Banks hopes to play at another school this fall

Updated: May 24, 2005, 12:38 PM ET
Associated Press

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Receiver James Banks won't play again for Tennessee.

Banks was dismissed from the team in December, but recently contacted coach Phillip Fulmer to ask for another chance. Fulmer and athletic director Mike Hamilton had no intention of reinstating Banks.

"We wish him luck. We wish him success. Sorry it didn't work out here, but he's obviously not going to be returning to Tennessee," Hamilton said Tuesday.

Fulmer told Banks when they first talked it was unlikely he would be allowed to return.

"He wanted to talk to Mike or the president. I told him I didn't think it would do any good, but he was welcome to that," Fulmer said Tuesday.

Banks led the Volunteers in receiving in 2003. He was suspended several times last year for a variety of problems, including being cited for underage drinking and violating the city noise ordinance. Both charges eventually were dropped.

Banks then hurt his knee and had surgery. He said later he was smoking marijuana and deliberately submitted a diluted drug test sample before being dismissed from the team.

Banks enrolled this spring at Division III Franklin College just south of Indianapolis to improve his grades. He hopes to play football again at another school this fall.

Banks is among 11 Tennessee football players who have been arrested or cited by police since February 2004. Five of them, including Banks, eventually left the team due to dismissal, transfer or graduation.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press