As surely as night follows day, bad news will follow good for the University of Tennessee Athletics Program.
On Saturday, Tennessee defeated Steve Spurrier and South Carolina in a thrilling, come-from-behind victory that was Josh Dobbs’ coming out party and made everyone feel downright giddy about not only the Vols’ bowl chances this season but the overall outlook for the next couple of seasons.
So if you’re a UT fan, and you’re battle-scarred from the wounds of the last decade or so, you knew — just knew — that the other shoe was about to drop.
Today, it dropped. News broke that Southern Miss is under investigation for alleged NCAA violations — potentially a big scandal being unearthed — involving current UT basketball coach Donnie Tyndall. And then it got worse, as 4-star recruit Chris Clarke — who committed to the Vols only a week ago and was considered a huge “get” for Tyndall — announced that he is de-committing.
It remains to be seen where this will go. It may be huge. Or it may not be. Obviously UT isn’t a part of the NCAA’s investigation, but the mere fact that its coach is creates plenty of negative karma around the program. And depending on just how badly this all gets, who’s to say that UT won’t again find itself looking for a head coach in the near future?
Obviously that’s a bit rash at this point; there’s no real reason to come to that conclusion.
Or is there?
When the Vols were considering Tyndall earlier this year, some fans pointed to the fact that Morehead State (Tyndall’s last stop before Southern Miss) was placed on probation in 2010 for major recruiting violations that happened on Tyndall’s watch. The question was asked: Does Donnie Tyndall have baggage? And the pro-Tyndall camp was quick to suggest that Tyndall was clean; that there had been no suspicions of wrongdoing since that 2010 incident.
But one does have to wonder, doesn’t one?