Posted by Tom Fornelli
Former Tennessee quarterback Heath Shuler is currently a North Carolina congressman, but earlier this week a radio host in Knoxville, Tony Basilio, reported that Shuler was interested in the open athletic director's spot at his alma mater.
Shuler addressed the report Thursday during a visit to a local Boys and Girls Club for breakfast in Union City, Tenn.
“Right now I’m focused on the job at hand and the issues that our nation is facing,” Shuler told The (Union City) Messenger. “It’s very flattering that my name has been mentioned, but today I’m focused on talking to these kids.
“My blood runs orange. There is a family atmosphere at the university that is special. It’s something that you don’t see at a lot of other places. I’ll always be a part of the UT family, and that’s something the good Lord has blessed me with.”
This is the part where Tennessee fans and alumni in favor of Shuler taking the job will point out that "he didn't say he doesn't want the job!" Still, what will matter more than whether Shuler has legitimate interest in the gig is whether Tennessee is interested in Shuler.
While Shuler may have attended Tennessee and played football there, that doesn't change the fact he has no experience as an athletic director. Given the current situation in Knoxville with the NCAA snooping around both the football and basketball programs, the school will likely be more inclined to hire somebody who has a lot of experience running an athletic department.
Something that Shuler's former coach Phil Fulmer seemed to understand when he expressed his interest in the job but also acknowledged that he wasn't likely to get it.