UT fans say changes show university is listening - WSMV News 4

UT fans say changes show university is listening

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After a tumultuous week, it’s apparent University of Tennessee fans have more to say than most.

On Friday, newly appointed athletic director Phillip Fulmer and university Chancellor Beverly Davenport made numerous pleas to fans about unity.

From social media to the wrestling ring to the basketball bleachers, fans did not fight the urge to say exactly how they felt about UT sports.

“I had feeling if (John) Currie didn't make something happen he wasn't going to last,” said Jason Buchanan, a UT fan.

Buchanan said he saw it coming. He sports orange ever Saturday without fail, but lately he said it hasn't felt right.

“The energy is not there. The energy has not been there,” Buchanan said.

Since fans couldn’t get fired up for the games, they got fired up on social media.

After reports on Sunday that Greg Schiano would be named UT’s next football coach, fans began tweeting the hashtag #SchiaNO. They then called for the firing of athletic director John Currie with the hashtag #FireCurrie.

“There is no way Tennessee's administration was not reading what was being said. There is no way. They had to understand this is what our fan base was thinking and deserves,” Buchanan said.

At Friday’s press conference introducing Fulmer as the new athletic director, there were several mentions of the fans.

“These great fans deserve great teams that make them proud,” Fulmer said.

“I have heard from so many of the Vol Nation and I appreciate what they have to say. They love this university,” Davenport said.

Mike Stowell, who called Fulmer coach nearly 30 years ago, said no one understand that love and loyalty more.

“Coach Fulmer gets that. He understands what the University of Tennessee means to so many people because he lived there his whole life,” Stowell said.

Fans are hopeful the change of athletic director will make the open coaching position more appealing.

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