August 19, 2016
Now that Tennessee fans have been handed another “retirement” announcement by Athletic Director Dave Hart rumors are swirling if this was not one last task off Chancellor Jimmy Cheek’s checklist. With the all the chaos and transitions that Tennessee has had over the past few years, Jimmy Cheek has been at the helm of them all coming to the University of Tennessee in 2009.
Now, I admit, I don’t follow other Universities the way I follow Tennessee but it leaves me asking the question if other major institutions have had this much turmoil? Obviously head coaching changes get the bulk of press in any year on or off season in college football. The press that Tennessee has had during Cheek’s reign has by far been the worst I’ve seen come out of any university over the years, with the exception of Penn State.
There have been more changes at Tennessee under Cheek’s watch that has done very little to propel the school forward. Instead we have been forced to swallow years of bad decisions, bad hires, and bad press coming from the athletics of Tennessee. The Vol fanbase can easily and collectively point to every one of them without hesitation. Has this all been due to the lack of good stewardship of Tennessee’s Athletics program by Cheek?
Cheek announced his retirement in the latter part of June from the Chancellor position to pursue teaching at the University of Tennessee. Now Vol fans are also learning of the “retirement” of Dave Hart, stepping down as Athletic Director in June of 2017. Is there something behind the big orange curtain?
Rumors have been swirling around that Head Coach Butch Jones and Athletic Director Dave Hart have been at odds over the handling of Tennessee’s recent problems regarding sexual allegations on campus. When Dave Hart was brought in to Tennessee he was praised for his previous work at Florida State as Athletic Director and quickly began addressing issues with the Athletic Department position under Hamilton and Cheek. Of course no one expected all the issues swirling around the athletic programs, but it makes one consider if Cheek’s last gesture before leaving was to push Dave Hart into “retirement” amidst these allegations??
Now Tennessee faces changes in 2 key positions athletically which could play a key role with Butch Jones furthering the Tennessee football program back into SEC and national prominence. Again Vol fans are looking forward to what could be a great season while wincing at the same time about the changes that are coming our way.