Tennessee bits ’n pieces

Marvin Westwestwords


John Currie has approved the fourth weekend of September for the 50th reunion of the 1967 Tennessee football team. Current Vols will be playing UMass which means there will be space available for old fans who want to see the shadows of Volunteers as they once were.

There will be a golf outing and a Friday dinner. The athletics director may or may not be studying my suggestion to save money and build goodwill by making the evening meal a fan event.


Because Kendrell Scurry of Independence High in Thompson Station is the real deal as wide receivers go, UT coaches worked hard to secure a pledge of allegiance. The man-child committed last July, before his sophomore season, to sign with UT at the proper time, in 2019.

He said he had talked with his mom and they didn’t see any reason to wait since he had found the right school.

This sounds shallow but it gets deep. He had been an Oregon fan because of the Ducks’ colorful uniforms but his mother was a “huge” Tennessee fan and he converted.

This spring Kendrell gave more thought to his future. He reopened the recruiting process, inviting other schools to show an interest so he could eventually take official visits at their expense. He de-committed from Tennessee. He still likes the Vols. He may eventually become one. For the next year or two, he will be pondering the meaning of it all, including life.

UT coaches can continue sales talks, wring their hands or just wait.


Gus Manning, genuine Volunteer legend, is not as nimble as he once was. He is almost 94 and in his third month of rehab from a downer, which means a helping hand and a walker are necessary props.

He is stationed at Room 403, Wellpark of Shannondale, 7512 Middlebrook Pike, Knoxville 37909. OK to send a note or get-well card.

Gus arrived at UT in 1946 and never left. Robert Neyland hired him as a publicist in 1951. He provided me information and arranged my first flight, on the team plane, to cover a 1953 football game, when I was sports editor of the campus newspaper.

Gus became more and more involved because he got things done. Neyland once sent a two-page memo outlining a few duties and responsibilities: Public relations, faculty advisor liaison, ticket sales, security, purchasing, receiving and accounting for athletics.

Stadium concessions, sports broadcasts, game-day traffic and parking, ushers, band and cheerleaders, visiting locker room, printed programs, public address system and scoreboard, halftime festivities, stadium cleanup, Sunday TV programs during football season.

Team travel, stadium dining facility, speakers for civic clubs and high school banquets, maintenance of football practice fields, track, baseball field and tennis courts.

Gus smiled at the postscript: “Accept and carry out any extra duties assigned by the Athletic Director as he sees fit.”

There might have been more if the General had not run out of space on the second page.


Rick Barnes and his basketball team will have 10 practice sessions to prepare for a summer trip to Europe – for bonding, educational experiences, sight-seeing and exhibition games.

The coach said the tour will start in Barcelona and end in Paris. The last stop will allow the group to meet Yves Pons’ parents.

Pons, 6-6 wing, is the top recruit of Barnes’ lifetime at UT.

By the time trip details are approved, it may be late for fans to find the several thousand dollars to go along. Most schools skim fan funds to help pay player costs. UT, on occasion, does not fit the identity of “most schools.”


This is not high on my Fathers’ Day wish list but Tennessee Cologne for Men is still available, 1.7 ounces, $39 and change some places but less at Walmart and eBay.

Be advised that this product “characterizes the courage and tenacity of the Volunteers.”

It opens with an enticing blend of crisp ozone, sliced ginger and vibrant cassis. It is energetic and fierce. It sends off a hint of basil, French lavender and water hyacinth – and maybe juniper, blue cypress and even musk.

It is said to be bold and vigorous, good for livening the sprit and transcending the senses.

How about that!

Marvin West invites reader response. His address is marvinwest75@gmail.com



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