Kirk Herbstreit believes he has pinpointed one of the problems affecting the Tennessee Volunteers football program.
“They don’t have any discipline,” Herbstreit said on ESPN’s “College Gameday” on Saturday morning.
Herbstreit was referring to last Saturday’s game against Alabama when Tennessee defensive back Rashaan Gaulden threw up two middle fingers toward Alabama fans following the Vols’ only touchdown.
“He does that and you’re thinking with everything that’s been going on at Tennessee, that guy probably will never play again,” Herbstreit said. “Next series the defense is on the field, No. 7 (Gaulden) is back in the lineup playing.
“He should have taken his uniform off, sent him upstairs and said, ‘Go get a popcorn. You’re no longer on the football team.’ And sent a message to the whole team.”
While Herbstreit was likely exaggerating when he presented the idea of removing Gaulden from the team, his point was clear: Tennessee coach Butch Jones doesn’t have control of his team.
That concern combined with the Vols’ 0-4 record in SEC play makes tonight’s game against Kentucky a critical one for Jones.
Jimmy Hyams of WNML reported Friday on the status of Jones heading into the weekend.
Here’s a portion of what Hyams wrote about the potential impact of a loss to Kentucky on Jones’ status as Tennessee’s coach:
If it’s close, maybe he stays.
If it’s not, he’s gone.
That is the consensus from my sources.
I’m not 100 percent convinced Jones gets fired if he loses at Kentucky, but I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes if he does. The majority of fans have already turned on him. I’m not sure about the key boosters or the administration.
One thing is obvious: Jones needs to win at Kentucky to ensure he’s Tennessee’s coach next week when the Vols host Southern Miss.
Click below to listen to what Herbstreit, Rece Davis, Desmond Howard and David Pollack said about Jones and Tennessee.