Adjusting attitudes top task for Vols
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 2:57 pm
KNOXVILLE (AP) — Derek Dooley’s plans for Tennessee’s fall camp go beyond teaching the players the Xs and Os of his playbook. The new Volunteers’ coach knows he’s got to continue to help his players develop better attitudes and behavior away from the field.
That effort will not only help prevent any more embarrassments like the offseason bar brawl involving at least a half-dozen Vols but also make Tennessee a better team on the field, he said.
The Vols are “laying a foundation of the core values of how we compete and how we work together as a team … with the hope that all of that really forms a good team because there’s nothing more important in training camp than the development of a team,” Dooley said Tuesday.
His pupils will include the two players he suspended immediately after the July 9 bar fight that left an off-duty Knoxville police officer seriously injured. Sophomore linebacker Greg King and sophomore defensive tackle Marlon Walls will join their teammates when they begin fall practice today.
Sophomore defensive back Darren Myles Jr. — who was charged with assault, resisting arrest and evading arrest — has been dismissed from the team. Incoming freshman wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, but remains on the team. Walls and King’s roles in the incident have never been made clear by police or Dooley.
Dooley said he doesn’t expect to punish any other players in connection with the brawl unless new information emerges from the police investigation, which he doesn’t anticipate happening.
“I’m comfortable with the discipline that we have put on them, and I’m comfortable with their attitude and their remorse that they’ve had, and I’m confident that they’re going to be two great ambassadors for our program,” he said. “I have no qualms whatsoever in brining them back now.”
During the pair’s suspension, the rest of the Vols have spent time in meetings talking about their social responsibilities: everything from how to act in public to how to deal with agents.
Those sessions will conti
Coach Dooley does a great job of communicating what’s expected of us,” senior Nick Reveiz said. “He made known to us what we need to do and how we need to go about it.”
Reveiz said the upperclassmen have had their own discussions on how to help keep their teammates in line and plans to do a better job of reaching out to younger players, hanging out with them and setting a good example for them.
Reveiz plans to welcome back King and Walls.
“These guys are good guys. I really do believe we have good people on our team,” he said. “We’re going to welcome them with open arms because they’re our family, and we know people make mistakes, and we forgive them.”
The players are also ready to put the embarrassment of the brawl behind them and focus on becoming a better team.
“We’ve been doing good all summer, and we had one minor setback, but we’re not going to let it hamper us too much,” senior wide receiver Gerald Jones said. “Everybody’s just staying positive and focusing on camp.”