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UT’s Dooley Suspends Freshman Phillips After Twitter Shoutout To Florida

Defensive lineman Omari Phillips hasn’t had the greatest of starts to his college career.  After signing with Florida in February, the school refused to admit him as he did not meet its academic standards (which must have thrilled Will Muschamp who’d recruited and wasted a signing slot on him).

After UF surprised him with its decision, Phillips announced via Facebook in July that he would “be taking my talents to knoxville.”  Having cleared the NCAA’s eligibility requirements, Phillips was OK’d by Tennessee’s administration for enrollment.  But the true freshman who was once a four-star prospect has played in only one game, recording no tackles in the Vols’ win over Georgia State.

Now he’s been suspended indefinitely by UT coach Derek Dooley for the dreaded “violation of team rules.”


“He’s not with the team right now.  Omari’s sort of in a position in his life where things didn’t go his way, and he’s got to determine how to work his way out of it the right way, no matter where you are, and he’s not there yet.”


Twitter seems to be the cause of some of Phillips’ most recent issues.  A tweet last week that’s since been removed said:


“having regrets and knowing that your first decision was the best decision is probably the hardest thing to deal with #FLORIDA.”


He also tweeted a “shoutout to all the #truefreshman ballin on da field.”  A back-and-forth exchange with teammate Deion Bonner was also, er, colorful:













Were they were playing?  Or serious?  Who knows?  But that, of course, is part of the problem with college coaches allowing their players to use Twitter during the season.  No one knows when the kids are serious or joking.  And no one is editing their views before they post them.  That’s why each week another college coach makes news by banning his players from tweeting.  Eventually, they’ll all learn.

For now, Twitter and his attitude have apparently led to Phillips’ career once again being put on hold.



The tweet had to be the final straw that led to the suspension. If Phillips truly has four-star talent, he must either have the world's worst attitude or some other serious issues if he can't even get on the field with UT's pathetic defense.


if nothing else lebron james will always be remembered for starting the "taking my talents to__" fad.  he might as well copyright it.


I have to believe there was more to the suspension than the tweets. In the first tweet, was he saying he really wanted to play for Florida and wished he was there rather than Tenn.? 

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator



1.  I wrote Twitter and his attitude -- which can cover all manner of ills -- were to blame for the suspension.  


2.  Yes, Phillips is saying that he wished he'd gotten into Florida and not gone to Tennessee where he hasn't played.


3.  I'm guessing plenty of coaches would suspend a player for publicly stating he'd rather be on a rival team.  That's not exactly good for recruiting. 


Thanks for reading,



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