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Dr. Saturday

Tennessee’s Derek Dooley laughs off report that he offered to resign last season

Frank Schwab
Dr. Saturday

It's not an easy time for many SEC coaches.

John L. Smith is on borrowed time at Arkansas. Auburn's Gene Chizik is on the hot seat. Georgia is 6-1 and still Mark Richt hears criticism.

Then there's Tennessee coach Derek Dooley, who had to shoot down a report that he offered his resignation last year.

Mr. SEC, a popular blog (its Twitter account has more than 32,000 followers), cited three anonymous sources saying Dooley offered to resign if he was given his $5 million buyout after last season's loss to Kentucky.

Dooley was asked if he had seen the report during his press conference. The video was posted to YouTube by KnoxNews.com.

"I promise you I didn't," Dooley said. "I've never even heard of that website."

When he was told what the report said, he laughed it off.

"That's exactly why I don't read those websites," Dooley said. "That's absurd."

Whether or not you believe the report (even if it were true, Dooley was still very unlikely to admit to it. Here's the link to Mr. SEC's follow-up), the big picture is this further shines a light on how toxic the situation is becoming in Tennessee.

The Volunteers are 3-4, and 0-4 in SEC play. They are coming off a 44-13 home loss to Alabama. Dooley criticized quarterback Tyler Bray, saying he would be benched if he didn't cut down on his turnovers. He also said he was disappointed Bray skipped out on talking to the media after the Alabama game, saying it was unacceptable and he needed to "man up." Fans are not happy at how the Volunteers have played. The schedule doesn't get any easier, with a trip to South Carolina this Saturday.

Dooley knows that the situation isn't going to calm down if Tennessee doesn't play better.

"Are people upset? Of course," Dooley said. "They should be. And I understand that. I'm not in a position to defend what we're doing, make a case for what we're doing -- we have to go prove it on the field."

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