Dooley Working to Change UT Image

Dooley Working to Change UT Image

"A lot of the culture is probably perceived worse than it is, and it always is." ...Derek Dooley

By: BE Coleman

The high profile associated with Tennessee Football makes for attractive headlines, either good or bad.

The magnetic draw that epitomizes the larger than life scale on the national level when something goes bad for Tennessee, finds a plethoric staging of events by the news media.

Some will try to shade the Volunteers football program as a miscreant entity, failing to recognize the many others programs that have scanted around the rogue identity label. Florida State, Miami (FL) and Ohio State quickly come into focus.

Derek Dooley brings a plan to change the conceived notions of the negative tarnish that has enveloped far too many headlines. When hired, the Volunteers 22nd all time head coach spoke of creating a "Character for Life Program," in January.

The implementation of it after only six months on the job saw him hire Andre Lott to head up the VFL – Vol For Life, as UT's newly created character coach less than two weeks ago.

It actually will go back to teaching players to make conscious decisions before acting on emotion alone. Certainly it is something that is occurring and recurring in today's world of parenting, all round the nation – not just Knoxville, USA.

Part of Dooley's enforcement revolves on his code that, "the conduct policy is much higher than what the legal standard is," representing. "A lot of the culture is probably perceived worse than it is, and it always is."

His ability to make disciplinary decisions that had no bearing upon waiting for the legal system, speaks volumes upon his recognized candor and defining confidence.

UT has a boat load of high character players on the football roster. MLB Nick Reveiz, D-End Chris Walker and T-End Luke Stocker will accompany Dooley to Birmingham next week for SEC Media Days.

Unlike other conference coaches, and coaches before him, prized players will get no internal protection when they cross the center of the line a second time. For Dooley, the phrase "gimme a second chance," means an end at the second misgiving.

Dooley has quickly found that the public profile lodged at Tennessee is diminutive in scaled proportion to elected officials, both in the state and nationally. On occasion the sitting president of the nation can get less press - in common times.

Realizing Tennessee is not the only program to face such negativity finds programs such as Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and South Carolina in the SEC are no better off when it comes to the same issues.

Eleven of the twelve conference schools, except for Vanderbilt have primarily kept headlines rolling. Since 2005, Florida has seen 28 players arrested in consecutive seasons. Georgia has had seven football players charged this year alone and the playing season has yet to begin in Athens.

Yet it will be interesting to see how many programs emulate Dooley's new plan to pick up where the failed parent teachings left off, or never occurred as a safeguard teaching tool for their own players.

On Friday Dooley noted there had been a whole lot of good stuff happening with the UT program the last six months. "A lot of good stuff guys." He is not about to allow any poorly made decisions to deface his new train before it leaves the station, nor to wreck it when it begins rolling along.


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