August 19th, 2013 11:33 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Tennessee
Tags: Kansas State, Larry Binion, Randy Sanders, SEC
Yesterday, ex-Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer made news for blaming the Volunteers’ recent football decline on his former bosses. “We had four presidents in six years,” Fulmer said. “We ended up with an athletic director that wasn’t prepared for the job.”
He then added: “When you have a great president and a great athletic director and you replace them with substandard people that have no idea, what do you expect is going to happen?”
Today, however, it could be that the ex-coach is the one saying “ouch.”
Knoxville News Sentinel columnist John Adams took a look back through columns past and put together a scathing retort to Fulmer’s take on history:
“His recruiting dropped off. His hires weren’t as good. And he couldn’t keep up with the competition when other SEC schools upgraded their coaching.
Of course, Fulmer doesn’t see it that way. He never did.
When a last-minute drive against Alabama swerved off course in 1994, Fulmer cited a poor decision by then freshman quarterback Peyton Manning.
When Florida blitzed the Vols 62-37 in 1995, Fulmer singled out Larry Binion for an awful punt.
When the Vols were overwhelmed by Kansas State in the 2001 Cotton Bowl, Fulmer’s telling postgame quote was directed at offensive coordinator Randy Sanders.
‘I don’t know what Randy was thinking,’ Fulmer said.
The 5-7 season of 2008 was characterized by Fulmer as a ‘perfect storm,’ as though a series of supernatural events had combined to sabotage the program. If pressed on the subject, Fulmer probably would have thrown his first-year offensive coordinator (Dave Clawson) and his quarterback (Jonathan Crompton) under the bus.
Anybody by the head coach.”
That’s a lot damning stuff, but in truth, Adams needed only to invoke the name Manning to make his point. Countless Tennessee fans likely started Googling and Binging to see for themselves how Fulmer once placed blame on the patron saint of all things orange.
While the number of college coaches who take blame for every misstep in their program can be counted on one hand, Fulmer — as Adams so brutally points out — was always happy to play the blame game. And most fired coaches do not have very nice things to say about the men who fired them.
In other words, Fulmer’s comments about ex-Tennessee AD Mike Hamilton (and Hamilton’s bosses) shouldn’t have been surprising. They were actually par for the course.
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