Fulmer to Banks: no thanks

James Banks' plea for another shot with the UT football team has been denied.

Head coach Phillip Fulmer telephoned Banks Monday afternoon and informed him that his dismissal for repeated disciplinary problems will not be lifted.

"Coach Fulmer gave me a call today and told me, and I said I understand, and I wanted him to know that I'm sorry,'' Banks told The Knoxville News-Sentinel.

Banks went on to say he has ''no hard feelings'' toward the Vols, adding: "I understand Tennessee's decision. I understand rules and standards. You can't bring me back without there being a guarantee.''

A prep All-America quarterback at Ben Davis High in Indianapolis, Banks eventually became a receiver at Tennessee. He was the leading pass-catcher in 2003 but sat out the 2004 season due to a suspension and knee injury. He was hoping to make a mark as a safety next fall but was dismissed from the program last December when he submitted a tainted urine sample to school authorities in an attempt to beat a drug test.

Banks previously failed a substance test in December of 2003. He also has been charged with underage drinking and violation of Knoxville's noise ordinance last summer.In addition, he had academic difficulties at various times during his UT career

"I wasn't doing the right things," Banks told The News-Sentinel. "I didn't pass any classes.''

Banks' future is uncertain at this point. One thing's for sure: It won't unfold at UT.

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