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Interesting story about student/athletes....and transferring.

TumbleweedTomTumbleweedTom Posts: 1,987 Officer
Happened upon this in a moment of withdrawal from the bowl addiction.....
Arnett was one of UT's best receivers this year as a true freshman..., and a heralded recruit when signed.

DeAnthony Arnett transfer saga could end with all losing, if Tennessee remains heartless
Published: Friday, December 30, 2011, 10:34 AM Updated: Friday, December 30, 2011, 7:38 PM
By Hugh Bernreuter | The Saginaw News

After enjoying life as a top recruit, DeAnthony Arnett chose to play football for the University of Tennessee, a decision he now regrets.

SAGINAW - DeAnthony Arnett made a poor choice going to Tennessee.

And the University of Tennessee football program seems adamant that everybody knows it.

The former Saginaw High star wants to leave Tennessee for a variety of reasons, with family at the top of his list. His father is seriously ill, according to a letter from Arnett, suffering two heart attacks. His father is also on dialysis.

Arnett asked for a release from his scholarship so that he could transfer to Michigan or Michigan State to be closer to his father. If Tennessee does not release Arnett, he would have to pay to attend Michigan or Michigan State. Given his family's economic hardships, that is not going to happen.

Tennessee, however, does have a heart, sort of. The Volunteers will release Arnett, but only to Mid-American Conference schools, not programs that will compete against the Volunteers on the field or on the recruiting trail.

Yet, Tennessee is more likely to play a MAC team than a Big Ten team. In the past 10 years, the Volunteers have scheduled no games against Big Ten teams. Yet, Tennessee has played three MAC teams in the past four years and will play another, Akron, next season.

In the past 10 seasons, Tennessee has played two Big Ten teams, both in bowl games, beating Wisconsin and losing to Penn State.

There are two issues at play. Arnett needs Tennessee's release in order to receive scholarship money from another program. It does not release him to play next season. He currently has three years of eligibility, but to keep from losing a year he must receive a personal hardship waiver from the NCAA. Arnett, however, cannot apply for a hardship waiver until he honors his one-year commitment at Tennessee, thanks to the binding National Letter of Intent he signed to play for the Volunteers.

This is also where Tennessee looks, at best, hypocritical. Almost exactly a year ago, the Volunteers received a gift from Notre Dame in offensive lineman Alex Bullard.

Bullard, a top recruit, committed to Notre Dame and played his freshman season with the Irish, but asked to be released from his commitment after his father died. He wanted to move closer to his family in Tennessee.

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly released Bullard from his commitment with no stipulations. There were no Tennessee-esque penalties that forced Bullard to play for anybody but Tennessee. Bullard applied for a personal hardship waiver, received it and started 12 games for the Volunteers this season.

Perhaps Notre Dame does not see Tennessee as a recruiting rival. Perhaps Notre Dame saw the wisdom in taking the high road and maybe using the situation to help in future recruiting pitches. Or maybe the Irish have a heart.

In any case, Notre Dame came out smelling good. Right now, Tennessee simply comes out smelling.

This does not absolve Arnett from blame for picking Tennessee in the first place.

He says he didn't realize that his father's medical condition would worsen. He didn't believe playing football or Tennessee would hinder his family obligations.

But living and attending school far from family has to be a major consideration for not just recruits, but for all college students. For some, moving away from home is a great thing, a chance to get out on their own, spread their wings, become a responsible adult and all those other sayings on recruitment brochures.

For others, it is not a good decision. It didn't help that one of Arnett's ties to Michigan, Charlie Baggett, left Tennessee's program after the season. Baggett recruited Arnett and served as his position coach. It was Baggett and his credentials as one of the top receiving coaches in the country that helped sway Arnett and lure him to Knoxville.

This is also about Arnett's future, one that he hopes can turn into some NFL money for himself and his family. He sees Michigan or Michigan State as the best avenue to that future.

He does not see Central Michigan, Western Michigan or Eastern Michigan as possible stops. But history says that if Arnett is good enough, those programs will not end his dream.

Antonio Brown, who was drafted two years ago out of CMU, is going to the Pro Bowl and was voted by the Pittsburgh Steelers as their MVP. Green Bay's Greg Jennings, who played for Western, is among the top receivers in the NFL.

True, the road is tougher for a MAC receiver than a Big Ten receiver. Draft position and bonuses will suffer initially. And Brent Musberger will not call your games on national TV.

But if this is about family and not football, that shouldn't matter.

Indications are that Arnett did well in school. He won't be a Rhodes Scholar, but he won't get suspended for academic reasons either. He earned three Bs and a C, according to Arnett.

Arnett caught 24 passes as a true freshman and showed moments of promise that reinforced his status as one of the top receiver recruits in the country. He was a major part of the Volunteers' plans for the future.

It appears those plans will not come to fruition in Knoxville.

The next moves belong to Tennessee's football program, beginning with Volunteers' head coach Derek Dooley. He is in a difficult spot. To be truly gracious, Dooley would keep Arnett on scholarship through the spring to fulfill Arnett's one-year commitment required because he signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the volunteers.

But how many coaches would keep a player on scholarship just so he can transfer?

Or maybe he just lets Arnett go immediately and watches him sit for a year at Michigan or Michigan State. Or does he make him stay in Knoxville? How committed will Arnett be next year if he is forced to stay at Tennessee?

Dooley can make life difficult for Arnett, but by doing so he will make life difficult for himself and the Tennessee football program.

Dooley's next moves will reveal where his heart is ... or if he even has one.

"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy." Tom Waits.


  • aubuc1aubuc1 Posts: 490 Officer
    Would be interesting to hear UT's side.
  • TumbleweedTomTumbleweedTom Posts: 1,987 Officer
    Found this Aubie..., don't necessarily agree with it, but can see the "institutions" side of this. Think UT/Dooley had more to gain than to lose here though.., if he'd taken the high road Brian Kelly did as mentioned in the 1st article. To grant this medical/hardship transfer certainly doesn't mean that every student/athlete who wants a change of scenery would be released and would/could certainly be reiterated at the time of the release..., simple as that.

    And the fact that neither school he intends to transfer to is in the SEC, or even played in years simply doesn't "float."
    Recruiting? Give me a break. If you can't compete there? Too bad.

    Tennessee Volunteers Made Tough but Right Decision with DeAnthony Arnett
    By Steven Cook (Contributor) on December 31, 2011

    Derek Dooley and the Tennessee football program have been heavily scrutinized following their decision not to release true freshman receiver DeAnthony Arnett to a BCS school.

    The former four-star recruit is seeking a transfer to either Michigan or Michigan State in order to be closer to his sick father in his hometown of Saginaw, Mich., according to an email he sent to GoVolsXtra.

    Tennessee has announced that they will release his scholarship to a MAC school such as Central Michigan or Eastern Michigan, but they will not release him to powerhouses Michigan or Michigan State.

    The school has a policy of not releasing scholarship players to teams that they play or recruit against, which is what they are citing for their stance on Arnett. While the Vols won't cross paths with the Spartans or Wolverines on the gridiron in the near future, they recruit against each other constantly.

    In the short time since this news has gone public, Dooley has been deemed the tyrannical power that is controlling the helpless Arnett who is trying to be there for his family.

    But this decision isn't about recruiting, or even about Arnett. Tennessee has to protect themselves as an institution. They can't make it look like it's alright to come take a chance at playing for UT, then back out to find a better team to join if the first season doesn't go as planned.

    I'm not saying that Arnett is giving false information about his father's health problems, because he seems like a character guy, but giving Arnett the green light to play immediately at a superior program could start a chain reaction of transfers among UT's elite players who may feel like a change of scenery.

    Thoughts and prayers go out to Arnett's family, and he's well beyond his years to be able to put his family above football. But he's not even a year removed from signing with the Vols and, regardless of his personal situation, he should have to honor his initial decision by sitting out a year or playing a season in junior college just like anyone else.

    Unfortunately for Dooley, the PR damage has been done. This whole fiasco will continue to be exploited by mainstream media as a heartless act by a struggling athletics program, potentially affecting recruiting and even the locker room.

    Tennessee's athletic department has made countless careless decisions over the last five years to put them in the situation they're currently in with back-to-back losing seasons. Dooley and the Vols may suffer publicly from this fallout, but it finally looks like decisions are being made in the school's best interest.

    "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy." Tom Waits.
  • mrblugilmrblugil Posts: 844 Officer
    Watched the kid all thru high school,don't know about the hardship but he is a goodun
  • CoxsterCoxster Posts: 3,086 Captain
    Sounds like the in-breeding and Rocky Top is taking its toll on the UT football "think tank" which is awfully, awfully shallow when at its best.
  • fins4mefins4me Posts: 14,487 AG

    first off the University of Tennessee has done MORE than most institutions would do for Arnett. They have allowed him to transfer (with restrictions) without having to set out a year. The NCAA had already DENIED his hardship claim.

    second, His father is no worse today than when he committed to Tennessee

    third, his SO CALLED dad had almost NOTHING to do with raising Arnett and until this recent development seemed unimportant to the little BASS ****.

    forth, IF getting closer to his dad was his true goal, one would think he would be wanting to get close to him without regard to the BCS potential of the institution he might transfer to,

    and finally,,, this only came up when UT let the receivers coach that recruited Arnett go. His status on the team as a front line receiver is coming under question as Hunter returns from his injury and new recruits come to UT in this class. UT made a commitment to Arnett and all other team members and it should be able to expect those folks to live up to their end of the bargain. UT has given the little scum an out but instead of taking that generous offer and going he chose to go to the press like a little pilee of ***** and cry like a baby. At this point I wish UT would withdraw the offer to let the crap pile transfer and make him warm the pine if he wants to stay on any team.
    ALLISON XB 21,, MERCURY 300 Opti Max Pro Series (Slightly Modified) You can't catch me!!!
    "Today is MINE"
  • mrblugilmrblugil Posts: 844 Officer
    Kids family said today he's not returning to Tenn no matter what happens
  • TumbleweedTomTumbleweedTom Posts: 1,987 Officer
    Tried to show both sides here, but doesn't matter where your feelings lie..., UT's gonna come out on the short end of this one.

    And.., it's quite clear the NCAA's gonna ride with the in$titution here.., they always do when their money$ tampered with by the student/athlete.
    It does NOT appear, from the article below, that the NCAA has ruled on the combination(s) of eligibility/sitting out one year or having to pay his own way.

    Also seems the father has gotten worse..., and in fact had 2 more surgeries..., whether he was involved in the athlete's earlier life isn't relevant to the present.

    It's also hard to believe Arnett would go to so much trouble simply to get out of his scholarship.

    After all he was/is one of the best receiver's UT had this season, and was playing..., "not sitting the pine."

    Read on...this is what the media continues to say about the situation.

    DeAnthony Arnett's family clarifies plans, including absolutely no return to Tennessee
    Published: Saturday, December 31, 2011, 1:02 PM Updated: Saturday, December 31, 2011, 11:03 PM
    By Hugh Bernreuter | The Saginaw News

    Former Saginaw High star DeAnthony Arnett caught 24 passes for Tennessee last season as a true freshman, but does not expect to return to Knoxville.

    SAGINAW - Former Saginaw High star DeAnthony Arnett will not return to Tennessee under any circumstances, according to a family member who said Arnett himself would not comment publicly until the situation is resolved.

    Arnett, one of the top wide receiver recruits in the 2011 class, has requested a release from his commitment to the Tennessee football team after catching 24 passes as a true freshman.

    According to the family member, Arnett loved playing at Tennessee and his request has nothing to do with any type of dissatisfaction with the school, the coaches, playing time or teammates.

    It has everything to do with his father, who has undergone two surgeries since Arnett returned to Saginaw for the winter break. He had heart surgery and also had surgery to place a permanent stent in his arm for dialysis. His father may need another surgery soon if the initial stent surgery was unsuccessful.

    There are several roadblocks, but Arnett is trying to work around them to attend Michigan, Michigan State or Notre Dame without losing any eligibility. Arnett has three years of eligibility remaining.

    Tennessee, however, has denied Arnett's request to be released to play at Michigan or Michigan State. The Volunteers, citing school policy, have released Arnett to play at one of the Mid-American Conference schools in Michigan - Central Michigan, Western Michigan or Eastern Michigan.

    It is Tennessee policy not to release players to schools that the Volunteers compete against on the field or in recruiting. However, in the past 10 years, Tennessee has not scheduled any games against Big Ten teams, but in three of the past four years, the Volunteers have played a team from the MAC.

    Next season, Tennessee is not scheduled to play a Big Ten team, but will play Akron, a team from the MAC.

    In terms of distance, Michigan State and Central Michigan University are the closest to Saginaw.

    Arnett, however, also needs to fulfill a binding National Letter of Intent, which requires at least one year of schooling at Tennessee.

    According to the family member, Arnett will try to take online classes offered by Tennessee during the spring, hoping that it fulfills the the NCAA requirement.

    "If we can satisfy those requirements online, then we can move on to the next step and ask the NCAA for a hardship waiver," the family member said. "No matter what, Dee is not going back to Tennessee, not with the medical problems we're facing.

    "The people at Tennessee know he's not coming back. The coaches know, the players know, the administrators know. No matter what happens, Dee can't go back right now, not the way the situation is. They know that. We've been talking back and forth. They understand.

    "Right now, the plan is to take online classes through Tennessee - he's still on scholarship - and work out at home to stay in shape."

    Depending on the release and the NCAA rulings, Arnett may have to pay his own way to attend college, sit out a year, lose a year of eligibility or any combination of the three.

    The family member also said there are other, less critical motives behind the request. In themselves, the reasons wouldn't have caused him to ask for a release.

    The family member cited economic reasons, which changed when Arnett graduated from high school and the family's Social Security benefit checks decreased.

    Also, Tennessee receivers coach Charlie Baggett retired at the end of the season. Baggett, one of the top receivers coaches in the country, was the primary recruiter for Arnett and one of the main reasons he chose to go to Tennessee.

    "His mom was only able to go to one of his games, and that means a lot to Dee," the family member said. "We thought we would be able to afford to go to more, but then our benefits changed. And with the medical problems, it's very hard for us to be able to drive to see a game in Tennessee.

    "Dee loved Tennessee and he loved Coach Baggett, but his situation has changed in a lot of ways since he signed his letter of intent. He's trying to do what's best for him and his family.

    "We'll keep talking to Tennessee and hope they understand. There is nothing personal involved. It's just family."
    "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy." Tom Waits.
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