To Echo: Free DeAnthony Arnett Comment Count

Brian December 30th, 2011 at 2:59 PM


Like Saban, except without the wins; a guy who made a bad decision

DeAnthony Arnett wants to leave Tennessee. This should be enough reason for Derek Dooley to release him, full stop. When Dooley left Louisiana Tech for Tennessee, he did not require the permission of Louisiana Tech. Because of the way the NCAA "just works"—to quote that guy at Indiana State—Arnett does need permission from UT if he's going to be on scholarship somewhere next season.

Dooley won't give it to him. This is because Tennessee has a "policy."

A Tennessee spokesman said Arnett is not being denied the opportunity to be released and play FBS-level football. The school has a policy of not releasing players to schools Tennessee plays or recruits against, the spokesman said.

Joe Paterno should have thought of that. "We have a policy of not disclosing the activities of sexual predators on campus." End of story. There's a policy, folks. Nothing to see here.

Arnett is the fourth Tennessee player that Derek Dooley has vindictively screwed over on a transfer. The first, All-SEC lineman Aaron Douglas, had to transfer to an Arizona JUCO for a year before transferring back to Alabama*. Dooley imposed a requirement that Douglas transfer at least eight hours away from his home in Knoxville and offered this explanation:

“I’m trying to help him. If the problem is truly at home, then he shouldn’t be at home. But if it’s not truly at home, then we think he should be at Tennessee.”

Bryce Brown was not released and had to pay his own way at Kansas State last year. JUCO QB Nick Lamaison was not released despite being third on the depth chart with no chance to play:

"They're within their legal rights to do what they're doing, but we're adults. Part of our business is to help young people develop and stay in line, but it's also to take care of them. I can see if Nick was in the plans for them, then fine. But if he's not in the plans, let him go play somewhere else."

Lamaison was an unlikely candidate to play for the Vols this season or down the road, and he never seriously threatened either Jonathan Crompton or Nick Stephens for playing time a year ago either.

Stephens transferred midway through spring practice, but like last fall, Lamaison was again clearly stuck behind two quarterbacks as junior transfer Matt Simms and freshman Tyler Bray quickly jumped him on the depth chart.

He ended up going back to JUCO for a year and then starting at UTEP. The only players Tennessee has actually let go are Todd Campbell, a little-used fifth year senior who transferred to MTSU, and backup QB Nick Stephens, who transferred to D-II Tarleton State. Anyone with the slightest bit of talent at Tennessee will not be released to play at a BCS school. QB coach leaves, dad is terribly sick, you are never ever going to play: doesn't matter. Dooley owns you.

So if you're thinking about going to Tennessee, be sure you want to play for a nepotistic failure coming off a 1-7 conference record with no track record of success hired by a total moron. It's going to cost you five figures if you're wrong.

*[Douglas died with a cocktail of drugs in his system in May. This is not relevant to the rest of the post but it seems impossible to mention his story without its tragic conclusion. Dooley didn't show up at the funeral, BTW. Quality guy.]



December 30th, 2011 at 3:38 PM ^

David DeLeon, committed to Miami (OH), 247 and Scout show a Tennessee offer. Meanwhile, Tennessee's QB commit, Nathan Peterman, had a MAC-level list of offers (including Miami (OH) and WMU), and a grand total of zero offers from the Big Ten or non-Tennessee SEC schools. That may reveal more about the state of the Tennessee football program than anything.

I think the point is that Dooley doesn't actually care about who he's competing or recruiting against, he just wants to prevent Arnett from leaving by preventing him from going to any of the schools that would give him a good shot of going pro.


December 30th, 2011 at 5:53 PM ^

Of course I can see why Arnett wouldn't want to play at a program below his skill level, but if that's how it eventually goes down I don't think it will ruin his professional career. He'll dominate in the MAC if that's where he is and he will not be missed by NFL scouts.

There are a lot of reasons why this is wrong but I don't think that's high on the list.


December 30th, 2011 at 4:05 PM ^

It's not as if every player with an SEC or B1G offer will take said offer if they don't perceive that they will play at that school.

A pretty good example of this is current Temple quarterback Chris Coyer who had a commitable offer from Ohio State (and the other Ohio, interestingly) but chose to attend Temple in the MAC. At Temple, Coyer was able to work into the starting role and have some success. At Ohio State he would have sat a redshirt year and then probably been convereted to a safety (or not, given Joe Bauserman started the season).


December 30th, 2011 at 3:04 PM ^

between Dooley's choir boy bullshit act and this crap makes me so, so happy that Tennessee lost to Kentucky this year.  

At this point, I'm rooting for Mark Richt to blaze a Sherman-style path through the SEC almost as hard as I'm rooting for Michigan.  


December 31st, 2011 at 3:34 AM ^

Tennessee Athletics Administration - (865) 974-1224 or (865) 974-4275

Football, Sports Medicine, Strength & Conditioning
P.O. Box 15162
Knoxville, TN 37901-5162 or
1704 Johnny Majors Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996

Dave Hart - Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics - EMAIL - [email protected]
Derek Dooley - Head Coach - EMAIL  - [email protected]
If UT has struck a nerve with you also, voice your opinion! Under these terrible circumstances involving serious family health matters, I personally find it absolutely disgusting that University of Tennessee's head coach Derek Dooley put a condition on terms of transfer, limiting which schools in the state of Michigan that freshamn WR D Arnett can transfer to. Instead of preaching to the choir on this blog, i am going to try to do the impossible and enlighten some stupid fucks in the UT athletic administration, from all the information available, UT and Derek Dooley are treating this kid wrong.


December 31st, 2011 at 8:52 PM ^

My fiancee doesn't really follow football, but she was outraged by this injustice and was motivated to contact the UT athletic department.  Thank you for making their email address available.  Her message:


Dear Sirs,

 I am writing to you to express my outrage at the recent news regarding DeAnthony Arnett and his eligibility to receive a scholarship for a Big Ten school.   First of all let me tell you that I am not a football fanatic and only caught wind of these shenanigans through my husband who is an avid fan.  As educators and human beings, you should be ashamed of yourselves for hindering this young man’s future.  While attending your university he has done nothing but represent you well both on and off the field.  Your stubbornness is not allowing you to see what is in the best interest of DeAnthony. This is not a case of a young man who simply wants to play football at a Big Ten school; in fact, the only reason for this letter is because this man has an ailing father.  Your jobs are to enrich and mold the lives of young people and when given the chance to show support for a young man who is trying to do the right thing, you cut him down at the knees.  And for what?  The University of Tennessee isn’t even scheduled to play MSU or UofM.  What would your father say if he knew you were preventing a son from being with his father?!?!  You should show support to him and his family as he has always done for you and the University of Tennessee.  Your selfishness may keep DeAnthony from playing at a Big Ten school but it most certainly not keep him from his destiny.  While your morals and ethics certainly have been compromised, DeAnthony’s have not.  He continues to conduct himself with the utmost respect to you and the school while expressing his disagreement with your (terrible) decision.  It is certainly in the best interest of your football program to alter your decision. If you are not religious men, let me assure you, God or Karma will take care of you…



December 30th, 2011 at 3:05 PM ^

Good piece, Brian . . . on a coach who seems like a huge douchebag.

When was the last time Michigan refused to release a player?  Does anyone remember?


December 30th, 2011 at 3:12 PM ^

Tennessee is committing PR suicide here. Every team that recruits against them just got a huge bullet in their chamber against them. "Oh, you're considering UT? Did you know that if something terrible happens you'll have no opportunity to leave?" Them claiming that they don't release players to teams they play or recruit against is bullshit, because: a) they don't play UM or MSU, and b) they technically recruit against every team in the FBS. And if they truly recruit against UM and MSU, wouldn't giving up a high profile player to those teams HELP tennessee pick up a blue chip receiver down the line since one of those teams will have one less space on their roster? So much fail at that program.


December 30th, 2011 at 3:15 PM ^

Nepotism is a dangerous thing.

BTW, when does Derek's mommy starting complaining how her son is being treated unfairly concerning this Arnett story.


December 30th, 2011 at 3:16 PM ^

Great piece here.  Glad that someone gets the irony the NCAA lets occur when talking about Coaches and their ability to split at a moments notice and the binding agreements forced on student athletes.  There is no consistency between conferences and in all honesty the NCAA should make all the rules to equal the playing field.  When will the NCAA get a clue and hire a President who wants to make a qualty product (which will in turn make more money) and find what is best for the athletes and their schools.  Can we please get a Roger Goodell for the NCAA, like him or not he is consistent and determined.

SF Wolverine

December 30th, 2011 at 3:21 PM ^

Low Class Dude.  Angry that the once-proud program has been consigned to the pits of the SEC for the foreseeable future.  I'd be very surprised if there was any significant overlap between our recruiting targets over the last 5-6 years.  Stuff like this always comes back to bite you, and the sooner and harder for this douche, the better.

Go Blue Eyes

December 30th, 2011 at 3:22 PM ^

This place (UT) sounds like some kind of cult where once you're in you can't get out.  Maybe we need to activate the MGoCreeper Van and pull some kind of rescue off the streets of Knoxville?


December 30th, 2011 at 3:33 PM ^

Well this could seal Arnett to MSU.  He's a BCS caliber player and will want to play at such a school.  He might have to do a year of JUCO, and that pretty much puts him out of the running for UM, and thus, I think he ends up at MSU.


December 30th, 2011 at 6:15 PM ^

Wouldn't this be different than the typical player attempting to transfer from JUCO to UM?  I thought the reason UM didn't take these players is because they usually don't have the grades to get into a DI school coming out of HS, so they have to attend JUCO to get eligible.  Obviously Arnett is eligible and would be going to a JUCO for a different reason.


December 30th, 2011 at 3:54 PM ^

What light would that shed on either situation?

You can compare anything to anything. That you can do it doesn't mean its a good idea  (see innumerable slavery/fascism analogies).



December 30th, 2011 at 3:41 PM ^

Lane Kiffin is rumored to be very upset over what's transpiring at his former place of employment. He worked very hard to be the biggest douchebag coach in Tennessee history and is worried he may soon be eclipsed.


December 30th, 2011 at 3:44 PM ^

Just want to say first this is completely stupid and Dooley looks like a dick.

On the other hand I just want to know Tennessee's side.  Seems ridiculous, but Dooley seemed like a nice enough guy when he was hired.  I'm guessing this guy is not really that much of a douchebag.   

As for the funeral, I think Brian is piling on here.  I can't imagine anyone would want his ex coach,  who made it a pain in the ass to transfer, to show up at the funeral.  I don't think RR would be obligated to show up at hypothetical Boren funeral.

Basically does anyone have any insight as to the Tenn side?  They have to have a better reason than what Brian pointed out from their "spokesman"


December 30th, 2011 at 3:53 PM ^

I'm not sure I'm understanding your main point here.  You ask if anyone knows Tennesee's side aside form what their spokesman has said.  Well.... that is their side.  That is what spokesmen are for, no?  I don't mean that to come off as snarky and sorry if it did.  I was just wondering what you were expecting beyond the spokesman's explanation.


December 30th, 2011 at 4:11 PM ^

I undertand what Brian wrote, but I just can't see a schools policy being "If you screw with us you are a dead man"  Most policies are in place for a decent  reason.  Sometimes as time goes by or they are misinterpreted the policy looks stupid.

Do all SEC schools have the same policy?

Tenn looks real bad here with no real upside so I don't see the point.  As for Arnett I see the post below and that makes sense why they wouldn't make an exception.  They probably think it all relates to Baggett.

In the end you are probably right I'm not going to get a profound explanation it just amazes me how short sighted and stupid a school could be.  How does this hurt Tenn at all? The policy seems weird to include schools they recruit against. Let's take Mich for example. 

Upside in a recruiting pitch: I can't see any

Downside: Hoke says they don't seem to care about the kids Mrs. Prospect.  Look at what they did to these kids.

Dooley:  Uh um well uh uh Go Vols!!!


December 30th, 2011 at 3:55 PM ^

only angle I can see from tenn side of things is his father was sick before hand, and the family financial hardships he talked about in his letter I read at scout is alot of "woe is me crap" and nothing that would change if he was at msu/mich or at tenn.  that and he his position coach was just fired which is prolly the real reason for the transfer.

basically cliff notes

kid with sick dad gets woo'd to tenn by position coach

kids dad gets sicker

parents can't make it to see him play

position coach gets fired

kid has nothing left tieing him at tenn, plus school kinda sucks at football

he sees instantability to start at schools he wish he went to now

Kid wants to transfer.


December 30th, 2011 at 4:40 PM ^

Yeah, I agree that the funeral bit was unnecessary. The Douglas family is well connect with UT athletics and it probably had more to do with politics than anyone being an asshole.

As for the Arnett situation, I think Dooley is really committing suicide with his actions. I think that Dooley should not release a player to other SEC schools or non-conference schools that are scheduled for the next four years. That should be the extent of Dooley's concern about where he goes.

Funny but related, I remember reading on an MSU message board that when Charlie Baggett was fired from UT that he might go back to MSU. Maybe DA is potentially following the coach that recruited him? Maybe Dooley aught to also put restrictions on a transfer to MSU just in case. Leaving UM as the only logical choice for his transfer.

Rumors in Knoxville say that DD has several players that want to transfer right now and he is attempting to hold back the flood gates with Arnett. Probably a bad idea given his situation.


December 30th, 2011 at 3:49 PM ^

DeAnthony Arnett wants to leave Tennessee. This should be enough reason for Derek Dooley to release him, full stop. When Dooley left Louisiana Tech for Tennessee, he did not require the permission of Louisiana Tech.

Boom. This should be the end of discussion on all of this, but I'm sure Dooley has an excuse for himself.


December 30th, 2011 at 4:00 PM ^

Since he can't afford school, can we take an offering for him for the first year? What can we do within the rules of the NCAA? Seems a bit different than cars/tattoos.