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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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SEC Headlines 8/15/2012

SEC West Football

1. Tyrann Mathieu’s impact at LSU: “One of the jarring disconnects from the 2011 season was how important Mathieu was to LSU during the other 12 games on the schedule and how irrelevant he was in the two Alabama games.”

2. Even without Mathieu, the Tigers “have everything in place to win it all.”

3. Expect LSU’s tight ends to play an expanded role in the offense this year. Tigers move a tailback to wide receiver.

4. The Texas A&M quarterback job is up for grabs – and it involves not two but three players.

5. Full contact for Knile Davis?  Probably not until its absolutely necessary.

6. 27 secondary violations in the Alabama athletic department over the past year – 11 of them were impermissible text messages.

7. Nick Saban on Michigan’s quarterback: “Denard Robinson is one of the most explosive players in college football.”

8. Virginia vs Auburn in 2015? –  “nothing in place.”

9.The scouting report on Auburn’s Jay Prosch? “He’s a fantastic fullback.”

10. Tigers offensive coordinator Scott Loeffler on freshman quarterback Jonathan Wallace: “He’s got tremendous ‘it’ factor. He’s a winner. He’s going to help Auburn.”

11. Mississippi State safety Nickoe Whitley ruptured his achilles tendon last fall. “But I’m back full speed now.”

12. Tough Tuesday at Ole Miss - “leadership was lacking.”

SEC East Football

13. What’s the relationship like between Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and quarterback Tyler Bray? “We haven’t been yelling at each other as much lately.”

14. Tennessee special teams coach Charlie Coiner on strategy and the new kickoff rules: ”Do you have a [kicker] that can bang it out, or do you want to kick it up there and try to let it drop inside the 5 and see what they’re going to do with it?”

15. Is there one thing Will Muschamp worries about the most? “I don’t know if there is one thing I could say. How much time you got?”

16. Biggest freshman buzz at Vanderbilt? Running back Brian Kimbrow.

17. Mizzou cornerback E.J. Gaines on the challenges of the SEC: “It’s like I’m a freshman coming into a new conference.”

18. Jeff Schultz: “Missouri coach Gary Pinkel seems to be getting a little paranoid before his first SEC game against Georgia.”

19. With Arthur Lynch and Jay Rome, Georgia looks to have another talented duo at tight end.

20. Punter Tyler Hull has only been in Columbia a week, but he’s the likely starter for South Carolina.

SEC Basketball

21. Tigers slay the Dragons.  Missouri gets its third European victory.

22. Tennessee says goodbye to Italy with a 109-59 victory. Vols go 4-0 on their European journey.

23. After beating Lithuania, Arkansas heads to Rome for a game on Friday.

24. Razorbacks on-campus schedule – best in years?

SEC/College News

25. With only 1.5 percent of the nation’s population, how does the state of Alabama manage to win three straight BCS titles?

26. Three of the most expensive tickets in college football this fall feature Alabama games. Average SEC Ticket price – $139.71 - highest in the country.

27. Mike Herndon – “Always, the focus is clear: Get the kid qualified.”

28. USC coach Lane Kiffin on the challenges of scholarship reduction: ”We signed a kicker, a punter and a snapper so that we wouldn’t have to for the next four years.”

29. Here’s something you’d never read about in the SEC.  What’s the buzz in California over the new Pac-12 TV network? “Put simply, not enough folks in the Bay Area and California care deeply about local college sports.”

30. The man responsible for all college programming at CBS is now the Big East commissioner.

31. Your in-studio analysts for the CBS Sports Network – Houston Nutt and Ron Zook.

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SEC Headlines – 7/30/12

(We’ll go with Elvis as our headline photo of the day.  I was in Tupelo last week and I can tell you that the King’s first home was about as big as the average American living room.  Tiny.)

1.  Practice starts all across the 14-team SEC this week.

2.  Ex-NFL (and CFL) great Warren Moon talks about his old teammate Brent Pease, Florida’s new offensive coordinator.

3.  Georgia receiver Tavarres King is ready for the season to start.  (I can’t read King’s name without thinking of this.)

4.  Knowing it can’t actually happen, John Calipari has tossed out another “scheduling gimmick” — Indiana, North Carolina, Kansas, Louisville and Kentucky play two home and two road games against other teams in the group every year.  (Sure seems like a safe way to make it look like he’s not ducking home-and-home series… which was part of his last non-traditional “scheduling gimmick.”)

5.  In case you missed it, South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier has found a new kid to pick on in Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze.

6.  This writer says Tennessee can’t afford Tyler Bray’s off-field antics.

7.  Here’s a quickie breakdown of Vanderbilt’s schedule.

8.  The big question at Missouri?  How healthy is quarterback James Franklin?

9.  Michigan and the Big Ten will have a big opportunity to steal some spotlight and some respect from Alabama and the SEC five weeks from now.

10.  Auburn still needs to pick a quarterback at some point.

11.  Well that didn’t take long.  Ex-Auburn tailback Mike Dyer has already been booted from Arkansas State by Gus Malzahn.

12.  The Bobby Petrino scandal takes on new light following the mess at Penn State.  (And don’t forget, AD Jeff Long helped speed up the hiring of the coach’s mistress by getting UA’s HR department to fast-track things past affirmative action standards.)

13.  This scribe says the hype around new LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger is already out of control.

14.  Receiver Donte Moncrief gives Ole Miss some hope in 2012.

15.  MSU defensive back Johnthan Banks is making a bizarrely-spelled name for himself.

16.  Kevin Sumlin may have moved from Houston to Texas A&M, but he still intends to make Houston “home base” in terms of recruiting.  (He also says he won’t oversign players.)

17.  The ever-excellent Jon Solomon of The Birmingham News examines what a disappointment college football’s added 12th game has been.

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SEC Headlines – 7/27/12

Okay, folks… back from my brief time off, but only for the sake of headlines (and maybe one other post).  Next week we’ll get back into the swing of things, but with perhaps a little bit different way of delivering content.  You’ll still get a grip on everything that goes on around the conference, but we may write fewer of the small opinion pieces and more long-form posts.  Heck, if we carry through with that, I might even have time to proofread!

If all goes to plan — and it’s hard for me to force myself to write less, which is why The Sporting News once called the site “prolific” in its output — it’ll mean simply that the site will be just a little bit different.  Sort of like when the “evil” Michael Knight showed up on “Knight Rider.”

That said, here are your Friday headlines.  We’ll do ‘em in two waves ’cause I’ve got to go meet a notary.  (Note to self: Become own notary.)  We’ll also start with SEC troubles and woes and hopefully end with some happier news…

 

1.  John L. Smith said yesterday that three Arkansas players arrested for burglary in May will not be part of his football team this year.

2.  Linebacker Vin Ascolese is still waiting for the NCAA clearinghouse to give him the OK to suit up for the Hogs this year.

3.  Speaking to a Tennessee booster group yesterday, Derek Dooley said that quarterback Tyler Bray’s accuracy “isn’t where it needs to be… he missed the trash can” when throwing beer bottles off a balcony earlier this week.  (Dooley also claimed to be taking the matter “seriously.”)

4.  AthlonSports.com is the latest website to say Dooley is facing a make or break season.

5.  A Pittsburgh sports agent — angry about Penn State’s situation — somehow ties Nick Saban to the story, claims he’s got “enough on Saban right now” to get Alabama’s coach into trouble, and then sorta/kinda apologizes.  (Maybe he does have some dirt, but he sounds as daffy about Saban as Danny Sheridan did about Cam Newton and “the bag man.”  In other words, put up or shut up.)

6.  Auburn is apparently chasing Penn State junior linebacker Khairi Fortt.

7.  According to Les Miles, LSU soccer star and former homecoming queen Mo Isom faces a tough task landing a spot on the Tigers’ roster this fall.

8.  If there have been any talks about moving Texas A&M to the end of LSU’s schedule instead of Arkansas… Razorback AD Jeff Long hasn’t been involved in them.  (He also said that while he wants to protect that tradition, anything’s possible.)

9.  Mississippi State kept things simple with its new football uniforms.  (The jerseys will have a shoulder stripe that’s comparable to what adidas designed for Texas A&M.)

10.  Both State and Ole Miss will play some hoops in Hawaii this fall.

11.  Texas A&M boasts 30 NFL players and two NFL head coaches among its alums.

12.  New Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease says he’s got two good quarterbacks he “can with with.”

13.  Secondary coach Scott Lakatos thinks receiver-turned-DB Malcolm Mitchell is already Georgia’s best corner.

14.  Ticket sales for Kentucky football are down a whopping 27% this year.  (That won’t help Joker Phillips’ cause.)

15.  Expectations are high at South Carolina after the school’s first-ever 11-win season.

16.  Football tickets are on sale today at Missouri.

17.  A number of SEC basketball coaches will take part in a roundtable discussion and Kentucky’s John Calipari will be profiled on ESPNU tonight.

18.  So much for Jim Delany’s holier-than-thou Big Ten.

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SEC Headlines 7/26/12

1. Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray won’t be charged in a beer bottle throwing incident.

2. Here’s a look at Alabama’s group of wide receivers and tight ends.

3. AL.com has a breakdown of Auburn’s defensive backs.

4. That list doesn’t include Jonathan Rose, who won’t return to Auburn for his sophomore season.

5. The Alabama game will be “crucial” for Arkansas, according to coach John L. Smith.

6. The chances for ex-Georgia DB Chris Sanders to return to the Bulldogs appear to be finished.

7. Georgia’s tight ends are young but talented as they prepare to replace Orson Charles.

8. The Gainesville Sun‘s Pat Dooley believes Florida’s season will come down to the quarterbacks.

9. Florida coach Will Muschamp is “hungry” after losing six games last year.

10. Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin is proud the Aggies have arrived in the SEC.

11. Sumlin has a lot of work to do as his offense prepares for a new system.

12. Mississippi State’s shooting guard was arrested for bringing a BB gun into the dorm.

13. LSU coach Les Miles is ready to get the season started and move on from 2011.

14. Brishen Matthews is the 16th most important player on the Ole Miss football team.

15. Marcus Lattimore and Aaron Murray overrated? This writer doesn’t think so.

16. Arkansas running back Knile Davis is ready to run again in the SEC.

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SEC Headlines – 7/3/12

1.  This writer says college football needs a little gun control. 

2.  The SEC is getting dragged into a lawsuit between former athletes and the NCAA over video game licensing rights.

3.  The ACC has cut a 12-year deal with the Orange Bowl…

4.  Good luck keeping up with the new screwy bowl situation… including the “Champions” Bowl… if it doesn’t merge with an existing game.)

5.  Having a media member inside the playoff selection committee’s meeting would answer a lot of questions about transparency.  Capital idea.

6.  What’s the best athletic conference – the Pac-12 or the SEC?

7.  Mississippi State is still waiting on the NCAA clearing house on a couple of 2012 signees.  (Just like I’m still waiting for the Publishers Clearing House to make me a millionaire.)

8.  MSU had first-round picks in the NFL, NBA and MLB drafts… but does that mean the school’s program is catching up with the SEC big boys?

9.  Most Rebel fans seem to like the game day experience at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

10.  Texas A&M’s SEC dream has been realized…

11.  And Kevin Sumlin is ready to compete with the best.

12.  Missouri is excited to be exiting the Big 12 and entering the SEC.

13.  One Florida signee was denied admission yesterday, but another got the go-ahead from the school’s front office.

14.  Booted Georgia tailback Isaiah Crowell could get five years in jail over gun charges, but probation is much more likely.

15.  You remember Oprah’s book club?  Well say hello to the “Coach Cal Book Club.”

16.  Just to reiterate… South Carolina president Harris Pastides says he has no timetable for replacing AD Eric Hyman who left for Texas A&M.

17.  Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray is the SEC’s 14th best player according to this paper.

18.  Tracy Webster has been promoted to associate head basketball coach in Knoxville.

19.  Finally, eight SEC players have earned preseason All-America honors.  (Anyone else think handing out “honors” based on what someone thinks will happen is ridiculous?)

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Early Mock Draft Says SEC’s Two Tylers Will Be Next Year’s Top QB Picks

Oh, we in the media never learn.  Less than a week removed from thousands of mock drafts being blown to smithereens by trades, deals, slides and reaches… NFL writers are already posting their projections for next year’s draft.

Newsflash: If folks can’t get a mock draft done the night before the actual draft right, how the heck can anyone pay attention to a mock draft done 12 months in advance?  There’s simply no telling which players will have health on their side for the next year.  There’s no way of knowing which player will punch a fellow student this summer or a cop the weekend before next year’s draft, undermining his own on-field exploits.  We can’t know who’ll show up big, small, fast, slow, strong or weak at the NFL combine next February.

And, oh yeah, we haven’t seen any of these guys play any football during the 2012 season yet because that season is still four months a way.  Not to mention the fact that we have no idea what next year’s NFL draft order will be because that league’s season is still four months and one week away.

All that said, Andrew Perloff of SI.com has already put himself out on the ledge with his prognostications for next year’s selection process.  The big surprise?  That all-everything quarterback prospect Matt Barkley of Southern Cal isn’t at the top of his draft board.  In fact, he’s not even the top quarterback on Perloff’s list.  Or even the second, for that matter.

Nope, Perloff lists a pair of Southeastern Conference signal-callers named Tyler ahead of Barkley.  His top Tyler is Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson.  He’s currently projected by Perloff to be the top pick in next year’s draft overall:

 

“1. Jacksonville Jaguars — Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas

The Jaguars made a commitment to Blaine Gabbert this offseason by improving his receiving corps, but those efforts may give them an excuse for dumping him if the offense struggles again this season. They can say they tried to put Gabbert in a position to succeed, and move on. Wilson may have been the third quarterback taken if he had entered this year’s draft. He doesn’t jump out at you as a classic No. 1 overall, but will end up grading higher than both Matt Barkley and Tyler Bray.”

 

From that description, you can probably guess the other SEC Tyler who Perloff sees going before Barkley:

 

“4. Oakland Raiders — Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee

If you want to see what an NFL throw looks like, look up Bray on YouTube. But the 6-foot-6 signal-caller has been inconsistent at Tennessee — in part because he and his receivers have been injured. He’s a boom-or-bust prospect a year out — he’s been fragile and could move up to No. 1 or fall back into the pack.”

 

For the record, Bray was recruited to Knoxville by Barkley’s current coach — Lane Kiffin — during his lone season in the Smokies.  Ironically, Perloff finally has Barkley being selected with the #8 pick of next year’s draft by the man who signed him at Southern Cal, Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks.

As for Perloff’s other SEC projections, here goes:

 

2.  Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M to the Colts

6.  Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU to the Browns

9.  Barrett Jones, OT, Alabama to the Rams

10.  Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia to the Panthers

11.  Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State to the Redskins

12.  Chris Fault, OT, LSU to the Bills

15.  Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina to the Lions

16.  Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M to the Cowboys

18.  Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee to the Bengals

24.  Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU to the Saints

26.  DJ Fluker, OT, Alabama to the 49ers

30.  Eric Reid, S, LSU to the Eagles

31.  John Jenkins, DT, Georgia to the Steelers

32.  Sean Porter, OLB, Texas A&M to the Packers

 

For those keeping track at home, that’s 16 of the first 32 picks in next year’s NFL draft who Perloff projects to emerge from the Southeastern Conference.  (This line has been corrected and #2 overall predicted pick Joeckel has been added to our list.  Sorry we missed him the first time ’round.)

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SEC Headlines – 4/6/12 Part Two

1.  Florida is hoping for big things from cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy, the man wearing Tim Tebow’s old #15 jersey.  (I wonder if that jersey features an image of Tebow’s face, Shroud of Turin-style.)

2.  Georgia’s secondary is still mixin’ and matchin’ due to departures, dismissals and suspensions.

3.  Athlon Sports has named Joker Phillips one of the 10 worst college football coaches in America.

4.  If South Carolina trades Arkansas for Texas A&M, this writer thinks it would be good thing for the Gamecocks.

5.  Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney says Tyler Bray “seems a lot more mature and a lot more driven than he ever has.”  (He also likes his team’s depth behind Bray.)

6.  Vanderbilt basketball assistant David Cason is a finalist for the head coaching job at Eastern Illinois.

7.  Missouri is having to defend its academic policies after an ex-football player told Bob Costas’ new television show that he was “steered” toward an agriculture major.  (And you thought Mizzou wouldn’t fit in with the SEC.)

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SEC Headlines – 11/22/11 PM Edition

1.  Alabama is getting healthy just in time for Auburn.

2.  It’s time for Bama to get back some of the mojo it lost to LSU.

3.  Auburn’s done a good job of slowing down opposing rushers.

4.  Gene Chizik isn’t worried about spoiling Bama’s BCS hopes, he says the Iron Bowl is already a “pressurized game.”  (Vacuum-packed for taste and freshness!)

5.  Thousands attended a candlelight service for Arkansas’ Garrett Uekman last night.

6.  Dan Mullen — who lost a player last year — and Les Miles — who recruited Uekman — have both sent their condolences to the Arkansas family.

7.  If LSU is feeling any pressure… it doesn’t show.

8.  Ole Miss players “really want to win (the Egg Bowl) for Coach Nutt.”

9.  Mississippi State topped Louisiana-Monroe without the help of Arnett Moultrie and Renardo Sidney, who are both injured.

10.  In Gainesville, a win over Florida State would cure a lot of ills.

11.  Ex-Gator coach Urban Meyer won’t be doing a game for ESPN this week.  Hmmm.

12.  Unsung defensive end Abry Jones has had a big year for Georgia’s defense.

13.  With no bowl for Kentucky, Joker Phillips is looking for bright spots.

14.  Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray won’t be wearing a glove on his throwing hand this weekend.

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UT’s Bray On Penalty Vs Vandy: “I Just Took His Knee Out”

Late in the third quarter of Saturday night’s game between Tennessee and Vanderbilt, the Volunteers were staked to a 14-7 lead.  On Vandy’s three-yard-line, UT appeared on the verge of adding a touchdown or at least a field goal to its lead.  But Archibald Barnes stepped in front of a Tyler Bray pass at the goal-line, snagged it, and returned it 100 yards for a game-tying Vandy score.  (Tennessee went on to win the game 27-21.)

But at the end of the play, game officials hit Bray with a 15-yard personal foul for going low on a Vanderbilt player during Barnes’ return.  Asked about that penalty after the game by Jimmy Hyams of WNML-AM/FM in Knoxville (who’s made our site twice today), Bray said:

“Oh, the first guy came and tried to hit me and the second guy came and I was like, ‘Oh, no, I’ll take the penalty,’ and I just took his knee out.”

Is it possible Bray was kidding?  That seemed to be Derek Dooley’s assessment during Tennessee’s media session today.  But the fact that officials saw enough to call a 15-yard personal foul against UT’s quarterback suggests the “just kidding” defense is rather weak.

Bray is just a sophomore.  Barring injury or unexpected demotion, he’ll face the Commodores at least once more during his career.  So it’s likely Vandy’s players will be reminded of the quarterback’s comment and actions next November.

On a related note, officials last offseason used Bray’s throat slash gesture against North Carolina in the 2010 Music City Bowl as an example of the type of celebration that could result in a team’s touchdown coming off the board as part of a tougher taunting penalty.

For a quarterback, Bray certainly seems to have captured the attention of the SEC’s officials.

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