An ominous-sounding advisory was emailed by the UT sports information office to media outlets today announcing a press conference involving athletics director Mike Hamilton and Fulmer.
With the Vols 3-6 overall and 1-5 in SEC play, speculation has been rampant for weeks that Fulmer is a lame-duck coach who will not be back for the 2009 season.
Here is the media advisory:
"University of Tennessee Director of Athletics Mike Hamilton and Head Football Coach Phillip Fulmer will hold a press conference today 5 p.m. Eastern time in the Neyland Stadium Media Center to discuss the future of the football program."
Tennessee won the SEC Eastern Division title in 2007 and was expected to contend in 2008. The Vols lost their opener to a mediocre UCLA team, however, beat a weak UAB team, then lost 30-6 to Florida and 14-12 at Auburn in their first two SEC games.
After posting a listless 13-9 defeat of Northern Illinois, Tennessee has lost three of its last four outings - 26-14 at Georgia, 29-9 to Alabama and 27-6 at South Carolina. The only victory during that stretch was a 34-3 defeat of Mississippi State.
The Vol defense has been reasonably good this season but the offense has been horrendous. Tennessee ranks 114th nationally in both scoring offense (17.0 points per game) and total offense (171.5 yards per game).
Fulmer won a national title in 1998 but his program clearly has been on the decline in recent years. After going 94-20 from 1993-2001, his record since is 55-31.