Volunteers dismiss one player, suspend another
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- A Tennessee freshman charged with drunken driving on campus was dismissed from the football team Wednesday, and another player arrested Sunday was suspended, coach Phillip Fulmer announced.
Lee Smith, a tight end, was arrested early Wednesday morning after a campus police officer saw him driving on the sidewalk. Smith had been attending summer school before beginning his first year on the team. Smith's father, Daryle Smith, was an offensive lineman at Tennessee and played in the NFL.
"I have made the decision that he be dismissed from the football team. I have great respect for the Smith family and for Daryle as a former Volunteer. It is my sincere hope that this will be an opportunity for Lee to mature and get his life in order," Fulmer said.
The Volunteers, coming off a disastrous 5-6 season, begin practice Friday.
Redshirt freshman Marsalous Johnson was arrested Sunday in Putnam County after an off-duty sheriff's deputy reported that Johnson waved what appeared to be a gun at him while driving along Interstate 40. A toy gun was found in the car and Johnson was charged with aggravated assault.
"Marsalous and Lee have embarrassed this great university and not presented themselves in a manner that appropriately represents our program. I have demanded accountability from our players and the team, and these two players have not followed instructions," Fulmer said in a statement.
Johnson will miss the first four games of the season. Fulmer is requiring him to move back into a dormitory on campus, leave his car at his home and complete 50 hours of community service. Johnson will be considered a member of the scout team.
"Any reinstatement of Marsalous depends on his attitude and demonstration of accountability," Fulmer said.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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