4. NCAA investigation still leaving program in limbo
Josh Heupel was hired because of an NCAA and university investigation into Tennessee football that resulted in Jeremy Pruitt being fired and Phillip Fulmer stepping down as athletic director. That investigation hasn’t finished yet, and while allegations are as serious as giving players cash in McDonald’s bags, nothing has come of it yet.
Right now, we don’t know if the Vols will be able to make a bowl game this year or even next year. We also don’t know how this will affect recruiting in any way. All we do know is that based on what Heupel said in an interview before he took the podium Tuesday is that there are no new updates on it right now.
Calling this a “speed bump,” Heupel seemed confident and encouraged about the future of the program, and talked about recruiting around the issue. However, he never addressed any new updates on it specifically. Here’s a bit of what he said on the matter.
"“The kids that we’re recruiting and the majority of our players on campus, they’re going to be able to go chase and compete for championships once they’re on campus. I feel like we’ve positioned ourselves to swallow up any of the potential sanctions here in this first year and be able to move forward and go compete.”"
That’s all nice to hear for Vol fans when it comes to the future, but everybody still wants to know what will happen this year. Heupel didn’t provide any updates on that, and the fact that he hasn’t provided any updates means there’s been no real movement, so UT is still in limbo.