Vols' Smith academically ineligible, can't play in bowl

Updated: December 30, 2006, 1:22 PM ET
Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tennessee wide receiver Bret Smith has been declared academically ineligible to play in the Outback Bowl on Monday against Penn State.

"After examining further Bret's academic performance this semester, the institution determined that he is not eligible to participate in the bowl game," UT athletics director Mike Hamilton said Saturday.

"The University of Tennessee has strong academic programs, and we want our student-athletes to achieve great things in the classroom as well as on the field."

Head coach Phillip Fulmer said he's disappointed Smith won't play.

"However, our academic processes are important to us all, and we will follow academic procedures and err on the side of caution," Fulmer said.

A senior, Smith had a career-high 39 catches, 453 yards and five touchdowns this season.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press