After Tennessee’s loss to South Carolina on Saturday, and Monday’s press conference announcing Jalen Hurd’s plans to transfer from the Vols, calls from frustrated fans came flooding into some sports radio stations in Knoxville.
Will West and Josh Ward had more than enough content for their show on Sports Radio WNML.
"Having the South Carolina loss, coupled with confirmation that Jalen Hurd is leaving the program ... there's been a ton of feedback, a ton of phone calls the entire day," said West.
"It's hard to blame Jalen Hurd, after the beating he's took for a couple of years,” one caller said. “It's sad to see him go, but I hardly can't blame him at all.”
“This right here may be the day known as when it all began to crumble,” another caller said.
"Fans are concerned,” said West. He said many of Monday’s callers were long-time listeners who had never dialed in before.
"I will say most of it's been an overreaction. It’s not been good,” he said. “People aren't just asking questions, they're saying, ‘I think Butch Jones has lost the program, I don't think Butch Jones is the guy, I don't think he's going to get the job done at Tennessee.'"
In his press conference, Coach Jones said many fans are prematurely pushing the panic button.
“Everyone wants to point towards negativity and chaos, and say the sky is falling,” he said. “This football team has done some great things, and we’ll continue to do some great things.”
West agreed many fans’ reactions may be more negative than warranted, but said he understands callers’ frustrations.
“When you see something negative like you saw Saturday against South Carolina, then couple that with one of your top players leaving the program mid-season – which you just do not see in college football – I think people that are passionate are going to have a negative reaction to that," he said.