Tennessee moves on to next game

With the Oregon case closed Derek Dooley and the Volunteers are moving along in preparations for the Florida Gators. Go "Inside" for all the latest with the Volunteers football team.

Tennessee may have taken a step backwards on Tuesday's practice for the Oregon Ducks, but the Vols are moving forward this week in preparation for the Florida Gators.

Derek Dooley said his team came out with good spirit and effort during Tuesday's workout at Haslam Field.

"Well, we had a pretty good Tuesday," Dooley said. "It was warm, but they had good spirits and it was a good practice – on to Wednesday, third down and red area, we need a lot of improvement on it."

After suffering the most lopsided loss in the history of Neyland Stadium, Dooley's Vols appear to be looking ahead instead of behind them.

"They were great today – 24 hours we lick our wounds, we hurt, we mourn, we feel bad, but then when you wake up Monday morning it's time to go to work and they have been great."

First-year wide receiver Da Rick Rogers' case from the infamous Cumberland Avenue brawl at Bar Knoxville came to a close Tuesday afternoon with just 16 hours of community service. The end of a long and drawn-out criminal case is no doubt a weight off the Vols' shoulders.

"There is a lot of burden you carry when you have been publically attacked and embarrassed," Dooley said. "When you are on the front page of the paper coming out of a jail cell – it's embarrassing.

"I think sometimes we don't realize how much that hurts and weighs on a kid, same thing with the two guys that were suspended. It's hard, anybody who has never been embarrassed in public, especially for something where they don't understand why, it is a hard thing."

Dooley was quick to recognize the professionalism of his players throughout the legal process.

"From the moment it happened our players have been completely honest, they never wavered in their honesty, they have been unbelievably cooperative with police, they were incredibly available and cooperative with the investigators," Dooley said. "Many times we did it without protection of an attorney because they wanted the truth out and they wanted their story out.

"It doesn't surprise me that it was resolved the way it was. I am very appreciative of the process, I respect the process and as I told the players when you are honest and handle it the right way and trust the process things tend to work out."

Dooley acknowledged that his players certainly did some things wrong with the incident, but the head coach hopes there are lessons learned throughout the process.

"They certainly were not right in how they did some things, but I hope they learned a lesson in just trusting the system," Dooley said. "When things aren't going right and you're frustrated, you don't understand and you are angry just stay the course and it will work out. That's what happened with Da'Rick and the rest of the guys."

Dooley said sometimes the media is more concerned with grabbing the big story than it is with the truth.

"That's the world we live in," he said. "Unfortunately, we are more concerned about the headline than the truth.

"It has been a burden, it has smeared our program, but we have to learn not to let that happen again."

Every day is a learning opportunity for Dooley's football team. With players all over the country making headlines for the wrong reasons Dooley uses each example as a opportunity to educate.

"Every day I am posting something of somebody else on ESPN.com. We talk about it as a team," Dooley said. "If you text and Facebook you have to be prepared for it to be on ESPN and if you don't want it posted ESPN and if you don't want it posted then don't type it."

Dooley and the Vols will return to practice Wednesday afternoon at Haslam Field.


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