Friday, July 9, 2010

Dammit Man

KNOXVILLE — The co-owner of a nightclub near the University of Tennessee campus said “seven to 10” Volunteers football players were involved in a fight at the establishment early Friday.

Knoxville Police Department officials were on scene at the incident, but none would comment on the situation, including whether any arrests were made.

At least one UT player has been charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, police spokesman Darrell DeBusk told the Knoxville News Sentinel.

DeBusk said 18-year-old freshman receiver Da’Rick Rogers from Calhoun, Ga., was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. DeBusk also said a bar patron was sent to a hospital after the fight.

According to the New Sentinel, DeBusk said Knoxville police officer Robert Capouellez was found unconscious on the street outside the bar after the fight around 2 a.m. DeBusk said the officer was not in uniform or on duty, and he was being treated for a head injury. A half-dozen other people were detained.

Rogers was the No. 9-ranked high school player in the country last year. He picked UT late in the recruiting process after being committed to Georgia for almost a year. According to reports, UT safety Darren Myles, defensive tackle Montori Hughes and receiver Denarius Moore were being questioned by police about the brawl.

UT spokespeople were gathering information on the incident and also weren’t ready to comment.

Bar Knoxville co-owner Sandy Morton told the Times Free Press the fight started inside but spread outside, and it ended with an off-duty police officer knocked unconscious in Cumberland Avenue.

“Basically, it was a normal Thursday night — Thursday’s our big night,” Morton said. “We had all the UT football players come in. They’re on a first-name basis with my husband (and co-owner), and they get VIP status, which means they pay no cover at the door. We’ve never had a problem with them in the past, but tonight, apparently they had a falling out with another gentleman. I don’t know why. I don’t know what happened, but several of the guys started beating up the other customer. I want to guess there was seven to 10 guys beating up this one gentleman.

“All the security then rushed in and were trying to break it up. My husband saw them picking up bar stools and starting to swing them. We got them out the door with security. There happened to be a friend of ours who was an off-duty police officer outside. He tried to help, and he ended up getting knocked out in the street and proceeded to be kicked while he was down on the ground in the middle of Cumberland.”


I wish I could point my finger and look down my nose at these kids behind this incident but I can't because we had several "brawls" like this back when I played for the Vols. Doesn't make it any less wrong now than it was then but I feel obligated to not come off like a guy who is some kind of Saint that's never done anything wrong.

Having said that, this is horrible news and horrible timing for new head coach Derek Dooley. The word is he was out of town recruiting when this all went down and its gonna be hard to talk to someone's parents without them bringing it up. Not only that but camp isn't very far off and my guess is quite a few guys' status for the first games if not the season will still be up in the air when the players report.

Not exactly the way he wanted to start off his tenure I'm sure.

Unfortunately, and I'm speaking from experience, you can't hold all these kids' hands 24/7. At some point you gotta hope common sense and home training kicks in. If not, you have situations like this one.

Oh and to top off this crap sandwich people are speculating that the players getting into the club for free on a regular basis may be an NCAA violation.

When it rains...

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