Georgia posts

Spurrier’s lament: Team is better academically than on field

Richt’s words, actions haven’t changed ugliness at Georgia

SEC media days: Waiting on Richt as NCAA hovers at Georgia

NCAA inquiry is the last thing Georgia and Mark Richt need

It’s no coincidence Saban suddenly is concerned about agents

SEC media days: Hey, who let the BCS in here?

We’re LIVE at SEC media days (with no shortage of storylines)

NCAA reportedly investigating Florida (but temper excitement)

Can Dogs end Alabama-Florida monopoly in SEC title game?

Listen up, Ole Miss: I’ve got Colonel Reb’s replacement

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC and Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

64 comments Add your comment

Dawg Trainer

July 23rd, 2010
9:59 am

Can’t believe the Dawg Trainer is the lead off post.

WAR EAGLE

July 23rd, 2010
10:00 am

Boogers are Salty

July 23rd, 2010
10:10 am

Dawgs take SEC in 2010!

Evil Genius

July 23rd, 2010
10:10 am

————————–
Nesbitt for Heisman
————————–

Boogers are Salty

July 23rd, 2010
10:11 am

Nesbitt for Heisman barring every other player gets suspended for agent/player infractions.

Dawg Trainer

July 23rd, 2010
10:12 am

Actually, I’m pretty much loving all of the low expectations of Tennessee this season. We’ll be decent on defense. We’ll be decent at the skill positions (exception is QB) on offense. Key to the season is if having 5 new starters on the offensive line is the difference between a losing season and a winning one. My biggest concern is the lack of depth on BOTH lines. Still think we’ll beat a team or two nobody expects us to.

Worm

July 23rd, 2010
10:17 am

No hatchet job today, Jeff!

GeoffDawg

July 23rd, 2010
10:21 am

UT’s been a soap opera ever since they hired that toe-headed coach who, at least in the minds of Spurrier and Mike Slive, shall remain nameless.

FalconUGAFan

July 23rd, 2010
10:22 am

Dawg Trainer-Any semi-reasonable UGA fan respects Tennessee and what your team can do. You guys whipped us good last year. Hope we can return the favor this year. :) I really haven’t kept up with you guys this year. How’s your QB situation?

FalconUGAFan

July 23rd, 2010
10:24 am

Bah-reading is fundamental..I see you addressed your QB situation in an earlier post. New QB or same guy? Seems like your other guy graduated…

GeoffDawg

July 23rd, 2010
10:25 am

Dawg Trainer – I read the other day that UT made the rare decision to not let one of your backup QBs out of his scholarship when requested to do so. What’s the story behind that? Conventional wisdom would be that if someone doesn’t want to be there and is buried on the depth chart, why force him to stay?

sec fan

July 23rd, 2010
10:25 am

Hope the media asks Dooley why he has to wait on formal charges to know that 6 on 1 is wrong or that kicking an unconscious man is wrong. All envolved should be suspended from the team. Thug culture is wrong whether or not there are formal charges.

bo

July 23rd, 2010
10:26 am

who cares? let’s bash Richt some more!

Jeff Schultz

July 23rd, 2010
10:36 am

Is this a first for you?

SOGADOG

July 23rd, 2010
10:37 am

Dont write Tennessee off just yet. They went toe to toe with UF, nearly beat the national champion Alabama and routed UGA last year. There is talent on that team.

Jeff Schultz

July 23rd, 2010
10:37 am

Worm — No hatchet job yesterday.

Jeff Schultz

July 23rd, 2010
10:38 am

SEC fan — I sense there’s been conflicting stories on exactly who did what. And, yeah, I’m sure Da’Rick Rogers’ talents might play into it too.

Pi$$onaDawg

July 23rd, 2010
10:52 am

Jeff write a feel good story about how Drew Butler overcame the Cocaine problems of his daddy to become a Ray Guy Award winner.

Pi$$onaDawg

July 23rd, 2010
10:53 am

Softball to Dooley. Question #1 is about MOM #2 is about Dad. #3 now the BAR fight Question.

UT96

July 23rd, 2010
10:55 am

It appears nothing else will come of “Brawl Gate”. Too much he said, she said stuff going on. As far as the team- well, anyone’s guess, Dawg Trainer is pretty much spot on. I think we’ll have some growing pains but beat someone we shouldn’t-Oregon is my guess. We’ll 4-4 in the SEC losing to UGA, UF, Bama, and LSU. We’ll be a much better team at season’s end when QB and O-line matures.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

July 23rd, 2010
10:56 am

always classy POAD, what a fine life you live. JS- do you think people are just throwing AJ in the mix because of his SEC status? Seems like people are just throwing names out there in this S.Beach ordeal.

H. Billy Volsfan

July 23rd, 2010
11:03 am

Quarterback, we don’t need to stinking quarterback. Bryce Brown will run us to the SEC championship. He’s better than Herschel, you know.

Pi$$onaDawg

July 23rd, 2010
11:04 am

WOW all the highlite they are showing of the VOLS are them Scoring on UGA. Is that a poke at the Dawgs or just releating that Dooley was raised as a dawg and now a Vol?

HonestDawg

July 23rd, 2010
11:08 am

Well, when you score that much … won’t happen this year, or rarely again.

Pi$$onaDawg

July 23rd, 2010
11:09 am

Dr.K jeff just needs to write a feel good story about a dawg to get the fans to like him again. Drew’s daddy had many problems with the Bears and Drew has become a great young man and player. I was not being mean just giving some facts.

Pi$$onaDawg

July 23rd, 2010
11:10 am

I really need a job, theyre about to come cut my internet off!! If that happens I wont have a life. :(

sec fan

July 23rd, 2010
11:11 am

Yep, all the UT players say they were attacked and that the unconscious man kicked himself. All other witnesses say BS. So the school and city officials say we got conflicting stories so we will do nothing. Only the truly ignorant, which I am beginning to think Dooley is, believe that stuff. The UT players refuse to identify each other and Doofus thinks that is cool. UT is paying for these guys educaton, they can make them talk or let their ‘thug’ mentality prevail.

Halberstram

July 23rd, 2010
11:15 am

Dooley was such a questionable hire by Tennessee. I wonder if he’ll be able to make it three years. He’s got a long road ahead to try and change that culture.

UT96

July 23rd, 2010
11:19 am

sec fan, trust me KPD are no fans of the UT program. I’m saying there’s more going on with this than we’re being told. There’s a reason KPD has not filed more charges.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

July 23rd, 2010
11:21 am

h.billyvolsfan- didn’t bryce brown transfer??? so how will that work out?

Jeff Schultz

July 23rd, 2010
11:23 am

Derek is dazzling the media in his news conference. Among his remarks:
— On dad: “He’s been very supportive but not intrusive and I’d be a fool not to reach out to him.”
– “Give me some time, in time we’ll get him (Vince) in orange.”
– On mom: “She subscribes to that theory of speak first, think second. My dad is just the opposite.”
– On changing Tennessee culture: “Certainly our image is not what we want it to be.”
– On his law degree: “I can read the NCAA manual and understand it. It clearly was written by lawyers.”
– On leaving law practice to coach: “My mother was devastated for my wife. My father understood.”

Jeff Schultz

July 23rd, 2010
11:25 am

Dooley– “It’s responsibility of player if somebody walks up and wants to fight you to walk away!”

Big XII

July 23rd, 2010
11:28 am

Yawn…….SEC is a second rate conference.

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

July 23rd, 2010
11:33 am

Any mascots there, Jeff?

TheAntiMe

July 23rd, 2010
11:37 am

Did Coach Dooley explain that the fight in the bar involving his players began when the jukebox began playing the song Rockytop? It seems that the Tennesee players take their fight song literally.

GeoffDawg

July 23rd, 2010
11:38 am

The Big XII was almost a non-existent conference.

GeoffDawg

July 23rd, 2010
11:44 am

I admire the composure and measured thoughtfulness of Derek Dooley but I have two bones of contention with him:

1) Vince Dooley will never wear orange.
2) White socks with black shoes is just ugly.

Pi$$onaDawg

July 23rd, 2010
11:48 am

GeoffDawg Vince started wearing Orange and Blue. Vince was an Auburn man and he does have Orange ties.

HonestDawg

July 23rd, 2010
11:48 am

So he shouted the walk away answer? Weird.

1eyedJack

July 23rd, 2010
12:02 pm

We’re going to crush the Volunteers worse than Santa Anna did at the Alamo.

Pi$$onaDawg

July 23rd, 2010
12:10 pm

1eyed well it will be nice that you dawgs play the VOLs in athens. Nothing like 100K red panties flying. In Athens there will just be 30k red panties being waved.

GT Alum

July 23rd, 2010
12:11 pm

GeoffDawg, I think he might be referring to the conference that actually has 12 members now. If he’s referring to the conference that is the Big XII in name only, he’s nuts if for no reason other than the 2 top teams in that conference have gotten beaten by the top 2 teams in the SEC in the national championship game the past 2 years. Not that the Big X with 12 teams has much to brag about compared to the SEC either.

Pi$$onaDawg

July 23rd, 2010
12:12 pm

1eyed who is this FAT CHICK ANNA you speak of that crushed the Alamo Dome. Is she a KD from UGA?

Pi$$onaDawg

July 23rd, 2010
12:16 pm

SO far the best of the sec media days has to be Vandy’s Caldwell! That country bumpkin sounding laid out the jokes and was just a breath of fresh air. I still don’t think Vandy can keep a head coach that sounds like he does at such a well thought of educational institution.

DOO DOO LEE

July 23rd, 2010
12:30 pm

NESBITT FOR HEISMAN

POAD The CHODE

July 23rd, 2010
12:42 pm

‘Wal Mart sidewalk fan’ who is hated by the entire GT fan base.

Such as sad little man.

bo

July 23rd, 2010
12:55 pm

is it true Dooley is up for the Nobel prize in literature for his “dazzling” answers today?

Boo Radley

July 23rd, 2010
1:19 pm

POAD really is becoming an absurdity for the “Hater Nation”, also known as the Maggot faithful. They can’t feel good about this uneducated and barley literate shut-in waiving the Techmite flag each day. Each post is more ridiculous and embarrassing than the last. It is obvious that he is either drawing a government check or still living with the parents (bless their hearts).

Dawg Trainer

July 23rd, 2010
1:32 pm

“Dawg Trainer – I read the other day that UT made the rare decision to not let one of your backup QBs out of his scholarship when requested to do so. What’s the story behind that? Conventional wisdom would be that if someone doesn’t want to be there and is buried on the depth chart, why force him to stay?”

Geoff, I’ll give it to you straight. I have absolutely no idea.

Dawg Trainer

July 23rd, 2010
1:36 pm

Well, after I did some searching, here’s all I got:

“Lamaison was an unlikely candidate to play for the Vols this season or down the road, and he never seriously threatened either Jonathan Crompton or Nick Stephens for playing time a year ago either.

Stephens transferred midway through spring practice, but like last fall, Lamaison was again clearly stuck behind two quarterbacks as junior transfer Matt Simms and freshman Tyler Bray quickly jumped him on the depth chart.

The Vols are already working with a smaller roster than they’d like though, and sacrificing some of their depth at quarterback could pose challenges for them in the future – likely a factor in the decision to try to convince Lamaison not to leave.”

To me, let the kid go. Let Nance be the 3rd QB. Word is that Lamaison isn’t even enrolling this fall anyway.