Bradley Central's Sanders, A Future Vol, Says Dooley Still On The Job

Bears Lineman Disputes Reports That Embattled Coach Has Been Fired

Sunday, November 11, 2012 - by Larry Fleming

Bradley Central senior offensive lineman Austin Sanders, who is committed to Tennessee, on Sunday evening disputed reports that Vols coach Derek Dooley has been dismissed.

Sanders tweeted: “Dooleys not fired I just got off the phone he is still coach.”

Sanders, a 6-foot-6-inch, 300-pound tackle helped Bradley Central to a 6-5 season that ended with a 31-6 loss to rival McMinn County in the first round of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s Class 6A playoffs on Nov.

2.

Sanders committed to Tennessee as a junior and thus far has stuck with his decision. He's expected to sign with the Vols on national signing day in February.

Sanders is a finalist for the TSSAA Class 3A Mr. Football Lineman of the Year, along with Memphis Central's Frank Herrin and Brentwood's Logan Teichmann.

Earlier, volquest.com reported that Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart had made the decision to fire Dooley but allow him to coach the Vols’ final two games against Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

CBSports.com’s Bruce Feldman picked up on the volquest.com report, pointing out that “there are still some issues the school is trying to sort out” before making the move public. Feldman referenced the volquest.com report as saying the decision has been made and “the only question is when the school will make the announcement.”

Sports Illustrated's website, SI.com, also picked up the volquest.com report.

It was also rumored that Hart was meeting with the Tennessee teams as reports began to buzz around the internet.

Sanders’ tweet seemed to shoot down the reports, at least for the time being.

The Vols are 4-6 overall and 0-6 in the Southeastern Conference, ahead of only winless Kentucky in the SEC East. Kentucky fired coach Joker Phillips last week.

Dooley, in his third year with the Vols, has been under increasing fire for the past several weeks.

Tennessee lost four straight games to nationally ranked SEC foes -- Georgia, Mississippi State, Alabama and South Carolina. To break the skid the Vols had to fight for their lives -- and Dooley's job -- to beat Troy, 55-48.

On Saturday, Tennessee blew a 21-7 second-half lead and lost to Missouri, 51-48, in four overtimes.

Dooley was strongly criticized for allowing the final 30 seconds -- the Vols had two timeouts left -- to run off the clock in the fourth quarter without trying to gain enough yardage for a potential game-winning field goal.

Dooley is 15-20 in his three years at the helm, including a 4-18 SEC record.

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com)

 




PHOTOS: State Wrestling Tournament

Covenant Women End Season With USA South Tournament Loss

The No. 5 West seeded Covenant women's basketball team could not overcome a double-digit first half deficit and fell to No. 1 West seed Berea, 78-66, on Saturday afternoon in a USA South Tournament quarterfinal. The loss for Covenant (14-12) ends the year for the Scots and a program-record tying eight-game win streak. It is also the most victories in a season for the Scots ... (click for more)

1 Person Killed In Accident Involving 18-Wheeler On Ochs Highway

A person was killed Saturday morning on Ochs Highway. An 18-wheeler was coming down the mountain, and hit three cars traveling up the mountain. Ochs Highway was closed in both directions, and HAZMAT crews were at the scene. More information will follow. (click for more)

Erlanger, UT Medical Say Working To Resolve Issues

Erlanger Health System and University of Tennessee College of Medicine officials said they are working through some issues, but expect to maintain their long-standing relationship. The entities said they "are facing a number of historic matters that are being addressed in a proactive manner. Our intentions are to transition to a more contemporary model, thereby enhancing ... (click for more)

The Right To Bear Arms, But Not Assault Rifles - And Response (2)

I am not a bleeding heart, liberal, left leaning, anti-second amendment person. I am a politically moderate conservative who believes in the right to bear arms, but not assault rifles. I am also a retired school principal who is tired of seeing innocent children slaughtered in our schools. I am also tired of nothing being done. Yes, mental health should be considered when ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

It wasn’t lost on me that during Valentine Week, when we most remember those we love, this first story was included in my weekly email. As has become my habit, every Saturday I try to come up with a new edition of The Saturday Funnies because I get some delightful ones that are shared by my friends during the week. We must never waste a giggle. So in keeping with my ... (click for more)