Posted on November 27, 2010, this is our 2nd part to the Smokey saga…
Seems like nonsense is constantly flowing around here and from the University of Tennessee. The list of nonsensical events that have occurred at UT in the past 24 months is endless. The NCAA is fully aware of the corrupt lifestyle that is being encouraged at UT, that is why they are conducting a full scale investigation into the UT football, basketball, and baseball programs as we speak. I have never spoken or typed these words in my life, but, good luck NCAA!
Wednesday, I promised you a follow up and update to my previous Pregame Nonsense post concerning Tennessee. In my previous post, I alerted TGR nation to the on-going issue with Tennessee’s living mascot, Smokey. I filled you in on Smokey’s battle with crack cocaine and the university’s continuing attempt to sweep the entire situation under the rug. Unfortunately, the lovable blue tick hound’s personal war with illegal drugs continues. After my last post, a group of UK alumni from the Knoxville area attempted to reach out to Smokey. They all let Smokey know that they would put aside their differing views on college athletics for a while in order to help him recuperate. Smokey agreed to give in to their help, but only if they never wore their Jody Meeks ‘Witness’ t-shirts around him. They agreed, but only if Smokey pushed stop on the stereo constantly playing Rocky Top in his dog house, he agreed.
Since Smokey is only a few years old, the UK alums thought it might be easier and better for Smokey if they had a couple of young people come in to talk to him. The Kentucky fans called around the country to find several of the most influential high school students enrolled in the DARE role model program.
If you are not familiar with DARE, it is a federally funded program that attempts to help young people resist the temptation of drug and alcohol use. The DARE role models are chosen from those high school students who are seen as leaders and good role models for younger kids. The DARE role models go to elementary and middle schools preaching the good word of the fight against drugs. I was not a DARE role model in high school; I probably should have been one of the kids they were attempting to change. The Kentuckians thought that Smokey would benefit by speaking to this super group of DARE role models though and locked down around 3 of the best and brightest to meet with Smokey in Knoxville.
The 3 role models were 3 young men the group had tracked down from across the country. The date in which they were scheduled to meet with UT’s mascot was fast approaching when word of the teens trip to Knoxville was leaked by a UT booster. Panic ensued in the UT athletic department when the mere thought of more negative publicity for UT athletics was mentioned. The UT brain trust (yes, there is such thing) devised a plan to side track the young men sent to help Smokey with his crack problem.
With very little research, UT officials learned that the 3 young men on their way to Knoxville to care for their blue tick hound happened to be great high school basketball players. When the high school juniors arrived in Knoxville they were met first by UT administrators and not the UK fans they had come to see. A strategically placed flight attendant pulled a bait and switch in baggage claim which allowed this to happen. Never let anyone tell you UT fans are not crafty with the intelligence they do have. The young men were easily distracted from their original plan when they were greeted by Tennessee head basketball coach, Bruce Pearl, in a waiting limousine.
After the boys were enticed into the limo with Capri Sun’s and Little Debbie oatmeal cookies, Pearl informed the boys that he was interested in them playing basketball for the Vols. He told the boys that he wanted them to see campus, but he would like them to come to his house for a cookout first. Pearl knew having the high school juniors to his home was an NCAA violation, but he was willing to fall on the sword for his employer. Bruce knew that the ruckus that would be caused by the media finding out Smokey was addicted to crack cocaine would be to much for anyone at Tennessee to survive. In short, Pearl was going to take the fall for those who had continuously ignored the drug problem they knew their lovely mascot had.
In the end, Pearl had the boys to his home, and later it was discovered to be a violation by the NCAA. Pearl originally denied the home visit, but later admitted he had lied to them. Can you imagine? All of this to protect and ignore a drug problem a poor defenseless hound dog was suffering from? The UK alums that attempted to help Smokey never heard from the boys sent to help.
The general feeling is that they were paid off, but who knows. The bottom line is that there is still a blue tick hound in Knoxville with a serious problem. The last TGR heard, Smokey had started an illegal puppy mill in the Knoxville slums and was selling his offspring to China for food and puppy prostitution.
I am begging you Tennessee, please help Smokey help himself! C! A! T! S!