Cuonzo Martin Leaving Vols for California

Sources are reporting Cuonzo Martin has agreed to be the head coach at California. Well it looks like it's back to square one for the Vols basketball program.

Martin coached the Vols basketball program for three seasons, making it to the Sweet 16 in his third. His tenure as head coach of the Vols can be considered up and down. At one point, 36,000 Volunteer fans signed a petition to have Martin fired as head coach of the Vols. It was not until Martin led the Vols to the Sweet 16 this season that Vols fans got on board with the coach.

It's hard to say I blame Martin for taking a job elsewhere. When 36,000 fans want you gone and you don't receive a contract extension it's hard to feel loyal.

[Source: Jeff Goodman/ESPN]


MLB Notes

  • Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado took six at-bats in a simulated game on Saturday. The report was that Machado felt good. This is Machado's first live action since suffering a serious knee injury late last season. Machado is on track to return to the Orioles in early May.
  • The report out of Boston is that ace Jon Lester turned down a four-year extension worth between $70 - $80 million. This could mean Lester intends on testing free-agency after the 2014 season.
  • Oakland removed Jim Johnson from their closer role after early season struggles. This is reminiscent of his struggles last season as the Orioles closer. It looks like Baltimore knew what it was doing by trading Johnson away in the offseason.


DeSean Jackson Makes The Redskins Better

The Washington Redskins landed one of the league's premier playmakers in receiver DeSean Jackson yesterday. Jackson and Washington agreed on a three-year deal worth $24 million, including $16 million guaranteed.

The Redskins didn't have a lot of money to spend, but they were able to get a deal done with a hefty signing bonus.

Jackson makes the Redskins better for sure. He is an explosive player and can run routes both outside and inside. He is a nightmare for defenses. Jackson, along with Pierre Garcon, Andre Roberts and Santana Moss give the Redskins a very good, explosive group of receivers that will almost certainly help Robert Griffin III return to form. That's just the offensive side of the ball. Jackson has proven to be a nightmare for opponents in the return game as well. Yet another upgrade for the burgundy and gold.

An additional point of emphasis is that the Redskins will play division rival Philadelphia two times each season. You know the release did not sit well with Jackson and the fact that Washington has those two guaranteed games against the Eagles had to play a little part in his decision to sign with the Redskins.


Bruce Pearl Hired By Auburn

The Auburn Tigers basketball program made noise before the NCAA Tournament even started by signing former Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl to a six-year deal, worth approximately $15 million.

The deal starts at $2.2 million and Pearl will receive a $100,000 increase each year. If Pearl leaves at somepoint in the next two years, he will owe Auburn $5 million.

Pearl led Tennessee to six straight NCAA Tournament appearances before he was fired in 2011 as a result of a serious NCAA investigation. Pearl remains under a show-cause penalty until August 23, meaning he cannot recruit a player until then.

I am happy Pearl is coaching again, but as a Vols fan I am a little sad by this. Pearl was a great coach and he was great for the University of Tennessee. Unfortunately he made a serious mistake and left UT no choice but to fire him. I'm glad somebody gave Pearl a second chance and I wish him the best. Just not when his Tigers are playing against the Vols.


Vols Face Iowa In NCAA Play-In Game

The No. 11 seeds Tennessee Vols and Iowa Hawkeyes will face off in a NCAA Tournament play-in game Wednesday at 9:10pm ET. The winner will play No. 6 seed UMass on Friday.

A play-in game is probably not what the Vols were looking for when the bracket was announced this evening, but there is a silver lining to this. Both Iowa and UMass are very winnable games for the Vols.

The bad part is the Vols are in a loaded Midwest bracket that includes No. 1 Wichita State, No. 2 Michigan, No. 3 Duke and a ridiculously good No. 4 Louisville.

Let the madness begin.