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Former Players: FSU vs. UT

12

I was very happy when Coach Fisher rolled out the red carpet for former players. Considering how many great players have come through here, players with marquee names and NFL pedigree, there’s no good reason this hasn’t been done before now. Evidence that this is more than just talk is already happening. For instance, (as FrankD pointed out) Dawsey’s organizing the flag football match during the spring game with former players. Fisher & Co know this is key to rebuilding the belief that FSU is a premier football school with a legacy and mythos all its own. Interestingly, new coach Derek Dooley at Tennessee has already run into trouble over this. In fact, it’s his first big media flap, something that we have been blessedly short of with Coach Fisher. For a guy who seemed to be nothing but humble and happy to be at UT and who seemed to playing the script perfectly, it seems oddly out of character, especially over something so obvious and important. It’s not like the guy is short on experience. His father is Vince Dooley, he was a walk on wide receiver at Univ. Virginia where he earned a scholarship, he worked with Saban at LSU from 2000 to 2005, he went with Saban to the Miami Dolphins and he was the head coach and athletic director (at the same time) at Louisiana Tech. He was also a practicing attorney for two years and was an Academic All American at UVA so he obviously has some smarts. So, faced with a similar situation as Coach Fisher (i.e. rebuilding a once proud program) and very similar football experience (both Sabanites), he’s already stepped in it. I could never see Coach Fisher getting into a tiff like this. Even if his point is valid, it was handled poorly. Initially, after reading Dooley’s bio, I thought Tennessee had found a good candidate, especially after the way Kiffin took such a big dump on the program and their replacement search had just about tanked. Saban obviously thought a lot of him. It will be interesting to compare his progress with Coach Fisher’s over the next two years.

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