UT dismisses Lee Smith

Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer announced Wednesday that he has dismissed signee Lee Smith from the program and that he has suspended redshirt freshman Marsalous Johnson for the first four games of 2006.

Lee Smith is under investigation in connection with alleged grade-fixing at Powell High School. He also has a DUI (driving under the influence) charge pending following his arrest in the wee hours of Wednesday morning on the UT campus. Marsalous Johnson was arrested last Sunday for allegedly waving a pellet gun at an off-duty police officer on Interstate 40.

Fulmer's penalties were announced in a news item released by the university. Here's what the head man had to say:

"We have excellent positive energy around our team. We have many outstanding young men and those are the ones we will work with, and the ones that have been inconsiderate of our program or act immaturely will be left behind.

"Marsalous and Lee have embarrassed this great university and not presented themselves in a manner that appropriately represents our program. I have demanded accountability from our players and the team, and these two players have not followed instructions.

"As for Marsalous, he has been suspended from the football team for the first four games regardless of the outcome of his court appearance for not following my instructions to walk away from any potential trouble. When classes begin (Aug. 23), he will be required to move back into the dorm and return his car to his home as well as performing 50 hours of community service. His practice status on the team will be as a member of the scout team.

"Any reinstatement of Marsalous depends on his attitude and demonstration of accountability.

"Regarding Lee, I have made the decision that he be dismissed from the football team. I have great respect for the Smith family and for Daryle as a former Volunteer. It is my sincere hope that this will be an opportunity for Lee to mature and get his life in order."

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