To Be or Not To Be a Vols Fan: By Jason Nunley

The loss to Oregon has some Vols losing faith in their team.  With the stinging wound left by the wake of Lane Kiffin, Vols fans are struggling to keep their head up.

Vols fans were looking for a rebuilding with the exit of former coach Phillip Fulmer and the entrance of Lane Kiffin.  Kiffin’s entrance was nothing less than dramatic.  With what at first seemed as an overwhelming confidence turned into a disturbing arrogance.  Kiffin having made some-what harsh remarks about other teams caused unnecessary tension.  But still, Vols fans held tight to their team, looking for a brighter future.  Then the unimaginable happened.  After only one year, Kiffin resigned to leave and take the head-coaching job at USC.  As if leaving wasn’t enough, the University is under investigation for recruiting violations.  It was reported on nytimes.com that since Kiffin took over in 2008, the Vols committed at least six secondary N.C.A.A. violations.  This brought most Tennessee fans to their knees.

For those wanting to give up their may still be hope.  Tennessee’s newest coach, Derek Dooley, seems to be giving the Vols a little more of what they need.  His style and attitude, pleasantly different than Kiffin’s, may pave the way for a better and more respected football team.  Unlike the more negative approach by Kiffin, Dooley seems to be trying to earn respect by giving it first.  After the loss to Oregon, Dooley was quoted on ESPN.go.com as saying, “They have a great football team,” and “They have a great coaching staff and they’ve got a lot of class; I’m impressed with everything about them.”  Obviously upset with a loss, but able to show a deserved respect to a rival team.  Dooley also insured his players that Tennessee isn’t just a stop for him to move on to something better, but he is in for the long haul.  The demeanor and attitude displayed by Dooley, is starting to show in his players.

So if you are a Volunteer fan and you are having doubts, don’t lose hope.  Every team has to go through times of loss and rebuilding.  Remember that for our team to be a success, they need the help of their fans to stick by them through the good and the bad.

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