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Arizona State AD Ray Anderson Rips Tennessee, Phil Fulmer

Arizona State's mascot interacting with fans at a football game.

TEMPE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 10: Sparky, the mascot of the Arizona State Sun Devils, cheers the crowd on during the first half of the game against the LSU Tigers at Sun Devil Stadium on September 10, 2005 in Tempe, Arizona. LSU defeated ASU 35-31. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

Ray Anderson, who spearheaded a very questionable Arizona State hire, blasted Tennessee's chaotic hiring process, and new Vols athletic director Phil Fulmer.

Ray Anderson fired Todd Graham after a 7-6 season and a win over Arizona in the Territorial Cup, and replaced him with former NFL head coach Herm Edwards, who has not been a head coach since 2008, and never at the college level. The hire seems questionable at best, and Arizona State finds itself at or near the bottom of most "coaching hire grade" articles. Those obviously don't mean much, but this is far from a slam dunk on paper.

However, far less attention was paid to what Arizona State did than the craziness at Tennessee. The Volunteers went through name after name, at one point offering Greg Schiano the job before backing out of the agreement due to outcry from fans, boosters, and even local lawmakers. Athletic director John Currie lost his job over it, and was replaced by former Vols coach Phil Fulmer in what appeared to be a coup.

Anderson spoke to CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd, and brought up the Tennessee situation, calling Fulmer a "pariah," which is understandable considering the notion that he pushed another AD out of a job.

"The athletic department there is perceived there as a cluster," Sun Devils athletic director Ray Anderson said. "Their athletic director, now Phil Fulmer, in the athletic director's world is a pariah. It is not a good situation."

When discussing his own hire, however, Anderson acknowledged that it was not business as usual, and that is what he intended. Basically, he believes he needs to break the wheel, as it were, to elevate Arizona State from occasional Pac-12 South contention to national championship level.

"The local reaction -- was the consensus opinion that I made a good decision? Absolutely not," Anderson said. "Was it nationally? No."


"It scares a lot of folks," he said. "A lot of folks really believe if we just stay with it another 30 years we'll win a championship. This isn't a traditional world."

If this works out, Anderson will certainly look like a visionary, but even after the turmoil at Tennessee, many will probably call the Vols' eventual hire of Jeremy Pruitt the wiser move, even if it follows standard coaching hire conventions.

[CBS Sports]