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Ask Mike - December 2004



Jan. 4, 2005

Mike,
Are you truly committed to having a successful men's basketball program? I am concerned at the direction in which the program is headed at this time. Buzz Peterson is a great man and a wonderful representative of the University of Tennessee, but he is not showing signs of leading our program in the right direction. UT should be able to compete on a yearly basis for an SEC title and an NCAA birth. I hope you give this much attention in the coming months. Thank you
Stephen, Maryville, TN

Mike Hamilton:
Stephen,
Thanks for your e-mail and your concern for the basketball program.

I really want Tennessee's basketball program to continue to move forward. Sunday's loss was disappointing. That being said, it is early in the season, and I believe Coach Peterson and his team can learn from the UTC loss and use those lessons to their benefit as we head into SEC play.

Over the past 13 years, the men's basketball program has not had consistency in management. We believe that Coach Peterson offers that stability, and we are looking forward to great things in the future. Thanks for your support of the Vols!

Go Vols!
Mike


Hi Mike, how are you? Mike we wanted to express our deep concern for the football program's lowered status. That being said I wanted to tell you that for your own sake - dont go promising we will go to the SEC game, and will follow to a bowl game. We wont be able to follow any longer. Dont put yourself out on a limb. Too much has happened since 98. Let the kids fill in for our shoes. Thanks Mike, and God Bless You All.
Ella Thompson, Mt. Carmel TN

Mike Hamilton:
Ella,
Thanks for your e-mail. We are very proud of the accomplishments the football team made this year and are very excited about what the future holds.

Before the season began, media members met in Birmingham, Alabama to prepare for the 2004 season and to vote on not only pre-season honors, but also on whom they felt would win the championship. Of the almost 100 members present, not a single member of the media cast a vote for the University of Tennessee to win the SEC East in 2004. Much of this had to do with the fact that we were, if not the youngest, one of the two or three youngest teams in the SEC with only 13 seniors.

The season has played out with significant contributors Kevin Simon, James Banks, Antwan Stewart, J.T. Mapu and Marvin Mitchell all unavailable on the defensive side of the ball. In addition, there were question marks at several positions and we were replacing a four-year starter, Casey Clausen, at quarterback. This team entered the season with two freshmen quarterbacks being named starters just two short weeks before the opening kickoff. In addition, our offensive line has been a patchwork effort throughout the season as we have had numerous injuries, which has prevented our offensive line from remaining intact as a unit throughout the season. All-America candidate Michael Munoz has been hampered throughout the year with nagging injuries and is now out with a shoulder injury. Brent Schaeffer and Erik Ainge went down to injuries in consecutive weeks. In the second quarter of the Notre Dame alone, we had 12 injuries.

Through it all, the team won the SEC East and on Nov. 27th achieved the best record in the SEC over the last 10 years (1995-2004), with Kentucky being our 100th win in the last 10 seasons.

Thanks for your support of the Vols!

Go Vols!
Mike

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