With Tennessee Vols athletics events in the rearview mirror for the 2020-2021 academic school year, it’s already time to start looking ahead to next year. Multiple news stories dealing with UT are already surfacing on that very topic.
Our morning update on Rocky Top leads with an update to the the men’s basketball program’s 2021-2022 schedule. A part of it finalized on Thursday, and we’ll break down all the standout games and just how tough it will be.
There’s also some football news with the dismissal of a freshman, further gutting the 2021 class. Beyond that recognition for a rowing athlete and of sports athletes across the board made news. Let’s go ahead and dive in, starting with the basketball coverage.
Men’s basketball non-SEC schedule set – Patrick Browns, GoVols247
In 2021-2022, the Tennessee Vols men’s basketball non-conference schedule includes five Power Five foes and two mid-major foes considered Power Five quality. They will face the Villanova Wildcats, Colorado Buffaloes, Memphis Tigers, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Arizona Wildcats, Texas Longhorns and either the North Carolina Tar Heels or Purdue Boilermakers.
"The game against Memphis, postponed from the 2020-21 season, completes the three-game set between the two rivals. After multiple adjustments to its non-conference schedule amid the Covid-19 pandemic last December, Tennessee opened last season with Colorado, and the visit to Boulder in December is the second game in a three-game set with a clash for Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena set next season. The Vols in May finalized a home-and-home series with Arizona and will go to Tucson next season."
Kaidon Salter dismissed from team – Brent Hubbs, VolQuest
After multiple off-field incidents, Josh Heupel has dismissed Tennessee Vols football freshman quarterback Kaidon Salter. A four-star recruit, Salter missed all of spring ball due to a suspension in March and then had another incident this past weekend.
"Salter enrolled at midterm with the idea of competing for the starting job. That never happened as Salter never practiced with the Vols."
Volleyball adds transfer – UTSports
Colorado State Rams graduate transfer outside hitter Breana Runnels has joined the Tennessee Lady Vols program. She is one of seven newcomers for next year, including two transfers.
"The 5-10 Bakersfield, California, native spent the past five seasons with Colorado State, redshirting her freshman season in 2016. During her time with the Rams, Runnels was named Mountain West All-Conference four times and earned AVCA All-Pacific North Region accolades in 2019 and AVCA All-Pacific North Region Honorable Mention honors in 2018."
Senior rower earns achievement award – NACDA.com
Gia Hodges of the Tennessee Lady Vols rowing team has been named one of six recipients of the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals (N4A) 2021 Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award. The award recognizes athletes who overcame personal or emotional odds to achieve success in their respective fields.
"Upon arriving on University of Tennessee (UT) campus, Gia Hodges made her presence known through her academics and her incredible positive attitude that was contagious among her teammates. But Hodges’ path to get to Tennessee was not easy. Her family has been fractured in various ways: divorce, violence, emotional torment, addiction and neurological disease."
Record number of athletes make spring honor roll – SECSports
The Tennessee Vols athletic program had 135 athletes on the 2021 Spring SEC Academic Honor Roll, the most ever for the program. Rowing was the leading sport with 32 members.
"The 2021 Spring SEC Academic Honor Roll includes the sports of baseball, golf, softball, tennis and track & field. It is based on grades from the 2020 Summer, 2020 Fall and 2021 Spring terms."