The Tennessee Vols’ 2019 season is off to a disastrous start.
Tennessee should be a 3-1 right now. Instead, the Vols are 1-3 and there’s a good chance they’ll soon be 1-6, with tough matchups against Georgia, Mississippi State and Alabama coming up in October.
Losing is never easy. I don’t know many ultra-competitive people that taking losing well.
So when a report of tension in the Vols’ locker room surfaces, it’s not exactly shocking.
On Monday, The Athletic reported that there was “a lot of tension” in the Tennessee locker room after the Vols’ loss to the Florida Gators.
According to the report, there were “multiple, loud disputes” after the game that centered around who deserved the blame for “several mistakes throughout the game”. The Athletic also noted that UT’s quarterback situation has “increased tensions”.
Dissension in the locker room is obviously never a good thing.
But I also don’t think it’s the end of the world. And I really don’t think it should bother Vol fans.
Losing isn’t fun. Tennessee’s players should be pissed off they’re losing. And they should be searching for answers. Pretending everything is great won’t solve anything.
This is a completely normal response to a 1-3 start. We’re talking about a locker room full of 18-22 year olds and their coaches. That’s a lot of people. Not everyone is going to see eye to eye. It’s just life. And adversity can bring out the best and the worst in people.
Maybe this means some of UT’s players leave the program. It’s certainly possible that some of the tension is between “Butch Jones recruited players” and “Jeremy Pruitt recruited players”.
Will some of the “Butch players” leave the program in the coming weeks?
I’d say there’s a good chance that happens.
And maybe it’s what needs to happen.
If there are players who aren’t all in at Tennessee, then it’s probably best that the program and those players part ways.
By the way, I don’t think The Athletic is trying to stoke the fire by reporting on the state of Tennessee’s locker room. I think this is just what journalists are supposed to do. And The Athletic provides quality journalism. It’s not their job to make everything appear perfect. It’s their job to inform.
But at the same time, I don’t think it’s a big deal. Locker room disputes happen. Most of the time we never hear a word about them. Only when a team is losing does it become a major story.
If Tennessee starts winning, it won’t matter who yelled at who.
Featured image via Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports