Why Derek Dooley's Hot Seat Only Warms Up When His Momma Comes to the Rescue

Randy ChambersAnalyst IOctober 6, 2011

COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 30:  Head coach Derek Dooley of the Tennessee Volunteers watches on against the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 30, 2010 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Moms are supposed to teach their young how to behave and protect them from anything that might harm them. But at some point, the mother needs to cut the umbilical cord or let the child learn how to spread his wings and fly on his own.

Apparently, Barbara Dooley didn't get the memo.

In case you're wondering who Barbara Dooley is, she is the wife of legendary coach Vince Dooley. She is also the mother of Tennessee Volunteers head coach Derek Dooley. She ran in the Republican Party primary for the U.S. House in 2002 and has her own radio talk show.

You would think since she has her own talk show, she would understand a little bit on how the media works. But when she heard a few Knoxville writers talking about her "baby," she felt the need to go to go and defend her child who is 43 years old.

“Let me say this,’’ Barbara Dooley said once she arrived to a Georgia radio station. “Derek Dooley walked into kind of a mess. Florida (coach Will Muschamp) walks into talent just oozing out of their ears. Jimbo Fisher walks into FSU with talent. And y’all are telling me that Derek Dooley is on the damn hot seat? Are you crazy?"

That's very sweet of her to do that, but in no way does it help the situation her son is in.

We can all agree that Dooley is in a tough situation, and it's really not his fault. There were a ton of scholarship players that left when Lane Kiffin decided to leave. His team is extremely young and inexperienced, and he is stuck in the middle of the toughest conference in college football.

Anybody with a average football IQ can understand this, so we don't need mama Dooley to point it out for us.

The writer who fired up Mrs. Dooley is News Sentinel writer Andrew Gribble, and these were his comments that fired her up.

"It's still at a point where it's still early where Derek Dooley is still, in my opinion, playing with house money at this point in terms of whether or not he's going to be in the Mark Richt boat of being on the hot seat if he doesn't deliver these big wins. I think Tennessee fans are kind of understanding where it stands right now. The majority of this roster right now is underclassmen.''

It seems like somebody took his words out of context and tried to be a little too protective of her son.

Since then, Gribble has clarified what he meant by the words "hot seat."

"Looking back on this, I've learned one lesson. I'm never going to use the phrase 'hot seat' when discussing Dooley, even when I'm defending the notion that he's not on it. There are certain buzz words and phrases that trigger people's emotions, and that's obviously one of them."

He is correct: Nobody likes to hear that a coach they like is on the verge of being fired, especially when it's your own son. But you don't see other coaches' mommies come out and defend them.

It seems like this was all a misunderstanding, and whether Derek Dooley is or isn't on the hot seat, it definitely didn't help his case.