Tennessee still pathetic under Kiffin

How pathetic is Tennessee? Very. All this energy, street cred and excitement generated by Lane Kiffin for the Tennessee Volunteer program hasn’t necessarily reached the fans.

Volunteer fans won’t even attend football games. According to the Daily News Journal, “Just 27 hours after breaking ground on a new $39 million football complex, the Tennessee Vols played Memphis in front of approximately 15,000 empty seats at Neyland Stadium.”

This isn’t good for UT’s bottom line. Apparently, the Vols are spending money in a bid to keep up with the Floridas and Alabamas of the world. The DNJ reports, “Hamilton’s free-spending is driving the Vol athletics department into deep debt ($106 million in interest payment by 2037). The program’s current budget is $100.85 million, and there are no guarantees the debt service on a $200 million building program can be covered, even though UT officials reported a $2.7 million surplus for the year ending last June 30.”

Another embarrassment is Tennessee’s continued legal problems. Lane Kiffin is running a highly disciplined program. Or not. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports, “Janzen Jackson, Mike Edwards and Nu’Keese Richardson, all 18, were charged this morning after an armed robbery attempt at a Pilot station on Cumberland Avenue, according to the Knoxville Police Department.”

Any guesses on how many coaches make sure 2010 recruits—or at least the recruits’ parents—see copies of this newspaper report?

What about this line from a tv report? “A Volunteer TV News photographer on the scene captured the suspects while they were being identified. At least one of them wore a black University of Tennessee t-shirt with an orange Adidas logo and the phrase ‘impossible is nothing’.”

The more things change in Knoxville, the more things stay the same. Fan apathy and legal troubles were supposed to end with Phil Fulmer. I guess Fulmer wasn’t the problem.