Discussions over Cuonzo's move continue

Fans are still talking about the news that Cuonzo Martin is trading orange for Blue and Gold. They're debating about how he left and whether this is a good or bad thing for the Vols.

One day later, the discussion is still dominating sports talk radio and even the people answering the calls have differing opinions.

"We have a coach. Blindly root for him. He said he wants to be here on April Fools Day. Blindly root for that guy," said radio host Erik Ainge.

Cuonzo's exit from the Vols has some hosts at Tennessee Sports radio up in arms.

"Boy did he do it with class. He spoke to the team before-- oh wait no he didn't. He didn't speak to the team, that was Dave Hart that had to do that," said Ainge.

"After Bruce Pearl, people weren't going to like him, no matter what he did unless he won 28 out of 30 games and made the Final Four. The next coach I think will get more of a fair shake," said Dave Hooker with Tennessee Sports Radio.

PREVIOUSLY: Cuonzo Martin's abrupt departure takes UT, fans by surprise

INTERACTIVE: Cuonzo Martin departure timeline

Reed Carringer with Tennessee Sports Radio thought he was never given a fair shot.

"Cuonzo Martin won 61 percent of his games and in my lifetime he is the third most successful coach in Tennessee history. So you cannot just go out and find a coach who wins 61 percent of your games at Tennessee and takes you to a Sweet 16," said Carringer.

Hooker agrees, but points out that Cuonzo inherited a number of Pearl's players.

"And let's remember, he was winning with Bruce Pearl's players. For the most part," said Hooker.

UT was on the verge of the tournament. And this split the fans.

"Even then, you could still see the potential for the team to make a run. And that's why I am critical of the fan base," said Carringer.

"Could you really? at that time I thought they were not going to make the NCAA tournament," countered Hooker.

"I thought they were a couple games from falling apart, but that's basketball," said Carringer.

Hooker said there are more to blame than the fans for Cuonzo's move. But that the fans were too hard on Cuonzo throughout the year. He brought up the "Bring Back Bruce Pearl" petition as a step too far.

"Clearly I think there was overreaction to the slump, and I think players have to take blame as well. If they would have responded and played the basketball that Cuonzo wanted them to play, they would have won a lot more games," said Hooker.

Both Carringer and Hooker say this is an abnormal amount of coach searches for a school to go through. They expect the next coach to be an up-and-comer one that comes at a lower price.


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