Coach Fulmer Is Growing Weary Of Team's Off The Field Troubles

Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer said Tuesday that Daryl Vereen must perform community service and will be subject to a semester-long curfew following the freshman tailback’s arrest for public intoxication and underage consumption early Monday morning.

Campus police arrested Vereen, who turned 19 on Tuesday, after responding to a call of a fight outside Gibbs Hall, a student residence located across the street from the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center.

“I am extremely disappointed in Daryl and his actions,” Fulmer said in a statement released Tuesday evening. “I have met him individually and talked with his parents. He is aware that I will not tolerate this type of behavior and he has a lot of work to do, including performing community service with a drug rehabilitation facility, participating in police ride-alongs and a semester-long curfew.”

According to UT, Fulmer also made the entire team run Tuesday morning at 6 a.m., following the second off-field incident involving Tennessee football players in less than two weeks.

None of the players involved has been suspended from games or practices.

“We have a great group of young men, but the actions of a few taint the image of all of them,” Fulmer said. “These young men need to understand that they represent the University of Tennessee and our football program and these immature actions need to stop.”

On Jan. 11, wide receivers Ahmad Paige, 18, and Gerald Jones, 18, were cited for misdemeanor possession of marijuana after Knoxville police found two marijuana cigars in Paige’s car following a traffic stop in the Fort Sanders area while hosting a recruit on his official visit.

Neither player — nor freshman offensive lineman William Brimfield, who was in the vehicle but not charged — was suspended.

All three, however, will be subject to more frequent drug testing, as well as community service and participation in a police ride-along. None will be allowed to host a recruit for one year.

Vereen’s arrest came shortly after 3 a.m. on Monday, when UT police said they observed as many as 10 people fighting in the fire lane outside Gibbs Hall.

As the others involved in the fight went inside the dorm, an officer noticed Vereen moving toward his dark blue Jeep Cherokee, which was parked in the fire lane.

In the UT police report released Tuesday, the officer told Vereen several times not to enter his vehicle. Vereen entered the Jeep on the driver’s side front door, but the officer caught up to Vereen and ordered him out of the vehicle.

“Mr. Vereen had a bloody lip and had a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from and about his person and breath,” the report says. “His speech was very slurred and he had blood shoot (sic) eyes.”

The report said Vereen was unsteady on his feet after exiting the vehicle.

He was arrested and taken to the Knox County Detention Center because the officer deemed Vereen “unable to care for his own safety or would be a danger to others.”

A friend parked Vereen’s Jeep in a legal parking space on campus, and Vereen’s keys were returned to him later, police said.

Vereen, a Charlotte, N.C. native, redshirted in 2007, a year after setting the Mecklenburg County rushing record with 2,603 yards and 31 touchdowns as a senior in 2006.

Tennessee begins spring practice March 11.

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  • by Reta Location: 37771 on Jan 23, 2008 at 07:20 PM
    The Fans are FED UP with team's off-field behavior!!!! GET TOUGH!!!!!!!
  • by jack Location: loudon on Jan 23, 2008 at 03:50 PM
    Same old problems and same old reply and punishment from Fulmer.Fulmer is so slow, he can not even change his statement to the press.I think we are all tired of same story over and over again.Dump 2 or 3 players off the team completely and then those kids will know what business is all about.
  • by Robert Location: Maryville, TN on Jan 23, 2008 at 08:27 AM
    Perhaps Coach Fuller should make those who break the rules with drugs and alcohol make a formal apology to their teammates, students and faculty in an open auditorium. This would be in addition to other punishments. A little humility sometimes makes one think about their choices.


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