Early May is suppose to be one of the quieter times of the year for the Tennessee Vols.
Spring practice is over, the NFL Draft has concluded, the semester is coming to a close and summer is about to get underway.
It’s an easy, breezy time of year.
Except nothing is that easy for Tennessee.
WMNL’s Jimmy Hyams broke the shocking news on Wednesday afternoon that UT president Joe DiPietro fired chancellor Beverly Davenport.
BREAKING NEWS: Sources: UT chancellor Beverly Davenport has been fired by Dr. Joe DiPietro. She was hired Dec. 15, effective Feb. 15. She made the controversial hire of John Currie as athletic director, then fired him Dec. 1 and hired Phillip
Fulmer as AD.
— Jimmy Hyams (@JimmyHyams) May 2, 2018
Just when it felt like things were settling down on Rocky Top, after a decade of dysfunction (H/T to Mark Nagi for that term), out of nowhere comes this massive news story that is, for lack of a better word to describe it, stunning.
At this point, Vol fans have to wonder if things will ever be “normal” again at Tennessee. Every time it feels like the university is on solid ground, something pops up and Knoxville is once again under the microscope.
It’s unclear why Davenport, who was technically demoted, was removed from her post as Tennessee’s chancellor.
Beverly Davenport’s appointment as UT’s chancellor will end July 1. pic.twitter.com/9MIHu2OOLA
— Dan Harralson (@danharralson) May 2, 2018
EDIT: We now know why she was demoted.
— Laura Halm (@WATELauraHalm) May 2, 2018
The reason for Davenport’s demotion isn’t what’s disheartening for Vol fans. What’s disheartening is the unexpected firing of a chancellor who just recently fired an athletic director who had been on the job for less than a year and went rogue during a coaching search.
Yeah, that’s a lot of stuff going on there.
It’s yet another crack in the foundation of a university that’s been crumbling for way too long.
What’s the major concern with Davenport’s demotion?
If you’re a Vol fan, the concern with Davenport’s dismissal has to be how it affects athletics.
In theory, it shouldn’t matter. The Vols have an athletic direct in Phillip Fulmer who is 100 percent dedicated to doing whatever it takes to get the various athletics programs (not just football) to a championship level.
But what happens if Tennessee hires a chancellor that doesn’t work well with Fulmer or doesn’t have the same commitment to winning?
That scenario could end up, once again, setting the Volunteers back.
Transitions always bring a certain amount of uncertainty. There’s definitely some uneasiness about the fact that UT will, at some point in the very near future, have a new chancellor working with an athletic director they didn’t hire.
Will the new chancellor want to bring in “their own guy”? I can’t imagine anyone associated with Tennessee would allow Fulmer to be canned by a new chancellor. That kind of move would only serve to bring UT even more bad publicity (as if they haven’t dealt with enough already).
But this is Tennessee we’re talking about. Most of the decisions they’ve made over the last decade have been really bad decisions.
In fact, the only good decision they’ve made in the last 10 years was actually made by Davenport (brining Fulmer in as athletic director to replace Currie).
Tennessee fans should probably hold their breath and expect the worst once again. I hate to be negative, but UT has consistently delivered disappointment in recent years.
Why should we expect anything else at this point?
Featured image via YouTube