NIL deals, media access helping popularize Tennessee Vols baseball | Adams

Winning is the primary reason why Tennessee fans are in love with their No. 1-ranked baseball team. The popularity of coach Tony Vitello is another factor.

But player access also has something to do with it. Fans are getting to know the players through media exposure, and public appearances related to name, image, and likeness deals.

Consequently, fans probably are becoming more connected to this UT team as any other they have followed. That helps explain why I received emails in response to last week’s column on outfielder Christian Scott and his father, Bert.

David writes: I was very happy to see that article on Christian Scott. Other articles I read barely mentioned that amazing catch (against Florida). They were all about Christian Moore, and understandably so. But Christian’s catch won the game just as much as Moore’s heroics.

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My response: Defense sometimes gets overlooked amid UT's superb pitching and robust hitting.

Billy writes: That was a very nice article about Christian Scott and his game winning snag.

It was a very tough fought game and even I must admit that i was getting a bit apprehensive as the game progressed and the mighty Vol bats remained silent.

Great perspective from a parent's point of view. It is one thing for your personal achievements, but watching your son and/or daughter do so is on another level.

Very nice of the Friends of BaseVols to donate to the dad yet another memento of their lifelong endeavors with baseball.

My response: Christian’s father was a good athlete himself. Between the phone conversations I had with the two of them, I could appreciate what a huge, positive factor Bert has been in his son’s life and baseball success.

Glenn writes: I was absolutely shocked to find out that the baseball team had only about 11 scholarships to give out. How can that be?

We have a team of about 50 players that thousands show up for every game that we enjoy so much and they only get 11 scholarships? I would really like to find out how many scholarships are given out for each sport such as softball, track, golf, tennis, etc. I sure hope the NIL money will help out some of these athletes because they sure need it.

My response: SEC baseball teams get 11.7 scholarships to divvy up among all the players on their roster. Given how important and popular the sport has become, that’s not enough.

NIL money will be a huge plus. If you are interested in contributing to UT baseball players, check out the website

John writes: Just like in poker, I'm all in for your idea (on an SEC super conference and leaving the NCAA behind).

The CFP committee's hear no, see no and speak no change to the expanded playoff format was like listening to Abbott and Costello's who's on first routine.

What is wrong with preplanning ahead of the TV expiration date instead waiting till it ends? Once again a group of NCAA bozos has shown how myopic and outdated they have become.

My response: Nobody has been on first for too long. Meanwhile, the NCAA’s investigation of Tennessee football drags on at a glacier-like pace.

There are too many things wrong with the current system. Never mind that NCAA president Mark Emmert is on the way out. That won’t solve the problem.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or Follow him at:

This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: NIL, media access adding to popularity of Tennessee Vols baseball

Nate Brown

General Manager

Nate Brown is the General Manager of Zags Collective, leading the charge to help amplify the opportunities for the Gonzaga student-athletes through NIL partnerships with local charities, fans and businesses. With over a decade of experience in the professional sports industry and as a former business owner in Spokane, Nate is a seasoned professional who knows what it takes to succeed. Most recently, he served as the National Sales Director for a prominent west-coast real estate company, where he was responsible for driving growth and retention. With a deep understanding of sales and marketing, Nate brings a wealth of knowledge to the table and is always seeking innovative ways to drive revenue and create partnerships.With a passion for ensuring the success of student-athletes both on and off the field, Nate is dedicated to providing the necessary resources to keep Gonzaga competitive on the national stage. He understands the importance of building and maintaining strong relationships with the community and local businesses, and works to maximize opportunities for Gonzaga’s student-athletes. As the son of two Gonzaga alumni, including a father who was a baseball pitcher and also a coach for the school, Nate has a great connection to the university and a passion for ensuring its continued success. Outside of work, Nate enjoys spending time with family, including his wife Jessica and their 16-year-old daughter Brooklynn and 12-year-old son Marcus. When not working or spending time with family, you can find Nate at any one of the amazing golf courses in Spokane, honing his swing!

Mike Smith

General Manager

Mike Smith joined Micconope 1851 in March 2023 and is excited to be the General Manager and looks forward to working with Blueprint Sports increase NIL revenue generation for Florida State University student-athletes. Smith comes to Micconope 1851 from Catawba College where he held the title as the Senior Director of Athletics, Development. Prior to working in Athletics at Catawba College, Mike served as the Associate Athletics Director for External Relations at Charleston Southern University. Smith has an impressive background in the collegiate athletics industry, having held senior level development and corporate sponsorship sales roles at The University of Southern Mississippi, Limestone University, the Sun Belt Conference, Florida Atlantic University, and with multimedia rights-holders Tele South Communications at the University of Mississippi, Learfield Sports at UNC Chapel Hill, and with International Sports Properties at Georgia Tech. Smith is a graduate of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and holds a master’s degree in Business Management from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In his new role here at Micconppe 1851, Smith will be responsible for raising major gifts for NIL deals as well as securing NIL corporate sponsorships for Florida State University student-athletes. Mike looks forward to helping ensure the FSU student-athletes have the resources and leadership opportunities to remain competitive nationally and positioned for success well beyond graduation. Mike is married to Katy Smith; the couple looks forward to relocating to Tallahassee, Florida, and becoming a part of the Micconope 1851 and Seminole family!

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