I’m Ashamed, Mike Hamilton

Now that I’ve scraped most of the bile out of my mouth left over from New Years Eve’s drubbing, more bile got shoved back in: Alabama plays for the mythical National Championship Thursday night.

But that’s sweet smelling compared to the renal breath that came out of the Athletic Department this week.

Mike Hamilton’s ‘Gut Check’

Univ. of Tennessee Athletic Director Mike Hamilton. Photo by J. Miles Cary (from GVX).

Unless you are living in Eastern Europe or South Asia, a couple of places left outside of Tennessee where the Vols are not loathed, you probably heard that four UT basketball players were arrested last Friday on drug and weapons charges.

On Tuesday of this week, UT Athletic Director Mike Hamilton followed up by doing his best (failed) impersonation of an effective leader by really laying down the law. Get a load of this quote.

“It’s a really good time to do a gut check with our student athletes, coaches and our staff (to) make sure we’re doing everything possible in the education process to make sure our student athletes understand exactly what our expectations are, that our coaches understand what the expectations are, and that we’ve talked about how we’re going to handle discipline.”

Now that’s really dropping the iron hammer, Mike. Way to show ‘em who’s boss, buddy. Lay down that law.

Earth to Mike:

Why do your student athletes not understand exactly what your expectations are?

Why do your coaches not understand what your expectations are?

Why haven’t you talked about how you’re going to handle discipline?

Did I miss something? I’m just simply reading what you said, and making the logical deduction from your statement that expectations and other typical requirements are not clear.

I’m underwhelmed.

And as an alumnus of UT, I’m embarrassed.

You should be, too Mike. Because you are in charge. And obviously from your statement, you are not doing your job properly. Because if you were, everybody would clearly understand expectations.

Shape the hell up.

Oh, but children, there’s more.

Four Strikes and You’re Out

Hamilton let it be known that our upstanding institution has a strict policy for its student athletes when it comes to drug abuse.

  • The first positive drug test: Counseling and additional random drug testing.
  • The second positive drug test: Participation suspension, further education and additional random drug testing.
  • The third positive drug test: An indefinite suspension and in some cases in-house patient program, and additional random drug testing.
  • The fourth positive drug test: Dismissal.

Maybe I’m just getting f*ck*n’ old, but I think this is a crock of shite. Do I really have to say it, or is it obvious? Okay. WHY DOES IT TAKE FOUR POSITIVE DRUG TESTS BEFORE YOU ARE DISMISSED?

Mike seemed to imply that it’s really a three strikes policy because “[t]here’s a pretty strong record if someone makes it to the third step, they are going to end up being dismissed. Very few are able to go back.”

No, wait. Mike’s gonna toughen it up. He said he’ll discuss adding another provision to UT’s drug testing policy with the school’s drug testing committee. “If you are caught in possession of a substance, then should that automatically take you to the next step in the process? I think that’s an item we need to look into in our drug testing policy. You can’t make enough policies, you can certainly refine your policies to deal in a more direct black-and-white manner when these kinds of things occur. I don’t think you can necessarily prevent these things from occurring.”

What the hell is he doing, running for political office?

How about (1) clarify expectations by the end of this week, which are (2) two strikes and you are thrown out of this university. PERIOD.

I believe in second chances. But not four. After the second time, let them go play for Hawaii, or South Florida, or Florida for that matter.

The Student-Athlete Handbook Has a Silencer on Firearms

Hamilton kept the one-liners coming on Tuesday.

“It’s clear our university policy is you can’t have firearms on campus (but in the student-athlete handbook, Hill Topics) we address more felonious acts, crimes, and then it talks about appropriate behavior, it doesn’t say specifically in our guidebook about firearms.”

Hamilton said none of the student-handbook policies can change “until we have discussed with the head coaches over the next few days.”

You mean to f*ck*n’ tell me that it takes a committee vote, or a discussion with head coaches first, to put a sentence in the student-athlete handbook preventing firearms? And please, please tell me, Mike how you are going to lead that discussion. Why did you not say that you were going to make damned sure that the coaches were going to come away from that meeting all agreeing that it would be a good idea that the guidebook would have a prohibition against firearms?

The Bottom Line, Mike

Unless the GVX article completely misquoted you in every way, that was the weakest, most spineless performance yet. The University of Tennessee football and now basketball programs have become a laughing stock on a national scale. We are fodder for the likes of the Georgia Puppies, who because they got their asses whipped in Knoxville last October, and still have the embarrassment of being the opponent that was the elixir for Jonathan Crompton’s Vol career, spend most of their waking hours looking for every morsel of potential wrong to chew on and make their gums bleed.

May they bleed to death. For these are my Vols we’re talking about.

And, Mike, this is exactly why I’m so pissed at the way this whole situation is being handled. It all has the appearance of sizzle and no steak, all hat and no cattle.

I don’t believe you are serious, because you’ve not shown me in your manner or words that you are.

And until you show me something, like steak or cattle, I’m not going to believe you.

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SOURCE: Article by Mike Griffith posted Jan 5, 2010 on GoVolsXtra.com

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