Buzz ignores grumbling

Will he be fired? Will he return? Will he be ordered to shake up his staff?

Buzz Peterson is aware that his job security is a hot topic these days but the Vol basketball coach says he pays no attention to all the rumbling and grumbling.

''I don't,'' he said during his Monday news conference. ''I'm one of these guys that lives day to day. I trust in the Lord that everything will take care of itself. But I try to come to work every day expecting the unexpected from 18- to 20-year-olds.''

Tennessee has lost six of its last seven games and stands 11-13 overall. Last week the Vols lost home games to Alabama (72-54) and Florida (84-73).

''This year has not gone like I wanted but there's still time to make something good happen out of it,'' Peterson noted. ''I could make some excuses about why this happened and why that happened but I don't like to do that. You have to be able to deal with those (situations).''

Athletics director Mike Hamilton said today on ''The Edge'' with Knoxville radio personality Tony Basilio that he will not suggest Peterson change his coaching staff. However, the two continue to discuss the basketball program's progress -- or lack of same -- on a regular basis.

''Mike and I have had good talks,'' Peterson said. ''I just tell him we're going to try and finish this year out the best we can. You never know what could happen, so we're going to work hard every single day.''

Determined that rumors about his future not affect his performance, Peterson tries to put job security out of his mind.

''I can't worry about it,'' he said. ''I've just got to go about it day to day, try to do the best job. I just keep working at it and, hopefully, things will get better for us.''

Asked if he tries to insulate himself from the criticism of his staff and his program, Peterson smiled.

''You live on an island,'' he said. ''It's human nature. You'll hear things but I'm so busy ... even when I'm in my car I'm on my cell phone. When I get to the office I'm busy getting ready for practice. Then I'm home with my family. When you're going full-steam you don't get a chance to hear much.''

Deep down, Peterson understands the fans' frustration. He says he shares it.

''It disappoints me when we don't win much,'' he said. ''I get angry and upset about that also. But I know it's my job to get those guys back to work the next day, to try to get better and win the next game.''


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