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Anchor Drop, July 8, 2020: The Curious Athletic Communications Bombshell

By the way, has barely been updated in a week.

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Vanderbilt Commodores Photo by Vanderbilt/Collegiate Images via Getty Images

Good morning.

I’m not even bothering with the countdown today, because however many days it is probably isn’t the actual number of days until the season starts. (Okay, it’s 59. Hi, long snapper Scott Meyer.)

Optional Musical Accompaniment

So, let’s get this out of the way from the start: This is bush league.

Vanderbilt sent emails Monday to athletics communications department employees stating the department was being absorbed by the university and that some key positions were eliminated.

Okay, I get that we can’t really do in-person meetings right now, but this seems like at least a Zoom meeting kind of thing. (Note that it appears that Vanderbilt left the “Director” level positions alone, though this also seems to explain Larry Leathers’ departure a couple of weeks ago.) But in a recent spate of bad news, Vanderbilt didn’t exactly need to add a self-inflicted wound to the mix. (By the way, has run one article since June 30, that being an article announcing the elevation of Aleke Tsoubanos to head coach of the women’s tennis team.)

Oh, right! That recent spate of bad news!

Hardnett included correspondence she allegedly sent to Commodores head football coach Derek Mason, who, according to Hardnett, did not respond. It should be noted that Commodore Country could not confirm that Mason did receive this email.

In the series of nine tweets, Hardnett called on Vanderbilt to “FIRE @coachderekmason” saying, “He actively protects predatory and refuses to be part of the solutions. I tried to meet with him several times, but he ignored me. He is not interested in change.”

Vanderbilt might consider having an athletic communications team to help with the response to this.

And finally, I normally just Google “Vanderbilt” to find articles that may be of interest, and today that turned up this Where Are They Now? on former assistant basketball coach Yanni Hufnagel, and, well...

Hufnagel’s own beverage brand is an easy place to start — a USDA-certified lemon water drink made from cold-pressed California lemons and provides antioxidants, electrolytes, and flavor with zero added sugar and just five calories per bottle. Hufnagel conceived of the drink because he was looking for an alternative to sugary sports drinks packed with colorings and artificial ingredients. He’d learned first-hand about the benefits of lemon water for health and hydration (as had numerous athletes and celebrities, including Tom Brady, Beyoncé, and Jennifer Aniston), but he wanted a drink he didn’t have to squeeze by hand every morning.

Well, that’s something.

Actual Sports on TV

Well, the SEC Network is replaying last year’s football game at South Carolina at 11 AM CT, though I legitimately have no idea why you would want to watch this except perhaps for Deuce Wallace-themed nostalgia. (That’s followed by Mississippi State-Arkansas at 2 PM, so you can watch six consecutive hours of bad football.)

Anyway, there are some Serie A games on the ESPN networks (schedule here), Man City v. Newcastle United (11:55 AM CT, NBC Sports), Brighton & Hove Albion v. Liverpool (2:10 PM CT, NBC Sports), and finally, the first match of the MLS restart: Orlando City v. Inter Miami (7:00 PM CT, ESPN.)