Will Tennessee's latest turmoil affect Phillip Fulmer's legacy? Paul Finebaum weighs in
Outgoing Tennessee Athletics Director Phillip Fulmer has an increasingly complicated legacy on Rocky Top. The latest example is that he was AD during the Jeremy Pruitt recruiting scandal, subsequent internal investigation and pending NCAA sanctions.
SEC Network host Paul Finebaum shared his thoughts on Fulmer’s legacy at Tennessee on his regular appearance on “The Roundtable” on WJOX 94.5 in Birmingham, Alabama. Finebaum was asked if this latest situation had “tarnished” Fulmer’s legacy similar to Pat Dye’s at Auburn.
“It’s impossible to give you an answer on that today without sounding like I’m being short-sided,” Finebaum said. “I don’t think it will because you and I have both covered a number of people who have left in tatters. Let’s talk about Pat Dye … and outside of the first few months, the Eric Ramsey story didn’t matter. We loved Coach Dye for what he did on the field, what he meant to Auburn, and really how he represented Auburn afterwards.”
Finebaum said Fulmer will be a different story because this is the second time he’s been fired at Tennessee.
“I think Phil Fulmer will be remember for Peyton Manning, for the 1998 national championship,” Finebaum said. “I don’t think his comeback story here is going to be mentioned very prominently. It could have really added to his reputation, but I don’t think it’ll tarnish it, because we’re really not sure what his role really is. We know he made the decision to give Pruitt the extension and in the pantheon of bad extensions, I think this one is clearly vying for No. 1. There’s a lot of competition for that by the way, but this one looks just ridiculous. … I don’t think it’s going to hurt.”