Demetrice Morley challenges Ed Orgeron and loses, gets dismissed from team

There is a persistent rumor that when Ed Orgeron first took the Ole Miss job, he ripped off his shirt and challenged his players to a fight at their first meeting together. Essentially, he alpha-rolled his team by challenging them to challenge him. Nobody took him up on it.

Nothing suggests that Orgeron picked a fight with his players upon arriving at Tennessee, but he did have the temerity to institute rules and expect players to live up to them. Junior safety Demetrice Morley has apparently taken the passive-aggressive route with Orgeron and, as you might expect, lost. He's been kicked off the team for the second time in three years.

The official statement from Lane Kiffin:

Demetrice won’t be part of our team anymore. Like we said a long time ago, from the beginning, this isn’t easy. It’s very demanding for guys to stay here and go through everything that we do, and to hold to our standards on and off the field that we expect and to be a part of our culture. Demetrice could not do that, and we wish him the best of luck.

Gathering all of the hidden details from all of the various articles available on this story, it's clear that there wasn't one single event that triggered the severance. Instead, Morley simply never bought into the new theme of competitive discipline that the Kiffin Chimera brought to town, and in failing to do so, he filled yet another clean slate with graffiti.

Morley initially challenged Orgeron's authority by missing "a lot" of team runs early in the spring. He was suspended indefinitely, which to my knowledge wasn't reported anywhere. According to C.J. Fleming, Morley and Orgeron "never really got together." The message had been ignored.

Later, Morley showed up late for a team meeting and was suspended for the team's first spring practice. Message ignored again. He then missed another practice to witness the birth of his child, and he was again absent for Saturday's scrimmage, apparently without excuse. Tuesday evening, he was off the team.

The real shame of this is that Morley appeared to have turned things around. A five-star, No. 2 overall CB in the nation in the class of 2005, Morley played in every game his first two years, and he compiled 66 tackles, three interception returns for 41 yards and a touchdown, and one fumble recovery. In January, 2007 Phillip Fulmer dismissed him from the team for academic reasons, and Morley went to Florida and lived out of his car. During this time, he was arrested on charges of strong-armed robbery and ordered to perform 75 hours of community service. He then returned to Knoxville and paid his own way at a local community college, got his grades up, and earned his way back onto the team the following season. He performed his community service in 2008 and also played in every game but one (Wyoming, for which he was . . . suspended). He had two interceptions for 32 yards and a touchdown and 42 tackles.

Three days after Kiffin arrived, news of the 2007 Florida arrest surfaced when Knoxville police detained him on an outstanding warrant that was mistakenly issued by Florida authorities for failing to make a court appearance he wasn't required to attend because he'd performed his community service. It was a simple mistake, but still, it was not the best first impression, and you'd think he'd work to cure that. Message ignored.

So yeah, Morley's blown chance after chance, apparently for simply challenging authority by keeping his own schedule.

If they didn't before, Kiffin and Orgeron certainly have the team's attention now. Orgeron didn't challenge his players to fight this time, but he did challenge them to a battle of wills. Morley took him up on it and lost. Will the team get the message?

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