NIL deals, media access helping popularize Tennessee Vols baseball | Adams

Winning is the primary reason why Tennessee fans are in love with their No. 1-ranked baseball team. The popularity of coach Tony Vitello is another factor.

But player access also has something to do with it. Fans are getting to know the players through media exposure, and public appearances related to name, image, and likeness deals.

Consequently, fans probably are becoming more connected to this UT team as any other they have followed. That helps explain why I received emails in response to last week’s column on outfielder Christian Scott and his father, Bert.

David writes: I was very happy to see that article on Christian Scott. Other articles I read barely mentioned that amazing catch (against Florida). They were all about Christian Moore, and understandably so. But Christian’s catch won the game just as much as Moore’s heroics.

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My response: Defense sometimes gets overlooked amid UT's superb pitching and robust hitting.

Billy writes: That was a very nice article about Christian Scott and his game winning snag.

It was a very tough fought game and even I must admit that i was getting a bit apprehensive as the game progressed and the mighty Vol bats remained silent.

Great perspective from a parent's point of view. It is one thing for your personal achievements, but watching your son and/or daughter do so is on another level.

Very nice of the Friends of BaseVols to donate to the dad yet another memento of their lifelong endeavors with baseball.

My response: Christian’s father was a good athlete himself. Between the phone conversations I had with the two of them, I could appreciate what a huge, positive factor Bert has been in his son’s life and baseball success.

Glenn writes: I was absolutely shocked to find out that the baseball team had only about 11 scholarships to give out. How can that be?

We have a team of about 50 players that thousands show up for every game that we enjoy so much and they only get 11 scholarships? I would really like to find out how many scholarships are given out for each sport such as softball, track, golf, tennis, etc. I sure hope the NIL money will help out some of these athletes because they sure need it.

My response: SEC baseball teams get 11.7 scholarships to divvy up among all the players on their roster. Given how important and popular the sport has become, that’s not enough.

NIL money will be a huge plus. If you are interested in contributing to UT baseball players, check out the website

John writes: Just like in poker, I'm all in for your idea (on an SEC super conference and leaving the NCAA behind).

The CFP committee's hear no, see no and speak no change to the expanded playoff format was like listening to Abbott and Costello's who's on first routine.

What is wrong with preplanning ahead of the TV expiration date instead waiting till it ends? Once again a group of NCAA bozos has shown how myopic and outdated they have become.

My response: Nobody has been on first for too long. Meanwhile, the NCAA’s investigation of Tennessee football drags on at a glacier-like pace.

There are too many things wrong with the current system. Never mind that NCAA president Mark Emmert is on the way out. That won’t solve the problem.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or Follow him at:

This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: NIL, media access adding to popularity of Tennessee Vols baseball