Tennessee Vols morning report: Phillip Fulmer, Rick Barnes give updates

Rick Barnes and Phillip Fulmer giving updates on the Tennessee Vols amid coronavirus leads our Volunteers news for Friday, April 10, 2020.

Happy Friday. Next week will mark a month since the Tennessee Vols basketball season came to an end due to COVID-19, and this is another weekend in which everybody is planning to self-quarantine amidst this outbreak. However, there is still UT news to cover.

Our morning update on Rocky Top leads with two major figures in the athletics department giving separate interviews talking about dealing with the issue. One is a head coach, and one is an administrator. We will cover both.

Meanwhile, a couple of former Vol football players made news as well, and they are worthy of praising. So we’ll cover them here. But let’s start with the interviews to get an idea of the state of the program right now.

Phillip Fulmer talks range of issues in interview – The Erik Ainge Show, WNML-FM

On Thursday, Tennessee Vols athletic director Phillip Fulmer went on 99.1 The Sports Animal’s The Erik Ainge Show to discuss different topics. He touched on Kellie Harper’s first season, the extra year of eligibility for spring athletes and how the football program is coming along. Here’s a bit of what he said.

“Of course, everybody in the world’s life has changed with the virus and all. I give the NCAA and our conference especially, kind of leading the way, to step out of the box and give the year back to our spring athletes. No fault of their own, that they lost the opportunity. Kudos to them.”

Rick Barnes reflects, looks ahead to next season – March Madness 365

In a podcast interview with Andy Katz, Tennessee Vols basketball head coach Rick Barnes said he felt the premature end to 2019-2020 was the right decision. He also talked about his high expectations for his team next year. Here’s a bit of what he said.

“I’m excited about our team going forward. I just think that we’ve got some good players coming in that’s gonna help us, and I do know the guys coming back are gonna work hard and get better.”

Josh Dobbs completing NASA Externship – Ryan Callahan, GoVols247

Former Tennessee football quarterback Joshua Dobbs posted a Twitter video Thursday saying that he was completing a NASA externship and touting the successful launch of a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Dobbs majored in aerospace engineering when he played for UT, from 2013 to 2016.

Dobbs, who was the Vols’ starting quarterback for more than three years, now is entering his fourth season in the NFL. The Jaguars acquired him from the Pittsburgh Steelers in September for a fifth-round pick in this year’s NFL draft.

Mikki Allen named new TSU Athletics Director – TSUTigers.com

A member of Tennessee football’s 1998 national championship team is now becoming an athletic director. Mikki Allen has taken on that role at Tennessee State University.

After a brief stint in the NFL due to injury, Allen joined the Tennessee Athletics staff in 2009 and excelled during multiple record-breaking fundraising years.  Serving as the Director of Athletics Development, Allen played an invaluable role for Tennessee Athletics in helping to secure more than $20 million in capital campaign gifts during his tenure as an athletics fundraiser.