Former Tennessee head basketball coach, Jerry Green, speaks out
in this morning's Tennessean
about the state of men's basektball at the University of Tennessee. Green, who had one of the most successful tenures as the coach at UT statistically, pulls no punches in this one.
''The question is: Does the University of Tennessee community — and I
include in that the administration, the boosters, the people who write for the
newspapers and answer the phones on the talk shows — actually want a third sport that's world class?
''You've got two huge programs there that people appear to love and
enjoy in the football team and Lady Vols basketball team. I just question if the
campus community really, really wants a third program to be at the top level.
From my experience there and some of the decisions that have been made, I'm not sure in my own mind that it does."
Harsh and critical words from Green. But then again, you have to remember that while Green did win a lot of games, he aliennated himself from the fanbase. I seem to recall his comment that if we didn't like the way the basketball team was run, we could all go shop at Wal-Mart. Also, there was the fact that it appeared Green ran the team with little or no discipline. Yes, the teams he coached had all the talent in the world, but that talent was never really cultivated into anything more. Tony Harris was the same player he was a freshman when he got to his senior season.
Also, looking at the two program that Green cites as being above men's basketball at UT--football and the Lady Vols. Again, one of the knocks on Green was a lack of discipline on his team. That is a charge you never hear levied against Pat Summitt and you only hear levied at the football team when they've gone out and stunk up the Peach Bowl. Related to that, I found this quote by Green interesting.
The other thing Green says works against the men's basketball coach at
Tennessee is what he calls a football mentality.
''I don't know how that's affected Buzz, but it's a reality,'' Green
said. ''You hear the 'Let's get rid of the offensive coordinator and let's get
rid of the defensive coordinator,' and that atmosphere goes over into whether
they keep the basketball coach or not. That's just the way it is there.''
I think it's interesting that now that the money is going to dry up from his contract buyout, that Green resurfaces and blasts UT and the administration. Head over to the article to hear Green's side of how he was let go as head basketball caoch. It certainly makes for interesting reading--especially if you're a Vols' fan like me.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 3/08/2005 10:28:00 AM