By all accounts, Danny White is one of the rising stars in the college athletics world. The new Tennessee AD is responsible for building UCF into arguably the most prominent G5 football program in the country and has made incredibly successful coaching hires in football and basketball at two schools — White previously served as Buffalo’s AD.

So how did Tennessee manage to land White, considering all the issues on Rocky Top at the moment?

That was the very first question White was asked during his introductory press conference on Friday.

“If everything was humming here and going great, I wouldn’t be standing here. It wouldn’t be an attractive proposition for me,” White answered. “I was really proud and excited about what we were building from the ground up at UCF.

“This isn’t a ground-up, because it’s been there, but there’s a lot of building that needs to happen. The challenges, in terms of the NCAA investigation, the challenges in terms of not being where we want to be competitively in football, that excites me, that energizes me. And I want to be a part of fixing it and building it.”

If you didn’t know, White comes from a family entrenched in college athletics. His father is the AD at Duke, one of his brothers is the AD at FAU and his other brother is head coach of Florida’s men’s basketball team.

“I’ve known coming through the college athletics ranks what Tennessee Athletics is and can be on the national stage in athletics and again, just want to be a part of it,” White added.

Tennessee may be a big name with a ton of history and tradition but the biggest hurdle currently standing in the program’s way is the current investigation into alleged recruiting violations.

How will White overcome the investigation and what will his message be for coaching candidates when they inevitably ask about the investigation?

“I’ve already learned, and will continue to learn more working with outside counsel that’s working the investigation, and just looking at other case precedents with other NCAA cases,” White shared. “Until it’s done, nobody will know exactly what the final results are but we will be very transparent and honest with the candidates in this search and give them a good forecast for what that will look like.”