Cooter faces DUI charge

Jim Bob Cooter was such a brilliant student in junior high that he could've attended Chattanooga McCallie, a prestigious private school whose graduates usually attend Duke University. Instead, he enrolled at Lincoln County High in Fayetteville, where he made straight A's. After scoring a 34 on the ACT, he was awarded a full academic scholarship by the University of Tennessee.

Although Cooter lacks the overall quarterbacking skills to earn significant playing time with the Vols, his quick mind has made him a valuable practice player. Former UT offensive coordinator Randy Sanders calls him "one of the smartest people I've ever been around."

Even smart people have occasional lapses of judgment, though, and Cooter apparently had one last weekend. According to reports in today's editions of The Tennessean, he was arrested in the wee hours of Saturday morning on a drunk-driving charge. Head coach Phillip Fulmer promptly suspended him for an indefinite period that will include Tennessee's Sept. 2 opener with California.

Cooter reportedly was stopped by campus police at around 3:25 a.m. after running a stop sign on a campus-area street. The report says Cooter's vehicle had been weaving and was in the wrong lane when police pulled him over.

According to The Tennessean, Cooter failed three sobriety tests and was taken to the UT police department. He registered 0.19 on a breathalyzer test, which is more than double the state's legal limit of 0.08.

Cooter was charged with first-offense driving under the influence. A female passenger in his vehicle was charged with underage consumption.

A three-time member of the SEC's Academic Honor Roll, Cooter already has earned his bachelor's degree. He will compete as a graduate student for the 2006 Vols. By all accounts, he is one of the brightest students currently attending the University of Tennessee.

As noted previously, though, even smart people have occasional lapses of judgment. Jim Bob Cooter's decision to get behind the wheel Saturday morning certainly qualifies on that score.

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