Tennesseeâ€™s Phil Fulmer is known for skulduggery. After all, when he couldnâ€™t land players, the first thing that crossed his mind was the other guys had to be cheating. (Often he was right, but thatâ€™s beside the point.)
Now Fulmer canâ€™t land recruits because he tells players one thing, and when he gets them on campus does another. Donâ€™t believe me? What about a top recruit? Donâ€™ta Hightower told Rivals.com that UT was persistent in its recruiting efforts, but he wasnâ€™t interested due in large part to Fulmerâ€™s past dishonesty:
“After I committed, Vanderbilt was still trying to talk to me a little bit, but Tennessee was the worst about it. They kept calling and trying to come down but I didn’t talk to them. From the start I didn’t think Tennessee was the right place for me â€“ they’ve been known to recruit you for one position and put you at another â€“ so that’s partly what it was about.”
This revelation that top recruits are shunning UT over Fulmerâ€™s character should give more ammo to the Fire Fulmer crowd.
Fulmerâ€™s on thin ice in Knoxville over a host of issues. Discipline was the latest bludgeoning device, but that is always cover for a failure to win. Nobody cares about discipline when you are winning SEC titlesâ€”and donâ€™t deceive yourself, John Adams wouldnâ€™t have called for Fulmerâ€™s head in February if UT had upset LSU to win the conference crown.
While some UT fans remain passionate in their defense of Fulmer, Iâ€™ve spoken to several UT supporters who want Fulmer out. Knowledgeable UT fans are worried that the stateâ€™s limited supply of SEC caliber talent are finding their way to other teams. The Hightower revelation means it just got harder to recruit for Fulmer.
With a resurgent Alabama under Nick Saban, Urban Meyer leading Florida, and the best Georgia team in memory set to take the field in 2008â€”how long can Fulmer last?