With 16 University of Tennessee coaches holding a joint press conference on Tuesday to defend Tennessee’s culture, some pointed out that their words had to be taken with a grain of salt since they are employed by UT.
And because of that, one former Tennessee staffer decided to speak out to give his take on Tennessee’s culture. Justin Phelps, the Director of Basketball Operations under former head basketball coach Donnie Tyndall during the 2014-15 season, called into the Paul Finebaum Show on Tuesday evening to give his take on UT from somebody who has been there, but is no longer is employed.
You can hear his call around the 7:00 mark of Hour 4 of the podcast.
Here’s a transcript of what Phelps had to say:
“I heard a lot of talking heads today talking about how we’re hearing from all of these individuals who get a paycheck from the University of Tennessee and they’re required to say this, and they need to do it for recruiting reasons. Well, I worked there for a year, I’m no longer collecting a paycheck, I’m no longer employed by the University of Tennessee, so I have nothing to gain, nothing to lose, by talking to you about it.
“I wanted to tell you that my year at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville – I had a tremendous year. I felt like the department was very unified. I felt like the men’s program and the women’s program worked really well together. As Director of Basketball Operation, it was my job to work with a number of different programs from Coach Weekly and the softball program to Coach Warlick and the women’s basketball program, I felt like, and from a number of different universities that I’d worked at, that it was one of the most cohesive units starting with Dave Hart, all the way down. And so, from my standpoint – again, nothing to lose, nothing to gain – I felt like the University of Tennessee had a great environment of cohesiveness. “