For anyone that was concerned about Josh Heupel’s reaction to Tennessee’s baseball players wearing Florida’s football helmet, that worry can now go away.
Tennessee’s second-year head coach was the guest of The Sports Animal’s Josh & Swain show on Monday where he spoke about the current state of the Tennessee team and spring camp. However, as the interview was concluding, host Jayson Swain asked Josh Heupel about his reaction to Tennessee’s helmet troll over the weekend.
After sweeping the Gators on the diamond in Gainesville, some of the Vol baseball players took pictures with Florida football helmets on and posted them to social media.
Tennessee Baseball is decked out in Florida Football helmets after sweeping the Gators in Gainesville. Photo via Evan Russell on Instagram. pic.twitter.com/JaDnHqvOHE
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) April 24, 2022
“I’m pretty sure that’s going to be a point of emphasis for the [Florida] football team,” Swain said. “Have you seen that? And if you have, what was your reaction? Is that a phone call to Tony Vitello or no?”
“A phone call to Tony about them sweeping Florida and putting on a football helmet?” Heupel responded with a few laughs in between words. “No. I hope they took a crayon and drew all over it. You know what I mean? It doesn’t matter to me. They can do whatever they want in Gainesville. They walked away with a sweep. Man, I’m so excited about what our baseball team is doing. When it’s going well on a college campus, athletically, your brand and your logo are in front of people 365 days out of the year. You look at what our basketball teams did during the winter months and the exciting brand of play – both men’s and women’s [basketball]. What our baseball team is doing, it’s a great time to be at Tennessee, man.”
When Josh Heupel was responding, he didn’t do so in a rude or disrespectful way, nor with malintent. At the end of the day, Heupel sounded like a football coach commenting on a small situation that occurred with a different sport and a rival school. It’s as simple as that. And frankly, that’s right in line with some of the attitude that Tennessee has been showing in this new era under athletic director Danny White. Whether it’s the baseball team flaunting the opposition’s equipment after a sweep, the softball team breaking out a pink Daddy hat and fur coat for celebrations, or Heupel throwing some shade (in good fun) at one of Tennessee’s biggest rivals, there seems to have been a campus-wide attitude switch in the last year.
“Can’t wait to watch those guys play again this weekend,” Heupel said.
See Also from RTI: Comeback Victory Pushes Top-Ranked Tennessee To Weekend Sweep Over Florida
As Heupel mentioned, the top-ranked Vols swept the Gators over the weekend. Tennessee took the Friday night game by a score of 8-2, the Saturday night game by a score of 3-0, and the Sunday afternoon game by a score of 6-4 in 11 innings.
After the helmet picture had circulated the internet for a bit, Florida linebacker Chief Borders responded to the picture saying, “You shall reap what you sow.”
However, after sending out that tweet on Sunday, it was then deleted by Monday afternoon.
When talking about the helmet picture on the Josh & Swain show on Monday, Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel was just having a quick laugh over something that happened over the weekend involving a rival. But even as simple as that is, it is another example of the change in attitude that has swept the Vols’ athletic department recently.
Take a listen for yourself below.
“I hope they took a crayon and drew all over it”… Josh Heupel does not care one bit for Florida 😂 pic.twitter.com/JLZgK1KDxG
— zach ragan (@zachTNT) April 26, 2022