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Ex-Vol Douglas Signs With Alabama

A little background on this one:

Aaron Douglas was a Tennessee kid.  His father was an NFL offensive lineman who starred for the Vols in the 1980s.  His mother played for Pat Summitt’s Lady Vols.

He was a legacy at Tennessee — not unlike Kent Dorfman at Delta Tau Chi.

But after Douglas signed with Tennessee, Phillip Fulmer was ousted.  Then after becoming a freshman All-American at left tackle, his next coach — Lane Kiffin — left, too.

According to Douglas’ father, his son then battled depression (not leaving his room, staying in bed, etc) and needed a change of scenery.  Much to the family’s chagrin, he asked for a transfer from new UT coach Derek Dooley and hoped to start again somewhere else… somewhere where he wasn’t standing in his parents’ shadows.

Dooley did not take kindly to the fact that Douglas did not give him a fair chance to win him over, so rather than give the player a release with typical no-team-in-the-conference stipulations, the coach informed the family that Douglas would only be given a release if he transferred to a school at least eight hours from Knoxville.

Rather than allow someone he did not recruit and someone who had already been through two coaches to leave, Dooley applied some punitive damages forcing the player and his family to have to travel eight hours.

It is believed Douglas wanted to transfer to North Carolina, but Dooley’s eight-rule mandate drove him elsewhere.  The lineman chose to transfer to Arizona Western of the juco ranks for a year.  Having played out West this past season, Douglas is free to sign wherever he likes.

Fast-forward to yesterday…

And now Douglas has signed to play football at Alabama.

Alabama fans will cheer the fact that Nick Saban has plugged a hole on his line with a former freshman All-American.  Tennessee fans will scream that Douglas is a turncoat and a wretch.

In reality, Dooley asked for this result.

Had Tennessee’s coach simply limited Douglas’ choices to non-SEC schools, the player would probably be at North Carolina waiting to play next season.  If Dooley had narrowed the player’s choices to schools not on UT’s immediate schedule (and UNC was on the Vols’ schedule in 2011 at the time of the Douglas dust-up), he would probably be sitting out his transfer year at Duke right now.

Instead, Dooley played hardball and tried to force Douglas to go eight hours away.  Well, he drove him away alright.  Right to a junior college and now to Alabama.

 


13 comments
Nick
Nick

Douglas left because he wanted to get away from mom and dad. I know a ton of friends i went to school with that are direct friends to douglas and all know the guy has some problems in the head. One he thinks he is a thug. Two he has a weed smoking problem. Three he wants all his little dirty secrets to be as far away from mommy and daddy as possible so he can live the college life of sex, drugs, and rock n roll. The fact is stated above. This is not a rant, this is all facts that are very easy to dig up if you know any of this guys friends. Lets face it, the guy want's to get away from mom and pop so he can get down with his dirty self.

Vol Fan
Vol Fan

REMEMBER, Dooley didn't have to release him at all. Who knows - Dooley may have detected some fishy motivations as to why Douglas wanted to leave and was simply calling his bluff. But Dooley took a very thoughtful approach to each of the players that wanted to transfer, and none of his decisions appeared spiteful or "punitive" at all. I really like MrSEC.com and think the articles are usually spot on, but I think some important facts were left out here. The ironic thing is that if Dooley had simply not let Douglas out of his scholarship, no one would really even be talking about this & could likely understand where Dooley was coming from. Instead, Dooley tried to give him a release in keeping with the reasoning he heard for withdrawing, and he's receiving criticism for it.

Vol Fan
Vol Fan

Actually, Dooley's reasoning was not "punitive" as this article describes. In fact, Dooley gave Douglas exactly what he asked for. Dooley was very open and specific as to why he gave the 8-hour requirement: Douglas informed Dooley that he needed to transfer far away to get away from his parent's shadow, as this article acknowledges. Dooley's reasoning was that, if he really needed to get away, then Dooley would be happy to grant him what he was seeking, and the terms of the release fit that. If you know Dooley by now, you can see him thinking like that given how he appears to be fairly intellectual in his approach to everything.

Guest
Guest

Hope he plays us and takes a beat down. Can we ban his father from our radio broadcasts too?

Guest
Guest

John, Not trying to argue with you...but what the father says might not be what Aaron said to Dooley. We don't know. Dooley could have added the condition just to be a jerk...or he could have done it at Aaron's request to get away from the pressures and influence of the father/family and their UT "legacy". Lets not throw Dooley under the bus...he seems to be rather measured in all he does and I'm sure he had his reasons. Go vols.

guest
guest

Douglas now ranks right up there with Kiffin as the most hated former Vol.

matt
matt

I hope Douglas never plays another down in his life

JMR
JMR

Well Matt, you got your wish, Aaron Douglas was found dead in Jacksonville. RIP AD.

John
John

Guest,

Douglas' father has made it clear that the family was not happy about the 8-hour rule.

John

Guest
Guest

Ever think that maybe Douglas needed to get away from his family and they were contributing to his issues? Speculating as to why Dooley put that requirment in there is worthless. For all you know, Douglas asked Dooley for that. Fact is, we don't know. But what we do know, is Douglas can now expect to be a target when Bama plays the Vols the next few years.

sec_fan
sec_fan

Dooley said he did it because that is how far away he went (Virginia). I do not believe it was at Douglas's request or he would have went to USC, or some other school 8 hours away. He would not have went to JR college and transferred closer to home. He originally actually wanted to go to North Carolina. Dooley did it to show his authority. Look at how he has dealt with other transfer requests.

sec_fan
sec_fan

When Dooley put the 8 hour stipulation on him my first thought was, I would go to JR college and transfer to Alabama. Apparently he had the same Idea. I know you can't just let everybody go, but considering the circumstances and the family relationship with the program he probably should have give him the release.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] News 10/17/10 EX-VOL DOUGLAS SIGNS WITH ALABAMA Freshmen All American,UT's loss, our gain! Homepage | MrSEC.com Reply With Quote + Reply to Thread « Previous Thread | Next [...]

  2. [...] for USC and Derek Dooley took over the program. Douglas, a Phillip Fulmer recruit in 2008, later admitted to battling depression during the coaching change between Kiffin and [...]



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