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UT Tight End Arrested For Stealing… From A Fellow Athlete

For the past couple of weeks, the University of Tennessee athletic department has been denying reports from WVLZ-AM and nixing questions asked by WNML-AM/FM in Knoxville regarding Volunteer tight end Cameron Clear.  Word had leaked out that Clear had been caught stealing property from his teammates and other athletes.  A UT spokesperson even told at least one reporter that Derek Dooley was quite unhappy that such claims would ever be made in public.

Well, fast forward to yesterday when Clear was indeed arrested on a felony theft charge.  The Knoxville News Sentinel reports the sophomore was still in jail this morning needing $2,500 bond to get out.  (Charged with theft of more than $1,000, too bad he couldn’t barter his way out.)

Clear was caught by police after using the stolen Mac laptop of Tennessee baseball player Brandon Zajac.  There have been reports that Vol football players have found Clear in possession of their belongings, too.

The same UT spokesman who’d been denying that Clear had stolen anything from his teammates had this to say yesterday: “We are aware of an incident involving Cameron and are in the process of gathering the facts.”

Clear caught only one pass last year but he was a 4-star signee in Tennessee’s class of 2011.

Dooley was in Atlanta last night speaking to a Vol booster club.

The news on Clear certainly shines new light on Dooley’s decision to sign 4-star defensive back Deion Bonner this past February.  Bonner, you might recall, was one of three recruits arrested during a 2010 recruiting trip in Athens for stealing iPods and iPhones out of Georgia’s locker room.

After signing Bonner, Dooley told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

 

“We do a lot of diligence when we recruit, and we certainly recognize that there are no perfect players and we all make mistakes as young people…

“He kept a great attitude and a great outlook, and I saw someone who made a bad mistake and appears willing to learn from it and to let it make him a better person. So we were willing to take a chance on Deion. Part of character is not saying ‘I only want perfect people.’ We’re all flawed and we all make mistakes. The question is: Do you have the character to learn from it and get it right?”

 

Readers of this site know that yours truly is big on second and third and fourth chances (in life, if not on sports teams).  And here’s hoping Clear is either cleared of these charges or turns his life around as a result of them.

That said, what does it say about the character of UT’s football coach and his spokespeople when they choose to mislead the press — and therefore their own fanbase — when confronted with questions about things they know to be true?

An on a sidenote to Dooley: If Clear returns to Tennessee’s team, it might be best if he and Bonner not room together.

 


15 comments
bigorngebri
bigorngebri

John, I didnt say i didnt want to know whats happening with my team. Just want Dooley to sort through details of situations before those details are brought to the public.

bigorngebri
bigorngebri

Yes, he said that because he was probably still trying to gather all the info about the situation. It is not his job to keep me, the fan, in the know about sensitive info inside the program. It is his job to exercise due diligence  before giving information or throwing his players to the wolves in a matter like this.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @bigorngebri 

 

Fair enough.  But you better not say a word about the media not knowing something the next time a story with your football team breaks.  If a kid is booted from the team the night before the season opener, don't start asking, "Where'd that come from?"  Because -- as you've just said -- you don't know want to know what's going on with your team behind closed doors.

 

John

bigorngebri
bigorngebri

So.....because Dooley and Co doesnt choose to share details about things that are being handled internally with media, then we can question his character? It is not Dooleys obligation to keep the media in the know about all things going on in the program. It is his job to do the best thing for the student athlete, the program,  and the University. Sorry, they didnt give you all the information for your website.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @bigorngebri 

 

Dooley didn't step on my toes.  I had nothing to do with the story and we've not run it here because it had not been confirmed.

 

But Dooley and the University of Tennessee told multiple reporters in Knoxville that there was nothing to the reports of Clear stealing valuables from fellow athletes.  Those reporters were then ripped by "I'll believe anything my coach says" Volunteer fans.  

 

I think that does shed light on the character of the coach, yes.  And I suspect that if you'd been one of the reporters left to field ugly emails from people who didn't know what they were talking about... you'd see things differently.

 

But maybe, just maybe, some thinking fan might say to himself: "Hey, when Dooley lies to the media, he's really lying to me, too.  Can I believe a word he says?"

 

Thanks for reading,John 

OZVOL
OZVOL

Or maybe Dooley is just trying to protect his players from the media.  The Knoxville media wants to be TMZ.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @OZVOL 

 

Every stupid thing?  No.

 

Felony theft when he's asked directly about it?  Well, he should probably just say "no comment" rather than acting like it wasn't true.

 

Glad you like the site.  Thanks much for reading it.

 

All the best,

John

OZVOL
OZVOL

 @John at MrSEC 

John,

The original Cam "stealing from teammates" story only made it to messageboards thanks to the "gossip-style" Knoxville media (i.e. Tony Basilio).  If you think Dooley or any other coach in the SEC has an obligation to tell reporters every stupid thing that  a player does "off the field" you clearly have been looking at TMZ too much. Outside of that I enjoy the site.  Thanks for the updates.

 

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @OZVOL 

 

Yep.  Better that everyone not know about issues that could affect their favy-wavy team.  Shhhhh.  Don't tell anyone that one player is stealing laptops, media.

 

Much better if you don't report it so fans can then complain/scream/insult you when the story DOES break.  "I read that 5 days ago on the messageboards.  The media doesn't know anything."

 

And if you think any media in the SEC is trying to adopt a "TMZ-style," you clearly haven't looked at TMZ very much.  

 

John

 

 

HogFanTN
HogFanTN

Maybe Bonner and Clear should room together.  They can keep stealing each other's stuff and "keep it within the family."

ice2cold
ice2cold

Because the media keeps saying he stole from teammates and you guys still haven't showed us proof of that. How Dooley's character is in question because he signed a guy who stole something and now has to deal with a current player who stole something is puzzling to me. Didn't Lane Kiffin sign a rapist?

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @ice2cold 

 

Dooley's character -- as it's made pretty clear in the piece -- is being questioned by this writer because he and his spokespeople chose to stonewall the press when asked about something they knew to be true.  It's not the first time Dooley and his crew have been less than honest.  Heck, he was caught in a lie regarding a meeting with ex-player Brandon Warren almost as soon as he arrived in Knoxville.

 

As for the proof you seek, you'll likely hear very soon from the parent of a Tennessee football player who had valuables stolen.  That's just a matter of time.  People are saying things off the record, but they're worried that if they go on the record, Dooley will somehow use it against their sons.  I've been told that by multiple Knoxville reporters.

 

But I'm always amazed how far fans of teams will go to deny, defend and ignore the shenanigans inside their own beloved programs.  If a reporter says a kid's been stealing stuff from teammates and other athletes, he must be a dirty liar.  When that kid indeed gets busted for stealing stuff from another athlete, the response is, "yeah, but the media said teammates, too," as if stealing from a baseball player is a) fine and b) not a pretty good sign that the WHOLE story was true in the first place.

 

And that's not just how some Tennessee fans react, mind you.  Everybody's got fans like that.

 

Personally, I'm a fan of four professional teams.  I pull for them and I hurt when they lose.  But I don't get mad at the media when a player on one of those teams is arrested.  I think the majority of sports fans see things the same way I do.  But the majority of sports fans don't call talk radio shows or leave anonymous comments on messageboards.

 

Thanks for reading the site,

John

dee6634
dee6634

 @ice2cold Sure he did. He was the head coach at Uut wasn't he?

dee6634
dee6634

Dooley is a lawyer. He knows how to "legally" manipulate the system. Just look at the Janzen Jackson situation. 

 

Dooley is in a desperate situation in Knoxville. He needs all the athletes he can possibly keep to help him get 8 wins this season.

 

MiloMoon
MiloMoon

It could have been that Dooley and the UTAD stayed quite on the matter because of an on going police investigation. It could also be that Dooley just did not want bad press right now. The bigger question to character is how Dooley deals with Clear.

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