Greeson: Tennessee should hire new baseball coach

Greeson: Tennessee should hire new baseball coach


May 20th, 2011 by Jay Greeson in Sports - Columns

Heading into the weekend, here's another quick offering of sports views, quips and quibbles. Enjoy (or don't - it's up to you).

The University of Tennessee baseball team will end its season this weekend.

Saturday's game against Auburn will be followed by the Volunteers turning in the gear. So it goes for a team that entered Thursday with a 5-22 record in the SEC. (Yes, FIVE and 22.)

Saturday's game against Auburn also should be followed by the Vols asking coach Todd Raleigh to turn in his whistle. Four seasons and zero postseason appearances is enough for Raleigh, who has among his noteworthy accomplishments in Knoxville that he was the least guilty of the three head coaches mentioned in the now-famous NCAA letter of allegations that called out former UT football coach Lane Kiffin and former hoops coach Bruce Pearl.

If the biggest feather in your cap is that you're not as seedy as Kiffin and/or Pearl, well, that's not exactly something to put on the business card.

Being a college baseball coach is far from easy. You're recruiting against four-year schools, two-year schools, independent leagues and the draft. Plus, you're working with fewer than 12 scholarships to field a team.

That said, Tennessee has a statewide advantage (like Georgia and South Carolina, among others) in that it has a lottery-funded scholarship program that can help fill out a roster.

Here's hoping the next UT coach has better luck.

On the subject of coaches who should be looking for work, it appears Jim Tressel, THE Ohio State University football coach, is on stronger footing than we may have believed.

Gene Smith, THE athletic director at THE Ohio State University, said he is unchanged and fully supports his embattled football coach. The ball's in your court, NCAA: We saw your not-so-subtle threats and innuendos with Pearl and Tennessee. What are you going to do with Tressel and THE Ohio State University?

ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. debuted his Big Board for the 2012 NFL draft. While it is entirely too early to debate the merits of Kiper's rankings - especially since there could be small or big changes to the draft process in the future - his list can offer a glimpse to all SEC football fans about which teams have big-time talent.

There are five SEC players ranked in Kiper's Top 25: Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick, Trent Richardson and Courtney Upshaw and South Carolina's Alshon Jeffery and Stephon Gilmore.

For the first time since 1997, Tiger Woods is going to fall out of the top 10 of the world golf rankings next week. According to Forbes, Woods still is among the top 10 celebrities in the world, and the top-ranked sports star. Here's Forbes' list, with how much cash each made in 2010:

1. Lady Gaga ($90 million), 2. Oprah Winfrey ($290 million), 3. Justin Bieber ($53 million), 4. U2 ($195 million), 5. Elton John ($100 million), 6. Tiger Woods ($75 million), 7. Taylor Swift ($45 million), 8. Bon Jovi ($125 million), 9. Simon Cowell ($90 million), 10. LeBron James ($48 million)