Numbers no excuse

The Tennessee Volunteers are operating at 72 scholarship players, 13 short of the 85 allowed by NCAA rules. Derek Dooley said he can't focus on that and it's no excuse. Go "Inside" to read what the head coach had to say about his roster.

Derek Dooley and his coaching staff are coaching 13 scholarship players less than allowed by NCCA rules.

The missing numbers account for almost an entire signing class.

"Think of almost another signing class," said Dooley, "if you added nine more three stars and four more four stars. I mean we have almost 15 guys missing that could be sophomores and juniors.

"Think of it this way, four more defensive backs, four more defensive linemen, three more receivers and about four more offensive linemen."

The number situation is unfortunately not something Dooley and his staff will fix in just one signing class. It's something that will take several years.

"We are going to lose 14 seniors this year," said Dooley. "That will put you at around 29 down. Then you will always loose three to five guys and you can only sign 25 guys. It takes a couple of years."

Heading into 2010 Dooley said he can't worry about what the Volunteers don't have.

"It's pointless to even talk about it," he said. "I'm not worrying about what we don't have."

Dooley said he certainly isn't looking for any sympathy or a pass based on what he inherited.

"We aren't singing the blues here," said Dooley. "I'm not saying poor me. I would rather be here with 72 than about anywhere else, although I won't sleep much."

Dooley said he would have to check, but he believed his numbers at Louisiana Tech reached similar lows when he first arrived.

Dooley's 2011 signing class is 14 commitments deep with an average star rating of 3.0 (

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