Dickerson cleared

A former Vol defensive tackle has been cleared of a rape allegation that cost him the last four games of his college football career.

An 18-year-old woman contacted the Knoxville Police Department on Nov. 14 and said she had been sexually assaulted, eventually identifying Mondre Dickerson as her assailant.

UT head man Phillip Fulmer suspended Dickerson from the team that same day, citing an ''unspecified violation of team rules.'' Dickerson, who admitted he broke curfew the night of the alleged assault, did not play in Tennessee's final three regular-season games -- Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Kentucky. He also missed the Peach Bowl loss to Clemson.

After investigating the allegations, police found no reason to arrest or charge Dickerson. Still, they asked District Attorney General Randy Nichols to take a look at the situation.

''At the completion of the extended investigation, the police department and the district attorney's office determined that there was no additional evidence to support criminal charges and that the level of evidence legally necessary to support a criminal prosecution could not be met,'' Nichols announced in a statement.

Though cleared, Dickerson is disappointed. He feels he did not get enough support from the UT community.

''I'm just happy it's over with and that I can get ready to take my shot at the NFL,'' he told The Tennessean. ''It's been tough. They always stress family at Tennessee and how it's a family there. When one of your family members is in need, you don't go astray from them.''

Dickerson, who was a Vol senior in 2003, hopes to be selected in the upcoming NFL Draft.

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