McDaniel rejoins Vols

As expected, junior defensive tackle Tony McDaniel has been reinstated to the University of Tennessee football team after reaching a plea agreement on assault charges. He will be on probation for the remainder of his career at UT and will miss two of this fall's football games.

None of this is surprising. McDaniel had several previous court dates postponed, suggesting his attorney was moving closer to an out-of-court settlement that would prevent the 6-7, 300-pounder from facing felony aggravated assault charges and certain dismissal from the university.

McDaniel was arrested last January after an incident at the TRECS Center on campus. He was playing pickup basketball when an altercation with a fellow student allegedly ended with a McDaniel punch that left the other student with several broken bones in his face.

Don Bosch, McDaniel's attorney, announced that his client will make restitution to the injured party and pay court costs as part of the plea agreement.

McDaniel also had to survive a review by the UT Judicial Committee. It suspended him for both summer school sessions and placed him on indefinite probation for the remainder of his time at the university. He also is prohibited from entering the TRECS Center while he is a student.

Additional punishments have been imposed by head coach Phillip Fulmer. These include community service, anger management counseling, curfew for the fall semester and the two-game suspension. Most likely, McDaniel will sit out the first two games – Alabama-Birmingham (Sept. 3) and Florida (Sept. 17).

Fulmer, whose program has sustained more than a dozen off-field incidents in the past 18 months, released a statement expressing relief that this ugly episode has finally reached a conclusion.

"I'm pleased to have this behind us," Fulmer said. "This has reflected poorly on Tony and his family as well as the university and our team. Tony is remorseful for his actions, and I feel he has learned a great life lesson. He will complete the requirements set forth by the courts and university and our internal discipline.

"He is a good young man that made a bad decision and now has a second chance to move forward. I hope and feel he will take advantage of it."

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