A feel-good day for Tennessee men's basketball program was suddenly interrupted Friday when coach Bruce Pearl announced that sophomore forward Duke Crews and sophomore point guard Ramar Smith will not be returning for the 2008-09 season.
Violations of UT's substance abuse policy and academic shortcomings contributed to both departures, sources within the program told the News Sentinel.
"I am disappointed that Duke and Ramar did not meet the mark and did not succeed to the level of our expectations," Pearl said just moments before UT's annual basketball banquet.
Of course, on a day when we're reminded that we don't always know everything that's going on in a player's life, I'm a bit hesitant to hurl any rash criticisms. So I'll just say . . . nice.