Thursday marked the fourth practice of Tennessee's spring football camp and it was headlined with another loss.
Freshman Aaron Douglas, the only returning offensive lineman from last year's squad, met with Derek Dooley Thursday and let the head coach know he no longer wants to be a part of the Tennessee football team.
"Aaron Douglas and I met today and he has decided that he no longer is a part of our football team," said Dooley.
"Its unfortunate that we never got a chance to coach him, but as I have told you guys and I have told the team our concern is not what we don't have its who we have. We have 84 guys that are excited about our program"
Dooley said the meeting was going to come at some point and was a mutually called meeting.
"There was a point where we were going to have to have a talk about things," said Dooley. "Certainly we are always going to support our players when they are having problems, but there's also a responsibility that every player has to the team and so I think it had reached the point where we needed to sit down and really decide which way we headed here and he no longer wants to be a part of the program."
Douglas did ask for his release from the University of Tennessee and the head coach said it would be granted under conditions that will mostly remain between the two.
"He did ask for his release and we will certainly, with conditions, allow him to go to some other places," said Dooley. "Certainly we are not going to release him to anyone that we play."
And although Douglas has left the team the head coach said it wouldn't affect practice much from this point on because they have never seen Douglas.
"I doesn't do anything to me, because he was never here. I have never even seen Aaron jump over a bag, so there has been no change in what we are coaching or the personnel decisions we have been making," said Dooley.
While Douglas' decision to leave the team might not affect the coaches it is affecting his teammates.
"It hurts man," said senior wide receiver Gerald Jones. "We lost two really good players, especially Aaron Douglas. It hurts to loose them it really does, but the thing is we lost a coach last year… we lost a couple of coaches last year. What do we have to do? We have to move on."
Even co-offensive lineman Dallas Thomas was unaware of the news regarding Douglas before Thursday's practice.
"No, but I am probably going to call him tonight and see what is going on for real," said Thomas.
With Douglas gone the Volunteers will have to completely rebuild their offensive line. Derek Dooley says that will only happen with good coaching from his staff.
"We have to do a good job as coaches," said Dooley. "I feel like we have some good young talent in the program and we signed some good talent. I have no worries about the future, but in the short term its not a good situation when you don't have anyone back."
With Douglas gone Dooley now says its time to move on. He is not going to concern himself with anyone that isn't a part of his football team.
"We are planting grass we aren't pulling weeds. We are building for the future, we are putting seeds down, we are going to have a great field soon and I'm not going to concern myself with pulling weeds because then nothing happens, there's no growth."
Dooley and the team will move on with practice Saturday afternoon at Haslam field.