Tag:Aaron Douglas
Posted on: December 29, 2011 6:04 pm
Edited on: December 29, 2011 6:06 pm

Vol frosh WR DeAnthony Arnett asks for release

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

A tumultuous season for Derek Dooley and the Tennessee Volunteers has bled into what's already a tumultuous offseason, with coaching changes, alleged suspensions, and now a one-time star recruit asking for a contentious release from the program.

According to multiple reports, freshman wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett has asked for a release from his scholarship and intends to transfer out of the Volunteer program. A Saginaw, Mich. native, Arnett is looking to transfer to a school somewhere in Michigan to be closer to his ailing father, whose picture Arnett tweeted a photo of Thursday afternoon.

Tennessee has since confirmed Arnett's request and agreed to the release--but with conditions attached, as the Knoxville News-Sentinel reports. According to an e-mail sent by Arnett to ESPN, the Volunteers have refused to release him to the state's BCS-level programs (Michigan and Michigan State), and the statement from Tennessee spokesman Jimmy Stanton would seem to confirm this:

"We're not denying him a release to be near his family, get a good education and play Division I football at the same time, but we do have a policy of not releasing players to schools we either play or recruit against," Stanton said Thursday. "Where he's from, there are several good D-I schools nearby that would be good options to play football, get a good education and keep him near his family." 

Not surprisingly, Arnett is less than happy with that decision:

"Coach Dooley, myself or anybody doesn't know what the future holds for my father," Arnett said in the email. "I feel that I represented the University of Tennessee the best way I can on and off the field and I feel I have earned the right to be released unconditional to all schools in Michigan."

Quite frankly, we don't blame him; unless Arnett has forfeited his good standing with Dooley and the Vols through some kind of unreported off-the-field incident, refusing to allow him to play on scholarship at Arnett's school of choice while he helps care for an ill parent strikes us as stunningly petty. Whatever benefit is gained from Tennessee playing keep-away from noted recruiting rivals Michigan and Michigan State (if you say so, Mr. Stanton), is it really worth punishing Arnett for doing nothing wrong? (Nothing "wrong" other than wanting out of Knoxville, anyway.) This is also nothing new for Dooley, who previously refused a release to the late Aaron Douglas unless he transferred to a location eight hours' drive away, and kept Bryce Brown off of scholarship at Kansas State for a year while refusing him a release as well.

A highly sought-after four-star recruit, Arnett played in all 12 games his freshman season, finishing third on the team in receptions with 24 and fourth in yards with 242.

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Posted on: July 4, 2011 4:03 pm
Edited on: July 4, 2011 6:19 pm

Mother of Auburn signee Bray killed in shooting

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

What has already been a miserable offseason for two college football programs in the state of Alabama has become that much worse this holiday weekend.

Tonya Bray, the 37-year-old mother of Auburn wide receiver/running back signee Quan Bray, died Sunday after being shot in LaGrange, Ga. Police have arrested Quan's father, Jeffery Jones, and charged him with murder in connection with Tonya's death.

According to police, witnesses saw a driver pull alongside Tonya Bray's vehicle in LaGrange Sunday morning and fire multiple shots into the vehicle before speeding away. Jones turned himself into police within an hour of Bray being pronounced dead at West Georgia Medical Center.

Auburn head coach Gene Chizik released a statement regarding the incident:
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Quan and his entire family during this extraordinarily difficult time. This is a terrible tragedy, but the Auburn Family will support Quan in every way possible throughout the grieving and healing process ahead. Quan is a great young man with a bright future, and we will be there for him every step of the way."
The tragedy only adds to what has been the most difficult offseason in recent memory for college football in the Yellowhammer State. Bray's death comes on the heels of the drug-related passing of Alabama lineman Aaron Douglas, the loss of Tide long snapper Carson Tinker's girlfriend in the April tornado disaster and all the other difficulties for both programs in the wake of those storms, as well as (on a much less serious note) the poisoning of Auburn's beloved Toomer's Corner oak trees and the March arrest (and dismissal) of four Tiger players on armed robbery charges.

A highly regarded all-purpose athlete out of Lagrange's Troup County High School, Bray is already enrolled in classes at Auburn and is expected to compete this fall for playing time at receiver, running back, and kick returner. Eye on CFB offers he and his family our thoughts and condolences.

Posted on: June 28, 2011 11:27 am
Edited on: June 28, 2011 11:58 am

Autopsy shows drugs in system of Tide OL Douglas

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Sometimes, there's news we'd rather just not have to pass on. The May 12 death of 21-year-old Alabama offensive lineman Aaron Douglas while on a vacation in Florida was one of those times.

And today's findings from the Douglas autopsy report makes this, unfortunately, another.

The medical examiner ruled the death "accidental," the result of the multiple drugs found in Douglas' system. Among those were the painkiller methadone and the anxiety medication diazepam, which is better known under the brand name of Valium.

According to police, Douglas had been taking a taxi to Jacksonville when he was invited to a party by a pair of women staying in the Fernandina Beach, Fla., area. His body was found on the second-floor balcony in Fernandina Beach the next morning, Douglas having passed away sometime after 2 a.m.

Douglas was a native of Maryville, Tenn., and he signed with nearby Tennessee out of high school before transferring to an Arizona community college and then to Alabama after the hiring of Derek Dooley. A freshman All-American with the Vols, Douglas sometimes struggled with off-field issues, which included a DUI arrest last December.

Eye on CFB continues to offer its sympathies to the Douglas family and those connected with Douglas at both the Tennessee and Alabama football programs.
Posted on: May 19, 2011 3:24 pm
Edited on: May 19, 2011 4:41 pm

Oklahoma linebacker Austin Box passes away

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The Oklahoma football program was rocked today by the death of starting middle linebacker Austin Box. Box, 22, was found unresponsive at a house in El Reno this morning, and was airlifted to Mercy Hospital in nearby Oklahoma City. He was later pronounced dead.

KFOR 4 in Oklahoma City was the first to report that the medical examiner's office confirmed Box's passing, but no details past that have been officially released as yet. The Tulsa World has reported that the medical examiner's office does not expect a cause of death to be known today.

According to a report by Fox 25 in Oklahoma City, the police report notes that Box took an unnamed "controlled dangerous substance," and that his death was likely an overdose. 

Oklahoma president David Boren released this statement today:

"The University family is deeply saddened by the tragic death of student-athlete Austin Box. Our hearts go out to his family and friends."

Also, OU athletic director Joe Castiglione released this statement:

"Austin Box will be greatly missed by his many friends and teammates in the Athletics Department and all across campus. Grief counseling is being made available to members of the team and his close friends."

As The Oklahoman reports, head coach Bob Stoops is currently overseas.

Needless to say, this is horrible news for Oklahoma and the Box family, and horrible news for the rest of college football -- especially just days after the passing of Alabama lineman Aaron Douglas. 22 years is far too young for anybody to pass away, far too short a life to live, and we offer our condolences to all affected.

Posted on: May 12, 2011 3:27 pm

Saban, Kiffin respond to Douglas death

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Following the shocking death of Alabama offensive lineman Aaron Douglas, both his current and former college head coaches offered their thoughts on the 21-year-old native of Maryville, Tennessee.

Nick Saban, commenting on the tragedy:
"It is a tragedy anytime you lose someone close to you and even more so when it is a member of your family," said UA head football coach Nick Saban. "Aaron was a part of our family and always will be a part of our family at Alabama. He was an outstanding young man and we were excited about what he had accomplished as a player and a person in the short time he was with us.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to his parents, David and Karla, who are two of the best people you will ever meet and the love they had for their son was something very special. As a father, there is nothing we can say to describe the loss of a son. Our Alabama family has sustained a tragic loss and the Alabama family is grieving that loss. We will be here to support Aaron's family in any way we can."
Lane Kiffin recruited Douglas to Tennessee (not that he had to try very hard; both of Douglas's parents were varsity athletes with the Vols), coached him as a freshman All-American, and said this on his Twitter feed:

Though the University of Alabama has officially confirmed Douglas's passing, any further details regarding the cause of death (other than its Jacksonville location) remain unavailable at this time.
Posted on: May 12, 2011 2:28 pm

Alabama lineman Aaron Douglas found dead

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It's not like Alabama hasn't already had enough tragedy to deal with in the wake of the recent tornado disaster, which must make today's devastating news all the tougher to face: Tide offensive lineman Aaron Douglas has been found dead in Jacksonville, Fla., the Knoxville News-Sentinel has confirmed after initial reports from Knoxville radio host Tony Basilio.

A Knoxville-area native, Douglas was a 6'7" junior JUCO transfer from Arizona Western Community College. But he began his college career as a freshman All-American at hometown Tennessee, before the Volunteers' coaching change and the unusual stipulations placed by Derek Dooley on his release sent him to Arizona. After his impressive freshman season in Knoxville, he was expected to compete for a starting tackle position with the Tide, but Douglas struggled with off-field issues including pleading guilty to a DUI charge following a December arrest.

The cause of death is unconfirmed at this time. Douglas was 21. Eye on CFB extends its condolences to Douglas's family and the Alabama football program.

Posted on: January 14, 2011 1:43 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2011 2:12 pm

David Oku transferring from Tennessee

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Overall, Derek Dooley enjoyed a successful first year at the Tennessee helm, salvaging a recruiting class that nearly came apart at the seams following Lane Kiffin's 11th-hour departure and dragging a Volunteer team with all kinds of depth chart issues and off-field squabbles to a bowl game.

But for all his accomplishments, no one will claim Dooley excelled in the area of getting some of Kiffin's highest-profile recruits to buy in. Neither five-star tailback Bryce Brown nor freshman All-American Aaron Douglas ever played a down under Dooley, and as of today four-star tailback/kick returner David Oku has also departed the Volunteer program .

The loss won't be a substantial blow to Tennessee's productivity -- Oku was not a major contributor this season, carrying only 42 times for 174 yards and returning 16 kickoffs for less than 20 yards a return -- but it drives home the fact that Dooley is more than willing to reshape the program with his own players and in his own image. The writing may have been on the wall for Oku, playing-time-wise, when Dooley said this to the media last September, just before Oku was stripped of his return duties:
You mentioned kickoff return. Can you talk about what you've seen from David Oku from that standpoint in the first three games?

"I've see nothing from him other than an inability to make yards. I don't think he's running with any conviction, and I've told him that. I think he runs tippy-toeing and searching."
In a word: ouch. That level of abrasiveness won't win Dooley any Mr. Congeniality contests -- and it might have helped cost him whatever modicum of depth at running back and returner Oku represented -- but as long as the Volunteers continue moving forward, no one's going to care.

HT on Dooley quote: @HABOTN .

Posted on: December 17, 2010 4:32 pm

Ex-Volunteer Aaron Douglas signs with Alabama

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It's hard to criticize much about the first year of Derek Dooley's tenure at Tennessee. After the sudden departure of Lane Kiffin from Knoxville and Dooley's whirwind hire, he still managed to hire a well-respected staff, salvage an impressive recruiting class, and drag the least-experienced Volunteer team in years to a bowl game behind rapidly-developing quarterback Tyler Bray.

Perhaps the only truly debatable decision Dooley has made has been to play hardball with a handful of Volunteers who asked for transfer requests in the wake of Kiffin's departure, notably former No. 1 overall recruit Bryce Brown and former freshman All-America lineman Aaron Douglas. Dooley denied Brown his release, apparently keeping him off scholarship at his hometown Kansas State program, and responded to Douglas's claims that he needed to get away from certain influences in Knoxville by granting him a waiver only on the condition that Douglas transfer somewhere eight hours' drive or further away. Those highly unusual steps -- taken to "protect the program " in Dooley's words -- may have successfuly sent the message that any future Volunteers who wish to transfer will need to be in good standing with Dooley ahead of time, but it also created a good deal of enmity between the program and Brown and Douglas.

Now that enmity may be coming home to roost in Douglas's case. After spending this season at community college Arizona Western, Douglas has transferred back into the SEC, and at the last school Vol supporters would want: Alabama.

For his part, Dooley says he's happy that Douglas has landed on his feet:

"First of all, I wanted to release him," Dooley said after practice this morning. "I didn't want to deny a release, which is what we normally do. I thought he needed to get away, and I thought it was good for our team that he wasn't close by, too.

"I thought everybody benefited, that we just get away from the deal for a little bit and I think it worked out well for our team and it worked out well for Aaron. Everybody should be happy."

But to hear Douglas say that he didn't originally want to play against Tennessee but that "the stipulations with my release opened up everything," it doesn't take a whole lot of reading between the lines to see that responding in kind to Dooley's less-than-accomodating decision was a motivating factor in his choice of new school.

If so, then certainly Douglas is opening himself up to his own charges of pettiness. But that wouldn't change the fact that if Dooley had simply approved a standard release, Douglas likely would have ended up somewhere that wasn't Tuscaloosa. Maybe the message sent to future potential transferees was worth it, but if Douglas plays a role in maintaining the Crimson Tide's recent success in the series (and judging by his play in his one season on Rocky Top, he does), it will have to be asked of Dooley if, maybe, it wasn't.
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