Cuonzo Martin and the Tennessee Vols were in the midst of an awkward divorce. Neither really wanted to be in a relationship with the other. Vol athletic director Dave Hart expected Martin to take the Marquette job, but at the last minute Martin told Marquette no. So just over ten days ago Tennessee released an unplanned commitment letter between Martin and the Vols. Clearly, that "commitment" is now no longer. Tennessee and Cuonzo both got their wish, the divorce is final.
So now the question becomes this -- what will Tennessee pay to hire a replacement coach? If the Vols are willing to pay in the neighborhood of $2.5 million a year then there are many top-tier candidates. That kind of salary would mean that Tennessee is paying top-ten college basketball coaching money. There aren't many schools that can pay top-ten coaching money. Tennessee can.
The men's basketball program has been right around the top five in the country for much of that last decade in total attendance. Three of the last four Tennessee coaches -- everyone except for the woeful Buzz Peterson -- has been to a Sweet 16. The Vols have been in the NCAA tournament for 11 of the past 16 seasons. This is without a doubt one of the top four basketball jobs in the SEC. Kentucky is the unquestioned number one job in the conference, but Bruce Pearl recently argued that Tennessee was number two. His argument was pretty simple, Billy Donovan makes Florida's program, not the other way around. (Pearl's top six SEC programs in order were Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, and Missouri). That's a fair list. Given that Arkansas hasn't even been to the Sweet 16 since 1996, approaching an entire generation, it's hard to argue that Arkansas is superior to the Vols. I don't believe Vandy and Mizzou are either.
As is, Cuonzo leaves behind a mediocre collection of talent, but Vol fans know this. Expectations will be realistic for a new coach.
So who will that new coach be? It really depends on what Dave Hart can spend. The finances of Vol athletics have stabilized a great deal of late. Dooley's buyout is, mercifully, mostly gone. Butch Jones has the football team on the right track. Vol athletics has dug out of its buyout hole.
Hell, Cal will actually be paying Tennessee over a million dollars for Cuonzo to leave.
Here's an early stab at a guess.
Every online writer starts somewhere.
For me, I started writing online in 2004 when I moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands and discovered that DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket was not available in my new home.
I was upset.
So I did what every reasonable person would do -- I embarked upon a fifty day pudding strike to demand that the Virgin Islands receive the NFL Sunday Ticket. During that time I ate only pudding. My pudding strike became a viral sensation before anyone knew what being viral meant. It was everywhere. You can probably track down your own articles via a Google search, but here's a Pulitzer worthy interview and column on my pudding strike from the Orlando Sentinel.
After the pudding strike ended -- we succeeded in snagging a pirated feed of the NFL Sunday Ticket from Puerto Rico -- I decided I'd enjoyed writing humorous pieces online and wanted to do more of it.
But, go figure, there wasn't much of a market for pudding strikers. (Although I do submit that my daily pudding diary was some of the finest pudding related literature to ever be created. Online, anyway).
So I decided to start a humor website with several buddies, the funniest guys I knew from high school, college, and law school. We were an interesting lot of characters, a lawyer in the Virgin Islands, a Subaru salesman who used to play basketball at Colorado, Josh Townsend, a pro basketball player overseas, my buddy D.J. Harrison, the 27, a Florida lawyer who already hated big firm life, and the man who built our website and made everything click, a PhD student from Maryland named Chris Shaw who I met in freshman year of college.
Our idea was pretty simple -- be funny every day for people like us who sat in offices looking for entertaining things on the Internet.
Ever since the Aaron Hernandez story broke, Outkick has been arguing that there's no way Odin Lloyd was Hernandez's first shooting victim.
It just didn't make sense.
No one goes from smoking pot to an execution style murder a half-mile from his home.
No, our theory was that Hernandez was comfortable shooting people and that he'd gotten cocky because of getting away with prior shootings. Within a few hours of that column being published news broke that Boston police were looking into Hernandez for an unsolved double murder in 2012.
Texas A&M has proven to be a good fit for the SEC already.
But so far we hadn't had any Aggie fans doing anything that might be described as crazy. Yeah, we had the student who got the A&M-Bama score tattooed on his butt, and we have Johnny Manziel's continued shenanigans.
But what about some good old fashioned dyed in the wool crazy fan antics?
I mean, we know Alabama and Texas A&M are playing college football's biggest regular season game this September.
And we know Alabama fans are crazy as hell.
But can A&M really give Bama a run in the crazy fan department?
We really haven't seen much to suggest that the answer is yes.
Yes, this Texas A&M wedding really happened.
Congrats to Harv and Heather!
Aaron Hernandez stands a very good chance of spending the rest of his life in prison. It's a remarkable fall for a guy who signed a five year $37.5 million contract extension last year. Early this morning news also broke that police are investigating Hernandez in connection with a double murder in Boston last year.
If you guys are at all like me -- and unfortunately for your employers many of you are -- you have tons of questions about the Aaron Hernandez case.
So let's dive in and examine the case against Hernandez and several remaining questions.
We all know Hernandez is dumb, but does he have any legitimate defenses to the murder charge? What do we still need to know?