Fulmer questions maturity

Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer has lost several of his players to disciplinary suspensions recently but he hasn't lost his sense of humor.

After noting that freshman defensive tackle Demonte Bolden matured considerably during a year at prep school (Hargrave Military Academy), the Vol coach wisecracked: ''We might ought to run 'em all through prep schools, as mature as we've acted here recently.''

Fulmer made that comment following Saturday's Orange & White game. Two days later, quarterback Brent Schaeffer and receiver Bret Smith were arraigned in Knox County General Sessions Court. Both face misdemeanor assault charges stemming from an April 10 incident at Clement Hall. Their preliminary hearing is scheduled May 23.

Schaeffer and Smith allegedly assaulted fellow student Quantavious Emerson, who wound up with a head wound that required four staples to close. Schaeffer was caught on surveillance video throwing Emerson to the floor. Both players have been suspended from the UT football team, pending the outcome of these charges.

Meanwhile, two more Vols are scheduled for arraignment today. Linebacker Jerod Mayo and defensive end Robert Ayers are facing aggravated assault charges stemming from an altercation between UT gridders and fraternity members at the University Center in early March. Ayers has admitted hitting a fellow student during the melee but Mayo maintains his innocence. Fulmer says Mayo was a victim of ''mistaken identity.''

Yet another gridder, defensive tackle Tony McDaniel, recently was bound over to the grand jury on assault charges. He allegedly broke the jaw of a fellow student during a pickup basketball game last January.

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