Arizona State AD Ray Anderson Blasts Phillip Fulmer

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    Even though Tennessee’s coaching search is over, the Vols remain in the national spotlight because of how that search went.

    This time, it’s not just a national writer calling out UT’s lengthy search for a football coach; it’s a Power Five athletic director.

    Arizona State AD Ray Anderson has taken heat from many national analysts for hiring Herm Edwards as the Sun Devils’ head coach. But CBS writer Dennis Dodd says that Anderson’s unorthodox choice doesn’t compare to UT’s decision to hire Phil Fulmer.

    And Anderson agreed.

    “The athletic department there is perceived as a cluster,” Anderson said in Dodd’s story. “Their athletic director, now Phil Fulmer, in the athletic director’s world is a pariah. It is not a good situation.”

    Dodd’s article showcases college football’s “silly season.” And the Vols are the main topic of discussion.

    “You think Arizona State is wacky? Check out Tennessee,” Dodd writes.

    But he doesn’t stop there.

    “As Anderson suggested, Tennessee attempted self-immolation, doing everything possible to burn its program to the ground. Over a 24-day stretch, the reputation of a fine man (Greg Schiano) was dragged through the mud. Fulmer pulled a successful palace coup, replacing AD John Currie. Eventually, Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt — perhaps the seventh candidate interviewed — was hired,” Dodd said.

    Fulmer will be judged as an AD on his hire of Jeremy Pruitt. And if the former Alabama defensive coordinator succeeds in Knoxville, critics like Dodd and Anderson will have some crow to eat in the coming years.

    But until a Pruitt-coached team takes the field, Tennessee remains the subject of discussion across the country. And in most cases, they’re the subject of scrutiny rather than praise.