Tennessee suspends top receiver, likely for season
Add one more name to the star-studded list of SEC standouts sidelined by off-field issues: Tennessee wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers. Rogers, a first-team All-Southeastern...
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Add one more name to the star-studded list of SEC standouts sidelined by off-field issues: Tennessee wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers.
Rogers, a first-team All-Southeastern Conference receiver last year, was suspended indefinitely Thursday for a violation of team rules. Tennessee coach Derek Dooley said he doesn't expect Rogers to rejoin the team this season, though he didn't completely rule out the possibility.
"When you get into the coaching profession, you quickly learn that probably the No. 1 professional hazard is the behavior of 18- to 22-year-olds," Dooley said. "I can assure you guys this, that there's not one player, there's not really one member in the whole organization that we're not prepared to go play without."
Rogers, who had 67 catches for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns last season, is the latest high-profile SEC player to run into trouble.
Tyrann Mathieu, a Heisman Trophy finalist last season, was kicked off Louisiana State's team this month. Georgia dismissed running back Isaiah Crowell in June after his arrest on weapons charges. Former Auburn running back Michael Dyer transferred to Arkansas State after getting suspended indefinitely before last season's Chick-fil-A Bowl for a violation of team rules, then he was kicked off his new team in July.
Dooley wouldn't say what would it take for Rogers to rejoin the Volunteers this season.
"I don't want to get into specifics on that," Dooley said. "I think the assumption is he's not with us, and it's very unlikely he will be."
Tennessee was counting on the combination of quarterback Tyler Bray and receivers Justin Hunter and Rogers to form one of the SEC's most dynamic passing attacks. The Volunteers are attempting to bounce back from consecutive losing seasons. In a 45-23 victory last September over a Cincinnati team that finished 10-3, Hunter and Rogers became the first receivers in school history to catch 10 passes each in the same game.
Hunter tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee against Florida the next week, Bray later missed five games with a fractured right thumb and Tennessee went on to finish 5-7. Now the Vols again must deal with adversity again a week before their season opener against North Carolina State at the Georgia Dome.
Mathieu's father: Tyrann out
Tyrann Mathieu's father said the former LSU star will not play football this season.
Tyrone Mathieu told ESPN his son is focused on working out his personal problems with former NBA coach and player John Lucas at the Right Step recovery center in Houston. Lucas battled drug and alcohol problems and now counsels others.
Tyrone Mathieu told ESPN: "Tyrann is working on discipline, maturity and character. He's making life adjustments."
Tyrann Mathieu was kicked off the team at LSU two weeks ago, reportedly for failed drug tests.
• Ball State linebacker Jonathan Newsome was suspended for the first two games of the season for violating team rules. The Muncie Star Press reported Newsome was arrested Monday after a bag containing marijuana was found in his wallet.
• Michigan offensive lineman Chris Bryant will miss the season because of a fractured leg, and linebacker Kaleb Ringer will redshirt after knee surgery.
• Ohio State linebacker Storm Klein, kicked off the team when he was charged with domestic violence, has been reinstated by coach Urban Meyer after pleading guilty to a lesser charge earlier this week. Klein will not be allowed to play until at least the third game of the season.
• Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said sophomore Everett Golson will start at quarterback in the opener Sept. 1 against Navy in Dublin.
• David Fales will start at quarterback for San Jose State in the season opener at No. 21 Stanford on Aug. 31.
• Mississippi State said it is working with the NCAA because of a "potential recruiting irregularity" in the football program.