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)

 



Make Your Prep Football Picks: Week Six

Loading... (click for more)

Grace's Aruca Shines On Senior Night

Grace Academy hosted CSAS in a District 5-A match that was also senior night for the Lady Golden Eagles (16 –12, 8-2). Krissy Aruca, the lone senior for the Lady Golden Eagles, had a strong performance as Grace defeated the Patriots 25 – 5, 25 – 4, 25 – 10. Aruca collected 13 digs and 5 aces to spark the Lady Golden Eagles. Also contributing outstanding performances ... (click for more)

Teen, 17, Charged With Aggravated Rape In Attack On 69-Year-Old North Chattanooga Runner

A 17-year-old has been charged with aggravated rape in connection with an attack on a 69-year-old runner in North Chattanooga on Monday morning. The teen was identified by Juvenile Court officials as Diontae Smartt. Authorities said he has given a confession. Smartt has a detention hearing Thursday at 12:30. The incident happened at approximately 7:30 a.m. ... (click for more)

Berke Implements New Pay Plan For Chattanooga Fire Department

Mayor Andy Berke joined the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and leadership of the Chattanooga Fire Department to unveil the department’s new pay plan Wednesday afternoon. At a press conference at Fire Hall #1 on Main Street, Mayor Berke and IAFF Local 820 President Jack Thompson signed a memorandum of understanding which sets forth regular raises for fire ... (click for more)

Leaders Lead On Amendment 1

This week the Hamilton County Commission was faced with what I believe may be one of the most important votes they have cast during their tenure.  Granted, the vote was over a "mere" Resolution that resulted in no overt action or new law in our county.  But there are times when simply speaking Truth and taking a stand on a foundational Principle is paramount and as such ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My October Garden

Hark! It is the first day of October and, as I make my monthly stroll through the garden, I find a growing numbers of leaves and acorns. Autumn leaves are beautiful while acorns are nuts, thus you will get the idea as we make our monthly awards: A PRETTY LEAF to Phil Hughes after the Minnesota Twins pitcher came within one inning of earning a $500,000 bonus this season. The deal ... (click for more)