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Ex-Vol Rogers Admits, Yep, It Was Multiple Failed Drug Tests

Oh, Da’Rick, Da’Rick, Da’Rick.

Last week, we reported that after speaking to several people inside the University of Tennessee athletic and main university administration, the story that was given to us most consistently was that the star/troubled ex-receiver Da’Rick Rogers had been indefinitely suspended from UT’s football team for multiple failed drug tests.

A very small minority of folks accused us of making that information up.  But the majority of you trusted us when we suggested two failed tests led to Rogers’ suspension and his departure — because he wasn’t going to sit (and might have had another suspension coming already).

For those few who didn’t believe us, maybe you’ll trust Rogers, who admitted the following while being introduced at Tennessee Tech yesterday:

 

“There were a couple of drugs tests.  It wasn’t anything too crazy.  It was about me being a young, immature guy, and those are things I’ve got to work on.  I plan to do that.”

 

Here’s hoping for his sake he does.  But if the past is any indicator, here’s betting he won’t.

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Dooley Says He Doesn’t Expect Rogers To Return To UT

After practice today, Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley addressed the media regarding the indefinite suspension of starting receiver Da’Rick Rogers.  While he refused to talk specifics about what Rogers did or what it would take for him to come back, he did make a few things clear:

 

* He stated that the staff’s expectation is that Rogers will not return to the UT football team.

* He said there isn’t one player on the UT team who cannot be replaced.

* He said the suspension came as a result of recent actions, implying that something happened this week to bring down Rogers.  (Whether that means it was one failure or just a final straw is yet to be learned.)

* Dooley also stated that he did not know if Rogers is still on the Tennessee campus.  He has not spoken to him since informing him of the suspension yesterday.

 

For a coach trying to save his job, this is bad news.  Sure, from a team chemistry standpoint, it’s entirely possible that Rogers’ suspension/departure could unify a team that had grown weary of his me-first ways.  That said, Dooley is entering what looks to be a make-or-break season and he’s facing a team expected to challenge for the ACC title in his opener.  He’s got seven new assistants on his staff and a new 3-4 scheme on defense that’s being installed.

Most folks taking a positive view of the Vols expected Tennessee to win games with an aerial attack led by a talented quarterback and three good receivers.  Now one of those receivers appears to be out of the mix.

If Dooley finally had enough of Rogers and made the call on this, then he should get credit for doing so.  Even if he gave Rogers’ umpteen chances before finally pulling the trigger.  But this looks to be a University decision, not a Dooley decision (as was the case with former star safety Janzen Jackson who was booted prior to last season because of repeated drug issues).

Either way — whether Dooley took a stand or UT forced his hand — losing one-fourth of the quartet expected to make the Vol attack fly must be difficult for the third-year coach to stomach.

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Report: UT WR Rogers Suspended Indefinitely

Tennessee receiver Da’Rick Rogers has been indefinitely suspended from the Volunteer football team according to Volquest.com — the Rivals’ site covering Tennessee (paywall warning).  Derek Dooley is expected to address Rogers’ latest issue after today’s practice in Knoxville.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to Vol fans as the media in Tennessee have repeatedly tried to prepare them for the possibility of a suspension or dismissal coming at some point for Rogers or quarterback Tyler Bray or both for their off-field actions.

The junior wideout is best known for being arrested in a bar fight as a freshman, for allegedly tossing a weight at a strength coach, for barking at since-retired receivers coach Charlie Baggett during UT’s loss to Kentucky last year, for being removed but not tecnhically “suspended” from the team at various points this offseason, and for suggesting via Twitter this past spring that he would be transferring to Georgia State.

Oh, and for leading Tennessee in receiving last year when fellow wideout Justin Hunter went down to injury.  Last season he recorded 67 catches for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns.

Dooley has been slow to hand down any official discipline or suspension to Rogers despite all of his previous antics.  No doubt two factors have played a role in that: Dooley’s own job security and Rogers’ talent… when the player’s head is screwed on straight.

Now it seems that Rogers has finally done something to force Dooley to officially push him away from his squad for a while.  Here’s betting we won’t find out what it was Rogers did when Dooley addresses the media this afternoon.  For that matter, it will be interesting to see if Dooley terms the situation a “suspension” at all or if he just says Rogers is attending to “personal issues,” which the coach is wont to do.

There were rumors two weeks ago that Rogers was in hot water once again and that a suspension could be coming.  It didn’t.  But it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that Dooley wanted to gauge the talents of juco receiver Cordarrelle Patterson and the recovery of Hunter before pulling the trigger on a sit-down for Rogers.

UT opens against North Carolina State in the Georgia Dome next Friday.

 

UPDATE — The University of Tennessee has officially announced that Rogers has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules.  This would seem to suggest that this is a UT decision and not a Dooley decision.

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UT’s Rogers Says He Never Considered A Transfer

Transfer?  What transfer?  What’s a transfer?

Last week, mercurial Tennessee receiver Da’Rick Rogers stirred up a controversy by tweeting: “Georgia State.  Wasup?”  He was absent from practice the next day, but Panthersville.com quoted Rogers as telling that site that “Georgia State would be the only place I’d look at” should he transfer.

Over the weekend, Rogers returned to practice after doing some things Derek Dooley told him to do.  The coach would not elaborate on what those things were, but he did say Saturday that Rogers was good to go and that a transfer had never come up in any conversations between the two.

Today, Rogers spoke to the media and said all’s well:


“Oh, man, no controversy.  Just had some little things to handle off the field, got those handled and now we’re looking forward to becoming a championship-contending team. … If I was a distraction, I really wasn’t trying to be a distraction.  It was a situation that we got handled, and everything is good now.

No transfer for me, no consideration.  Maybe I need to do a little better job with my tweets, letting everybody know what’s really actually going on so next time it won’t be misinterpreted.”


Maybe he needs to make sure what he tells websites covering other programs isn’t misinterpreted either.  Or maybe he could have straightened things out via Twitter when the story blew up last week.  Funny that he didn’t.

Or maybe Derek Dooley needs to simply ban his guys from Twitter.

Rogers went on to praise the chemistry on Tennessee’s team before stating: “Sometimes you just come to a point in your life where you have to be strong about things.  I had a little weak moment, and that’s gone behind me and behind the team now.  We’re ready to go.”

Judging by the tweets sent out by some of his teammates last week, it seems that some Vols might be ready for Rogers to go.  Or maybe those tweets were misinterpreted, too.

Either way, Knoxville is still Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood for now.  We await his next episode.

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SEC Headlines – 3/30/12

Quickies on the headline front today…


1.  The NCAA could create a separate model of governance for Division I programs.  (A wise first step, but not even all D-I schools are created equally.)

2.  Auburn center Reese Dismukes is adjusting to have the quarterback right behind him, rather than in the shotgun.

3.  This writer says Alabama and Florida are among the nation’s best football/basketball combo schools.

4.  Arkansas is ready for its first spring scrimmage.

5.  Les Miles was happy with “Student Appeciation Day” during LSU’s final spring practice.

6.  Receiver Donte Moncrief has been an early plus for Ole Miss this spring.

7.  Mississippi State has depth to spare at linebacker.

8.  Here’s a spring preview for Texas A&M.

9.  And here’s a position-by-position look at Florida this spring.

10.  Clemson’s AD now says he’s hopeful his school’s football games with Georgia will be played in 2013 and 2014 as scheduled.

11.  Malcolm Mitchell is now back to working with the wideouts at UGA.

12.  Brandon Shell looks to be South Carolina’s left tackle this fall.

13.  This writer says it’s time for Da’Rick Rogers to shape up or ship out from Tennessee.

14.  James Franklin says Jordan Rodgers is “much more comfortable” than Vanderbilt’s other quarterbacks this spring.

15.  Missouri’s Frank Haith has been named the AP’s Coach of the Year.

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UT’s Dooley Says Rogers Has Some “Internal” Things To Take Care Of

Tennessee receiver Da’Rick Rogers wasn’t at practice today.  According to Derek Dooley, Rogers has some “internal” things to take care of before he’s welcomed back to spring practice.

There was no timetable given for a possible return.  And the coach stopped short of calling Rogers’ disappearance from team activities a suspension.

Rogers — who we told you earlier today posted a couple of curious tweets yesterday (“I cannot wait to talk to the media tomorrow.  It finally comes out.”) — has been silent on his Twitter account for the past 13 hours.

Looks like Dooley’s going to continue to let Rogers work through his issues without dismissing him from the Vol squad.  No surprise.  He also gave former Tennessee safety Janzen Jackson umpteen shots at redemption before that player finally forced his hand — reportedly — with failed drug test number umpteen-and-one.

For now, we await a new tweet from Rogers who also posted the cryptic “Georgia State.  Wasup?” last night.

When asked if Rogers is transferring, Dooley said today, “Nobody has told me that.”

I seem to remember Auburn’s Gene Chizik saying roughly the same thing when asked about reports that Mike Dyer would transfer to Arkansas State.

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UT Players Tweet That They Want Black Jerseys For Saturday

Two years ago this weekend, Lane Kiffin recorded the biggest victory of his one-year Tennessee coaching career with a resounding 31-13 thumping of #22 South Carolina.

He did so with the help of some black jerseys that seemed to fire up his team.  (Nevermind that nothing matched in the ghastly white helmet / black jersey / orange pants combination.)

Now a pair of Vols have tweeted their desire for another “black out” game, once again with Carolina heading to Knoxville.

Da’Rick Rogers:  “just a little something to spark the team when we need it the most … black jerseys for halloween!!”

Tyler Bray:  “Volnation needs to blackout Neyland stadium.  That would really show your support in this must win game.”

Da’Rick Rogers:  “I know yal want a black out! All black everything.  Ha and the orange power T.”

Apparently someone in the UT athletic department got to Bray because moments after that exchange, he tweeted the following:

“Just to clear things up we want our fans to wear black.”

Uh, that’s not what Rogers said.  In fact, Rogers’ initial tweet could be taken as news that the team has already been told they’ll be outfitted in black.

As we said yesterday regarding Kentucky’s new black unis… if everyone wears special black duds, what’s really special about wearing that color?

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SEC Headlines – 8/8/11 Part Three

1.  New co-defensive coordinator Rick Minter says Kentucky needs its safeties to step up due to depth issues.

2.  Freshman defensive back Glenn Faulker has been academically cleared to play for UK this fall.

3.  South Carolina’s Stephen Garcia says the seminar that led to his fifth suspension back in April “got a little crazy toward the end.”

4.  He also said this weekend that he does not have a drinking problem.  (Liquids go in his mouth and then right down his throat just fine.)  Maybe he’s just got a thinkin’ problem.

5.  After leaving the practice field in an ambulance on Saturday, offensive tackle Brandon Shell expects to practice today.

6.  This writer takes some jabs at Tennessee’s search committee for not having found a new athletic director yet. 

7.  Sophomore receiver Da’Rick Rogers says he’s growing into his role with the Vols.

8.  Yesterday was Fans Day at Vanderbilt.  (Yeah, we know, insert joke here.)

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