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Seven to Ten Volunteer Football Players Involved in Bar Fight

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[Update from Will - Recapping the high points of the story at 10:15 AM]:

  • Freshman WR Da'Rick Rogers has been charged by KPD with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
  • Sophomore safety Darren Myles, Jr has also been arrested by UTPD (11:35 AM Update - Myles arrested for assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, and evading arrest).  Myles was also involved in an incident after the Orange & White Game where he was riding on top of a car in a parking lot, publicly intoxicated in West Knoxville.
  • Senior WR Denarius Moore has been questioned, but no charges yet.
  • Sophomore DT Montori Hughes has also been questioned, but no charges yet.

With reports making the rounds that the off-duty police officer who tried to break up the fight was left unconscious and transported to UT Med Center with a head wound, assault charges will no doubt be coming.  There's also the issue of any special treatment from Bar Knoxville.  Of these four guys, only Moore is 21.

Stay tuned...

Well, so much for our run of good news. Wes Rucker is reporting that seven to ten Tennessee football players were involved in a fight early this morning at Bar Knoxville, a nightclub near campus.

Actually, it sounds much worse than that, it sounds like seven to ten of them were mauling one guy:

"Basically, it was a normal Thursday night — Thursday’s our big night," [co-owner Sandy] Morton said. "We had all the UT football players come in. They’re on a first-name basis with my husband (and co-owner), and they get VIP status, which means they pay no cover at the door. We’ve never had a problem with them in the past, but tonight, apparently they had a falling out with another gentleman. I don’t know why. I don’t know what happened, but several of the guys started beating up the other customer. I want to guess there was [sic] seven to 10 guys beating up this one gentleman.

"All the security then rushed in and were trying to break it up. My husband saw them picking up bar stools and starting to swing them. We got them out the door with security. There happened to be a friend of ours who was an off-duty police officer outside. He tried to help, and he ended up getting knocked out in the street and proceeded to be kicked while he was down on the ground in the middle of Cumberland.

"That’s basically the gist of it."

*   *   *   *

"All [witnesses] said was these several gentlemen just started beating the tar out of this one," she said. "There was blood. There was ripped shirts. It took pretty much all my security to get them out."

Knoxville PD was apparently on the scene but would not comment, and it's unclear whether anyone was arrested. UT authorities were gathering information at the time and also wouldn't comment.

Random thoughts:

  • First, this is preliminary information. The details that come out later often dramatically change the perception of things, as we've learned in the past. Whether they change for the better or the worse, we just don't know right now.
  • Perception right now? Awful. I don't care what a guy might say to antagonize you and your friends, you're not going to be able to justify ten against one. One on one can't happen, either, but unless he was a terrorist about to blow the place up or something, no.
  • Can you give VIP status and free cover to UT football players, or is that some sort of NCAA violation?
  • Ugh.
  • If the club is so strict on dress code and ID, does this mean that we're talking about upperclassmen?
  • Ugh.
  • At a minimum, we're probably talking about suspension for a game, and depending on the imminent details, it could be more. Can we beat even UT-Martin with 65 scholarship players available? Shoot, why don't we just cut our roster down to 20 and call it soccer?
  • Andre Lott, you have your first assignment.
  • Ugh.
  • Brace for the commentary of our rivals.
  • We'll have more as the details are released.