Martin linked to Illinois; UT denies any interest

March 21, 2012 in Blog by Josh Ward

Tennessee basketball coach Cuonzo Martin’s name popped up Tuesday night in connection with the Illinois coaching vacancy.

The Illini are looking for a replacement for Bruce Weber, who was fired earlier this month after compiling a 210-101 record in nine seasons in Champagne.

Virginia Commonwealth coach Shaka Smart is considered to be Illinois’ top target to replace Weber. If Smart declines the job, Martin could become a candidate, according to Gail Fischer of Comcast SportsNet in Chicago.

The idea of Martin leaving Tennessee after one season in Knoxville would be surprising. But don’t count it out, writes Fischer.

“Sources close to both Illinois and Martin found out that Martin would be VERY interested in coaching at Illinois. Interested enough to pull a Lane Kiffin and leave Tennessee high and dry.”

Fischer went on to provide details into Martin’s potential staff at Illinois, which would include former Illini player Deon Thomas, who is the head coach at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, Ill.

Tennessee associate media relations director Tom Satkowiak released a statement via twitter in response to rumors that Martin would be interested in the job at Illinois.

I would be stunned to see Martin, a former Purdue player and assistant coach, leave Tennessee for Illinois after one season. As Mike Griffith pointed out in the Knoxville News Sentinel, Martin would owe Tennessee $2.6 million if he were to leave during the first three years of his contract. He’s working under a five-year deal worth $1.3 million annually.

None of that will matter if Smart accepts the job at Illinois. If he doesn’t, Illinois will turn to Plan B. The Chicago Tribune laid out that potential plan on Tuesday night. That report didn’t include Martin’s name among the list of candidates.

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Kendall Marshall fractures wrist

March 18, 2012 in Blog by Josh Ward

North Carolina’s NCAA championship hopes took a big hit on Sunday when junior point guard Kendall Marshall suffered a fractured right wrist in the Tar Heels’ 87-73 win over Creighton.

No. 1 seed North Carolina released a statement saying Marshall’s status for the rest of the tournament is unknown. But UNC’s status as a title contender is in serious jeopardy, according to CBSSports.com college basketball writer Jeff Goodman.

What if Marshall, who is left handed, tries to play with his fractured wrist? CBS analyst Kenny Smith tried to do the same when he was a freshman point guard at North Carolina in 1984. It didn’t go well.

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Manning to workout for Broncos

March 16, 2012 in Blog by Josh Ward

Peyton Manning will hold a workout on Friday for the Denver Broncos at the Duke University Indoor Facility, according to ESPN.

The fact that Manning is working out for the Broncos does not make them the leader, according to Schefter. But it does appear to be a two-team race between Denver and the Tennessee Titans. Arizona remains in the picture but would be considered a “longshot” to land Manning, Schefter reported Friday morning.

What will the Broncos see when Manning holds his workout? A quarterback who can make NFL throws, according to Duke head coach David Cutcliffe.

“It’s incredible how much progress he’s made in throwing the football,” Cutcliffe said. “He’s gotten his arm strength back and his accuracy is there. I’m not an NFL coach, of course, but I think I know what it takes to complete passes in the NFL, and it’s clear that Peyton can make all those throws.”

And it seems clear that Denver and Tennessee are desperate for Manning to make those throws for them in 2012.

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What they’re saying about Tennessee

March 4, 2012 in Blog by Josh Ward

Tennessee’s 68-61 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday caused the nation to take notice.

UT finished the regular season with a 10-6 record in the SEC, which allowed the Vols to lock up a 2-seed in the SEC tournament. Here’s what several folks said about UT following its win over Vanderbilt.

 

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Vick, Woods most disliked in sports

February 8, 2012 in Blog by Josh Ward

Michael Vick and Tiger Woods are the most disliked athletes in sports, according to a report from Forbes.

Here is a list of the top 10. Who would you add to the list?

1 – Tiger Woods 60%
1 – Michael Vick 60%
3 – Plaxico Burress 56%
4 – Ndamukong Suh 51%
5 – Kris Humphries 50%
6 – LeBron James 48%
7 – Kobe Bryant 45%
7 – Terrell Owens 45%
9 – Alex Rodriguez 44%
10 – Kurt Busch 42%
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Orange and White Game Set For April 21

in Blog by Josh Ward

The Tennessee football program has released its schedule for the upcoming spring.

The Vols will begin spring practice on March 26 and finish with the Orange and White Game at 2:30 PM eastern time on April 21. See the full schedule below.

March 16 – Pro Timing Day at the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center

March 25 – Pre-Spring Practice Press Conference, 2 p.m., Stokely Family Media Center, Neyland Stadium

Week 1 – March 26, 27, 29, 31

Week 2 – April 2, 4, 6

Week 3 – April 10, 11, 12, 14

Week 4 – April 17, 18, 19

April 21 – Dish Network Orange and White Game, 2:30 PM
*Note these dates are tentative and subject to change.

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Report: Tennessee interested in Zook

January 8, 2012 in Blog by Josh Ward

Jimmy Hyams reported Sunday night that Tennessee is interested in former Florida and Illinois coach Ron Zook to become the Vols’ defensive coordinator.

“Zook likely would listen if dooley called since zook enjoyed his days as UT aide in 1980s,” Hyams wrote.

How did Tennessee fans respond to the idea of Zook landing in Knoxville? Check my mentions feed.

What do you think of the idea of Tennessee hiring Zook to be its defensive coordinator?

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Report: Wilcox, Sirmon leaving Tennessee

January 2, 2012 in Blog by Josh Ward

Defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and linebackers coach Peter Sirmon have decided to leave Tennessee for the same position at Washington, according to ESPN.com’s Chris Low.

Wilcox and Sirmon are the third and fourth coaches to leave UT this offseason, joining receivers coach Charlie Baggett, who hasn’t joined another staff, and tight ends/special teams coach Eric Russell, who left for Washington State.

Wilcox is considered one of the nation’s top young coaches. He was reported to be a candidate for the head coaching position at Arizona State. Sirmon, who just finished his first year as a full-time assistant at UT, was considered one of UT’s top recruiters.

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SEC Schedule To Be Released Wednesday

December 27, 2011 in Blog by Josh Ward

The SEC will announce its 2012 conference football schedule on Wednesday morning at 10 eastern time.

The schedule will be announced on the conference Digital Network site.

John Pennington of MrSEC.com posted a prediction of each team’s schedule earlier today. Here it is.

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Penn State links

November 8, 2011 in Blog by Josh Ward

Here’s a list of items from around the country being written about the Penn State scandal.

This state police commissioner doesn’t believe Joe Paterno did enough to stop the abuse. (NY Times)

Pat Forde was in State College to get a reaction from folks on campus. (Yahoo! Sports)

Where is the leadership of Penn State president Graham Spanier? (Yahoo! Sports)

Why all of a sudden is the “legal process” important to Joe Paterno? (CBS Sports)

ESPN writer Dana O’Neil, a Penn State alum, is saddened by the actions of her alma mater. (ESPN)

Dennis Dodd asks how the achievements of Joe Paterno will be remembered. (CBS Sports)

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