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Derek Dooley And Tennessee Win A Transfer Battle For A Change

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↵Derek Dooley's tenure as Tennessee's head coach got off to a weird, unpleasant start when he demanded that transferring offensive lineman Aaron Douglas go to a school at least eight hours away. A bit of press conference mumbling did not dispel the impression that the whole thing was a fit of pique unfit for a head coach, or at least a head coach who hasn't won two national championships already. ↵

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↵If the Dooley era doesn't go well there will be a ton of Tennessee fans who say the Douglas transfer was the first sign that the Tennessee athletic director doesn't even vet coaches as long as they have a last name he recognizes. Another couple of key guys also went out the door when Dooley came in, leaving Tennessee even shorter than they'd otherwise be. ↵

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↵If the Dooley era does go well, though, this is going to be the first indication Dooley is a Machiavellian genius: ↵

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↵⇥Weeks ago, Vols faxed over a list of every JR & SR on USCs roster to the Trojans' compliance office to alert them of their recruiting plan. ↵⇥

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↵The relevant NCAA bylaws allow teams to get in touch with any USC junior or senior without getting permission, and allow those players to move without penalty. Tennessee took the opportunity to the fullest extent possible, if only to be annoying. ↵

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↵That, in and of itself, is a brilliant exercise in ingratiating yourself to your new fanbase—something Lane Kiffin never even attempted, let alone mastered. But it actually worked! ↵

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↵⇥Malik Jackson, a defensive end who played as a reserve in every game for USC last season, is transferring to Tennessee. ↵⇥

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↵Jackson saw immediate playing time on the Trojan's stacked defensive line and, playing as a true sophomore, racked up three and a half sacks as a reserve. He was a four star recruit just outside the analyst's top 100 lists and projects as a potential starter. that's a knock against USC's team both this year, when he won't be available, and next, when USC still won't be able to replace him. Tennessee also gets a potentially useful player in a year when it looks like they're going to need every body they can find. ↵

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↵Even more damaging for USC is that they've just released Seantrel Henderson from his LOI. Given the NCAA's 15 scholarship limit on USC's classes for the next three years, every player lost  from this freshman class won't be replaced for three years. ↵

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↵Jackson's only marginally more likely to play in a bowl this year than his former USC teammates, but none of that matters for Vols fans looking to get one over on Kiffin. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.