For the Tennessee fanbase, the silence from John Currie has been deafening. To some it’s been maddening. Just go check his Twitter mentions for proof.
The Tennessee athletic director has remained silent on Butch Jones through a four game losing streak. Many called for a simple statement from Currie, just to acknowledge that there was a problem and that he intends to fix it.
To a certain extent, Currie did that.
Appearing on the Big Orange Hotline show with Bob Kesling, Currie finally broke his silence. Currie first spoke of his father, who was a surgeon. “The surgeon’s creed is there’s no problem that you can’t make worse by operating.”
If we’ve learned anything through this, it’s that Currie is a very thorough guy. He isn’t reactionary. He’s going to see things through — for better or for worse.
“You’ve got to make decisions that you believe are best for your program. I believe that supporting our staff and supporting our players, getting ready for the Southern Miss game, is the best I can do for our football program right now,” Currie said.
Currie went on to mention that he sees Butch Jones every Sunday. “That’s been one of my practices the whole time. The nine years I’ve been an athletics director, I always try to go into the building on Sunday — win or lose.”
Currie called the loss to Kentucky disappointing. “Our players played so hard through the whole game. They never let up.”
He finished with this. “The bottom line is, one of the reasons I came back here to the University of Tennessee is that this is a national program with a national following and incredibly passionate and fevered fans. That knife cuts both ways. You’re excited when you win, and you’re disappointed and angry when you lose. It’s the same for the staff and the AD and the players too.”
Butch Jones said that he has Currie’s support yesterday in his weekly press conference, saying that nothing has changed. There was a reported meeting on Sunday between Currie and Jones to discuss the “immediate future,” but nothing has come of that — at least to us outsiders.
The only thing we know for sure is that Jones is getting another week, as Jimmy Hyams reported on Sunday morning. Tennessee has a tricky game on their hands too, with Southern Miss coming to town. Vegas initially placed Tennessee as seven point favorites, but that number has quickly fallen to five.
Honestly, Currie didn’t give us much to chew on last night. So at least until we see how Jones and Tennessee perform against Southern Miss, we’re all in a holding pattern for another handful of days.