Tennessee Volunteers football staff said goodbye this morning to Derek Dooley, their loyal coach of nearly three years, before he was driven to a medical facility and put down in humane fashion. Dooley had suffered a hip injury and recently underwent surgery.
"You never want to have to make this decision," said athletic director Dave Hart. "But it's for the best. Keeping Dooley became just too much of a hassle. We were spending a fortune on all of his bills."
Hart chafed at those who said that euthanizing a struggling football coach as though he is a dog is barbarous.
"That is a ludicrous assertion," he said. "This is Tennessee. Our mascot is a dog. A live bluetick coonhound. We gave Dooley all of the support we would give a dog. I promise you that."
With Dooley gone and buried under a rock out in the woods, Tennessee will soon begin looking for a replacement.
"Oh, yeah, we definitely want to get another one," said Hart. "Not a Dooley. We kind of found out we don't care for that breed. Maybe a Petrino? We'd have to get it fixed, of course. But I could definitely see us getting a Petrino."