Hamilton Doesn't Favor

As much as anything, lack of discipline contributed to Tennessee's 5-6 season.

Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton was asked how concerned he is about that area of the football program.

``I'm concerned about discipline in the athletic department at all times,'' said Hamilton. ``Certainly, football has gotten a lot of attention because of not having accomplished what we wanted to accomplish this season.

``You look at a time frame of 12 to 14 months where we had 13 to 14 off-field incidents of a variety of severity. The reality of it is, in our world at the University of Tennessee, they're all severe because of the notoriety that occurs from it.

``We're in the education business. We've got to go to work every day to make sure we use the opportunity to teach student-athletes the right way and the wrong way in terms of behavior. You've got to mold discipline to circumstances, but at the same time, you have to also be consistent in that discipline. It's an area we need to shore up.''

One of the football players' parents said the players should move back on campus rather than have apartments spread all over Knoxville. Hamilton disagrees.

``Do we let our student-athletes have a college experience similar to their peers?'' Hamilton said. ``We have requirements about freshmen being in the dorm. We have requirements about some kids who are more at risk from a social standpoint and an academic standpoint staying on campus.

``But if a student-athlete has a 3.25 majoring in accounting and is doing what you ask him to do, should he be required to live on campus or should he be able to have a relatively normal student experience and live in an apartment complex? I don't know that I'd be in favor of forcing all student-athletes back on campus.''

But, Hamilton added: ``I do regret in some ways we don't have the dorm situation we had at one point because I think . at least we had a higher concentration of student-athletes in a particular dorm and there was a little bit more control over the process. You simply cannot police your student-athletes 24 ours a day, seven days a week.''

UT has over 26,000 students but on-campus housing for less than 7,000.


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