Tuesday Practice Report

KNOXVILLE - When Phillip Fulmer addressed the media following Tuesday's practice it wasn't about what happened on the field. It was about what's been going on away from the field of play.

"We've got some very immature young men on this football team," said Fulmer. If not immature, than socially unadjusted at this time. I'm extremely embarrassed and disappointed in the actions in a number of our player over the last several months. I apologize to the university community and to Dr. Peterson and to Mike Hamilton and all the fans that follow our program."

Earlier this week quarterback Brent Schaeffer and wide receiver Bret Smith were suspended indefinitely following an altercation at Clement Hall. Baseball bats were brandished, but never used. One student needed four staples to close a gash on his head, allegedly caused by Schaeffer.

"At this point, Brent along with a number of other guys hasn't taken the responsibility of being in a program like this," Fulmer said. "You're not just a student. Double standard or not, you're a Tennessee football player and you have to conduct yourself that way. In a lot of places, you fight for everything you get and it's different in this environment. You don't have to do that."

Reportedly Smith kicked the student while he was down resulting in an assault charge.

On Tuesday, Phillip Fulmer announced that two more players were being charged in a brawl that occurred some five weeks ago at the University Center.

Daniel Brooks was the only player named in the police report. However, Jerod Mayo and Robert Ayers were the duo that turned themselves in.

"Two of our players were charged today," Fulmer said. "Jerod Mayo, who I don't think was involved. I think it's a case of mistaken identity from what I've found out." "You can go anywhere and put out a warrant on anybody," Fulmer said. "what I know about it, Jerod Mayo will be out there participating unless something changes. Robert Ayers will not (participate) until we get through this."

"We‚re all accountable and it starts with me," Fulmer said. "We're in the young people business. I pride myself in that we run a disciplined football program. At the same time we're compassionate when compassion needs to be there."

"You try to teach them to be really tough on the field and they've got to be gentlemen off the field,"Fulmer said.

On where his tolerance level stands right now, Fulmer offered up the following.

"Very low right now," Fulmer said. "I'm very angry as I think I should be. I look at the practice out there and it was a great practice. But, I'm not happy right now." "I sat in those parents homes and I'm accountable for their kids," Fulmer said. "I don't think there's any question that we'll pull the trigger if we need to pull the trigger."

As for Brooks, Fulmer announced that he will be suspended for the Vols first two games of the 2005 season. Brooks has been connected to no less than three violent incidents in a little over a year. However, Fulmer was quick to point out that he was never charged in any of them.

"Our efforts need to be centered on trying to win all our games instead of who‚s in court this week," Fulmer said.


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