Cuonzo Martin took the Cal job today, after an up-and-down three years with Tennessee that saw his job security deteriorate even as he led the Volunteers to a Sweet 16 appearance. His players seem sorry to see him go, but don't sound shocked that he left.
More than 30,000 fans signed a petition calling for Martin's firing, and the re-hiring of Bruce Pearl. AD Dave Hart was noticeably silent when asked to lend Martin public support. There were even reports that upset Tennessee boosters refused to allow their private planes to be used by Martin for recruiting.
Vols players were informed in a meeting this afternoon that Martin had left for the Cal job. (Hart said UT had offered Martin a raise, a two-year, $1.8 million-per-year extension, which still would have put him in the bottom half of SEC coaches.) The reactions of his players who took to social media were unified:
Not even surprised... It was just a matter of time! #RESPECT
— Jeronne Maymon (@JeronneMaymon) April 15, 2014
Can't treat people any kind of way and expect good in return.
— Jordan McRae (@JordyMac52) April 15, 2014
Best of luck to coach at Cal. Did what he had to do
— Josh Richardson (@J_Rich1) April 15, 2014
— Jarnell Stokes (@JarnellStokes) April 15, 2014
But those are just opinions. When it comes to actions, you need only take this tweet from 7'1" center Kingsley Okoroh, who had committed to Tennessee just yesterday.
I announce my commitment to the University of California Berkeley. I'm very excited to be a BEAR !
— Kingsley Okoroh (@Kingokoroh) April 15, 2014