Why UT should ban basketball

Basketball should be banned on the University of Tennessee campus.

Disagree? Consider this:

Look at how much money Tennessee paid former coaches Don DeVoe, Wade Houston, Jerry Green and Buzz Peterson in salary and buyouts. Look at how much money the school paid Kevin O'Neill to recruit.

Now look at how little on-court success all that money bought. Tennessee's record over the past 20 seasons (1985-86 through 2004-05) is a mediocre 312-287. The Vols' SEC record for that same span is a pitiful 143-189.

When you factor in the buyouts, Tennessee probably has paid $10 million (roughly $500,000 per year) for 20 years of mediocrity. That breaks down to $32,051 per victory.

Next season, Tennessee will pay Jerry Green $210,000 NOT to coach the team. It will pay Buzz Peterson $1.43 million NOT to coach the team. It will pay someone else roughly $1 million who WILL actually coach the team. That means the Vols will be shelling out more than $2.6 to assorted basketball coaches (not counting assistants' salaries) in 2005-06 ... and the odds of that money translating into a 20-win season and an NCAA Tournament bid are not good.

Again: Basketball should be banned on the University of Tennessee campus.

Still disagree? OK. It's time to bring out the heavy artillery.

Richie Gandy, projected first-team center for the Vol football team, recently tore an ACL in a campus accident. Know what he was doing? Playing basketball.

Tony McDaniel, a key defensive tackle for the Vol football team, recently was arrested by the police and suspended by the school for punching another student in the face. Know what they were doing at the time of the altercation? Playing basketball.

One more time: Basketball should be banned on the University of Tennessee campus. Unless you're a woman.


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