Prior to the Tennessee Vols‘ matchup last weekend against the Vanderbilt Commodores, there was a narrative going around that UT’s locker room was in shambles.
The narrative started thanks to social media posts and message board rumors. It eventually made its way to ESPN when Kirk Herbstreit said during last week’s College Football Playoff rankings reveal show that Tennessee was “fighting amongst themselves”.
“Things are not good right now in Knoxville,” said Herbstreit last week.
After UT’s 56-0 win against Vanderbilt, Vols head coach Josh Heupel fired back at “media” who took shots at Tennessee’s culture.
“There were a lot of questions about the culture of our program from some media that don’t understand who our kids are and what this program’s built on” pic.twitter.com/ihCbn5qQdR— zach ragan (@zachTNT) November 27, 2022
Tennessee senior tight end Jacob Warren also addressed the locker room talk this week.
During an interview with Dave Hooker of “Off the Hook Sports”, Warren pointed out that every locker room in the country has disagreements from time to time.
“There’s things that happen within every program across America and if you don’t realize that, I guess you haven’t been following along with college football long enough to understand that,” said Warren.
“There’s things that happen within every program across America and if you don’t realize that, I guess you haven’t been following along with college football long enough to understand that” — Vols TE Jacob Warren on the noise last week during an interview with @OTHSportsMedia pic.twitter.com/lTR1HZhDD6— zach ragan (@zachTNT) November 29, 2022
The point that Warren brings up is why Herbstreit’s comments were so surprising.
Herbstreit played at Ohio State. He’s been around the sport in some capacity for over 30 years. He should know as well as anyone that a disagreement between teammates does not equate to “fighting amongst themselves”. Herbstreit’s comments were reckless and it’s understandable why Heupel and the Vols took offense to the rumors he spread on national television.
Tennessee’s culture is in a great place and it’s unfortunate that they’ve had to defend that culture over the last week due to an irresponsible Herbstreit.
Featured image via Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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