KNOXVILLE (WVLT) -- Running back LaMarcus Coker has been dismissed from the Tennessee football team for a violation of team rules, according to the school's athletic department. GoVolsXtra.com, WVLT's media partner, is reporting that the dismissal is due to a failed drug test.
The news comes just two days after Coach Phillip Fulmer suspended Coker for Saturday's game against Louisiana-Lafayette, along with defensive tackle Demonte Bolden. GoVolsXtra is reporting Coker was initially suspended for missing counseling sessions required because of previous failed drug tests.
“As I’ve had a chance to further investigate and talk to others close to the situation, I have decided to dismiss LaMarcus from the team because he did not do what was asked of him,” Fulmer said in a statement released by UT. “I want a positive environment for our athletes to learn and grow. This is what is right for the young men on our team and for the program.
“As a coach, my first obligation is to the growth of the young men with whom I'm entrusted. Sometimes, that means encouragement and mentoring, sometimes it means helping them understand the consequences of their decisions. LaMarcus is a talented young man with a lot of life in front of him. It is my hope that he will look back at this one day as a life lesson that helped him get things straight for his future."
Coker was suspended for almost three weeks of practice in August for what team officials described as a medical issue. He was also suspended for several practices last December in advance of the Outback Bowl for undisclosed reasons.
The sophomore running back led Tennessee in rushing last season as a redshirt freshman. He was third on the team this season and also served as a kick returner.