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UT Loses Another Front-7 Defender For Now

Playing in the front seven on Tennessee’s defense is about as safe as carrying the colors during the Civil War.  The casualty rate is pretty darn high.

According to The Knoxville News Sentinel, senior defensive tackle Rae Sykes is not on the Vols’ team “at this time” due to academic issues.  Sykes was a juco transfer into UT in 2009.  He played in just eight games last season and recorded only three tackles.

While Sykes has not been much of a contributor, he has still been a body… something Derek Dooley’s defense is running short of at this point.  Within the past month, defensive tackle Montori Hughes was booted from UT’s team and linebacker Herman Lathers was lost for the start of the season due to an ankle fracture.  And the Volunteers weren’t deep along the front seven coming out of spring practice.

Heading into his second fall in Knoxville, you can bet attrition in May and June was not on Dooley’s wish list.

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Hughes Off Football Team, Vol Fans Should Read The Book Of Job

Tennessee sports fans have had it pretty rough in recent years.  As we often say when a school gets slammed with NCAA sanctions, you can’t help but feel sorry for all the good fans of that school.  Well, we certainly feel bad about what Vol fans have had to endure.

Phillip Fulmer’s program declined to the point that he was replaced.  Lane Kiffin had a cup of coffee in Knoxville, broke a few rules, and then caught the last train for the coast.  Bruce Pearl was a shining star until he decided to lie about a barbecue at this house.  Wins in football and basketball turned to losses.  The national press has whipped the school and its leadership for the handling of most of the above.

And it seems to be getting worse.

For those Vol fans pleased that Mike Hamilton is exiting his athletic director’s post, writers like David Climer of The Tennessean are offering up frightening warnings about what kind of search UT chancellor Jimmy Cheek might run.

And just days after learning that Tennessee’s only returning starter at linebacker — Herman Lathers — had fractured his ankle and will miss the start of the season, Big Orange backers today got news that defensive tackle Montori Hughes is no longer on their favorite team.

While Derek Dooley wouldn’t specify why Hughes has been booted, the player has had academic issues in the past.  He’s also been penalized for the dreaded “violation of team rules.”

For Tennessee fans, things figure to turn around at some point.  But until that day, it might be wise to thumb through the Book of Job.  Perhaps you can relate.

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Suspensions Abound In UK-UT Game

Kentucky-Tennessee week has turned into “Suspension Week” in the Bluegrass and Volunteer states.

For the Big Blue, junior defensive tackle Mark Crawford has been suspended for violating team rules.  He has started five games this year and has 24 tackles for the Cats.

Sophomore cornerback Martavius Neloms was already scheduled to miss the first half of Saturday’s game after he was ejected from UK’s game with Vanderbilt two weeks ago for fighting.

For the Big Orange, sophomore defensive tackle Montori Hughes has been suspended today for academics.  Derek Dooley says the loss is big “because we’re so thin and unproductive at defensive tackle.”  Hughes had just 16 tackles for the Vols this season.

Meanwhile, quarterback Doak Raulston has been indefinitely suspended after being arrested for DUI over the weekend.  Raulston is sitting out this season after transferring to Knoxville from Louisiana Tech.

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