Fedora Coaching Rumors

The Tennessee coaching search, which has spanned sixteen days, has now turned its attention to UNC coach Larry Fedora. Keep up with the latest updates here.

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11 Total Updates since December 4, 2012
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UNC Recruit: Fedora Told Me He's Staying

Inside Carolina spoke with UNC commit Jordan Fieulleteau who stated he had spoken to Larry Fedora and the rumors concerning Tennessee's interest in the Tar Heel head coach were not true.

“I asked him about the Tennessee situation, because I wanted to make sure it was all rumors because he’s the coach of the school I committed to,” Fieulleteau said. “He said ‘Yeah, it’s all rumors. Don’t believe it.’ He said he didn’t even know how the rumors got started. He was just saying I don’t have anything to worry about, because he’s staying at UNC.

“I talked to him on Saturday, too, because I was there for the state championship game. He said he wasn’t going anywhere [and] he plans on ending his career at UNC.”

As with everything that has come out in the last 48 hours, take it for what it is worth. Especially given the two times coaches are probably the least honest is when they are talking to recruits or involved in a coaching search. Here we have both happening at the same time so I would take this with a grain of salt. The one caveat is this sort of thing could create nasty backlash since the same recruit also told Andrew Carter:

He's a man of his word. You can’t just talk to a kid ... and then go back on your word. I’m 100 percent confident

If Fedora were to renege on this there would be a serious price to pay in terms of his reputation. Is that enough of a caveat to believe Fedora was truthful with Fieulleteau? Maybe, maybe not. And while a formal denial would not end all speculation(see the above provision about coaching searches and the truth) it would calm the waters a bit.


Bubba Cunningham Releases Statement

UNC athletic director has released a statement to address the rumors surrounding coach Larry Fedora.

This time each year there are a number of coaching vacancies in college football and yesterday several rumors included speculation about our own football coach Larry Fedora. Neither Coach Fedora nor I are going to address rumors about individual jobs that are bound to happen each year.

It's been my policy since I have been a director of athletics not to comment or engage in discussions regarding a coach's job until such time that there is a change in a coach's employment status. Speculation about the future employment status of a head coach can be detrimental to an athletic program.
I frequently communicate with our head coaches about what they need to be successful at North Carolina.

Whether a coach is highly successful or under inordinate pressure it has been my policy to keep those conversations confidential and I will continue my policy to not engage in any public discussion or speculation regarding employment. We work together to provide the best opportunities for our coaches and student-athletes.

So UNC's stance is commenting on rumors is detrimental to the athletic program which might make sense if those same rumors weren't complicating things on the recruiting front. That makes this statement from Cunningham more or less an attempt to calm the fan base regardless of the fact it doesn't really address the issue at hand.

Which leads to a couple of logical conclusions. The first is, UNC cannot deny the rumors because they are either true or simply cannot be refuted. Secondly, Fedora is interested in the Tennessee job, wants to see how it will play out and refuses to put himself in a PR death trap by issuing a denial he may have to renege on. Granted that comes with a price but it seems to be one he's willing to pay.


SB Nation: Fedora Interviews with Tennessee

According to our own SB Nation's Steven Godfrey, Larry Fedora interviewed with Tennessee on Tuesday evening.

North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora is a serious candidate to become the next head coach at the University of Tennessee, as multiple sources have confirmed the first-year Tar Heels head coach interviewed with the Volunteers in New York City late Tuesday.

Assuming this is true and based on what else has gone on with this search, this probably represents a foray beyond Fedora simply doing it for experience. Meanwhile ESPN has reported that Louisville's Charlie Strong tops Tennessee's list so it will be interesting to see what Fedora is doing fits with that news. It could signal that Strong is out of the picture and the focus of the search is on Fedora. Whatever the case, having your head coach interview for an SEC job after only one season creates a situation Bubba Cunningham could certainly do without.


Report: Fedora Has Not Interviewed with UT

Jimmy Hyams is a radio host in Knoxville who was interviewed by Mark Thomas & Mike Maniscalco this morning on 620 the Buzz. During that interview Hyams said he thought the UT search would come down to either Charlie Strong or Larry Fedora. This is not a repudiation of that assertion but does call into doubt reports from earlier in the day that Fedora was in contact with Tennessee.


ACC Now: No Contact Between UNC and Tennessee

ACC Now is reporting that according to a source at UNC, Tennessee has not contacted the university asking for permission to speak with Fedora.

Amid speculation that North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora would interview today for the head coaching vacancy at Tennessee, a source close to the UNC athletic department said there has been no contact between Tennessee and UNC about Fedora, and that neither Tennessee, nor any entity representing it, has requested permission to interview Fedora.

Permission wouldn’t be necessary to interview a candidate, but it is seen as a courtesy in the coaching profession.

Read more here:

In this day and age, schools may or may not seek permission and in fact a lot of informal back channel chatter goes on before a formal interview happens. Whether or not UNC and Tennessee have been in contact with each other over Fedora is over little consequence.

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