Davis, Wardlow dismissed for violation of team rules

Pair had previous arrests

Dorian Davis

Dorian Davis

Antonio Wardlow

Antonio Wardlow

Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer announced Wednesday that sophomore linebacker Dorian Davis and sophomore safety Antonio Wardlow have been dismissed for an unspecified violation of team rules.

Wardlow played in 13 games last season as a reserve safety and on special teams. Davis played in 12 games last season and recorded 15 tackles, nine of which came on special teams.

Davis was one of several players expected to compete for a starting job at either middle or outside linebacker when spring practice begins March 11.

Wardlow did not figure to be a starter in an already deep secondary, however his brief career provided its share of highlights.

In 2006, the North Carolina native appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated after blocking a punt and recovering it in the end zone in a victory at Georgia.

On Jan. 1, he sealed a 21-17 victory over Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl with an interception near UT’s goal line late in the fourth quarter, the only interception of his career.

Fulmer could not be reached for comment Wednesday, however following his press conference last week on National Signing Day, he indicated that his patience was wearing thin after a spate of off-field incidents in the last month.

“Character and the perception of it sometimes is different than what it really is,” Fulmer said last week. “That’s why I sit in the seat that I sit in and make the decisions that I make off of what I know about the young people.

“If they’re not good people, they’re not going to be in this program.”

It appears the dismissal of Wardlow and Davis was not related to a run-in with police, and the Knoxville Police Department was not immediately aware of any recent incidents involving either Wardlow or Davis as of Wednesday night.

Both players were already on a shorter leash after previous arrests.

During the 2006 season, Wardlow was one of three players arrested when police responded to an altercation at a Knoxville nightclub following the Vols’ loss to LSU that November. He was charged with underage consumption and public intoxication and was suspended for UT’s next game at Arkansas.

Wardlow was given judicial diversion and the public intoxication charge was later dropped.

In September, police in his hometown of Iowa City, Iowa, charged Davis with disorderly conduct after he allegedly pushed and struck a mutual acquaintance during UT’s lone open date of the 2007 season.

Citing Davis’s maturation, Fulmer disciplined Davis internally for the arrest, saying at the time that the incident “really wasn’t of his instigation at all.”

Davis was also suspended for last year’s Orange and White Game for a violation of team rules.

Wednesday’s dismissals are the latest in an escalating series of punishments handed out by Fulmer in recent weeks.

Fulmer has publicly disciplined six players since two freshmen were arrested Jan. 11, the first of four consecutive weeks a Tennessee player was arrested.

Over that stretch, Knoxville and UT police have charged five players for offenses ranging from disorderly conduct to misdemeanor marijuana possession, public intoxication, underage consumption and DUI.

Only one player — walk-on defensive back Vince Faison — has been docked playing time. The 27-year-old former professional baseball player received a two-game suspension after police charged him with DUI on Feb. 2.

Other players involved in those off-field incidents have received punishments that include police ride-alongs, community service at a drug and alcohol treatment center, stricter curfews and more frequent drug tests.

Fulmer also made the entire team run at 6 a.m. the morning after the second incident involving a UT player.

Drew Edwards covers University of Tennessee football. He may be reached at 865-342-6274.

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Comments » 265

nivatne writes:

dang..this sux

DennisVols writes:

Many have cried that Fulmer is not tough enough when it comes to punishment. Not sure what the cause was but this is about as tough a punishment as you can get.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Hate to hear this when things were settling down.

I guess I'm going to put Gen Fritter in charge of ride-alongs to keep this from happening again. He knows the KPD.

Pullingguard writes:

Davis was projected as possible starter this fall and you know vols cannot afford to lose many of those. Must have been something pretty severe for them to be dismissed... Evidently Vols do not have anyone assigned to counsel the players and to know what is going on with them... May be that we read more press about the Vol players getting into trouble but it seems we have more of this than the other SEC teams... Bad for the team, bad for recruiting and just bad publicity for the University.


why can't we use Florida's punishment rules? suspend them for the game before tennessee unless it gets moved because of a hurricane then suspend them when that game is played.

CrankE writes:

Grammar check please. Do you mean Antonio Wardlaw?

VOLS85 writes:

...CrankE...no, he means Antonio Wardlow. Wardlow would be the player that blocked the punt against Georgia that made SI, and he was the same guy that caught the interception in the bowl game against Wisconsin...

cjraney writes:

TDTN is already free and back among us.
Also, Davis got arrested last year in his home state [Kansas?]for fighting and was suspended I think. Don't recall anything on Wardlow though. Anyone know?

Seems like I read Trooper Taylor filled that role before his departure but don't know if new one appointed yet.

TommyJack writes:

tag lights burned out?

VOLS85 writes:

By the way...people constantly criticize fulmer for not doing enough and giving everyone "5 strikes", now that he has decided to kick some players off of the team, it's bad for the school and makes us look bad...Please do tell me what we should do? Ignore that these individuals are being selfish and continue to let them be that way?! The people on this site will never be happy with anything that is done, I guess that's why they feel compelled to bi*^* about it...

yeavols#228407 writes:

Good..let everyone know we mean business..discipline means championships..the team players arn't running the show. Lastly, they better get busy, this year's recruiting didn't help matters.

ps4610#206943 writes:

pullingguard I guess your kids if you have them had several counselors just watching their every move. Lets not forget these are college kids who come on a a almost free ride and whose only real expectation is to go to class and practice. They like most 19 and 20 yr olds want to have a good time in college and everything that implies just like most of you on here. I'm sure none of you ever partied or did anything that was wrong when you were in school. Go ahead and throw the first stone. As for me I hope this is an eye opener for these two kids and that they turn their lives around and realize they are on the verge of adults and being men not little boys whose parents cover for them every step of the way although CPF tries!

mdvol writes:

LMAO TommyJack. Got to check those.

TommyJack writes:

sjt: Opens up scholarships?

invisiblekid writes:

Think I'll reserve comment to see the reasons behind this, if they are given. Likely to be one of two things, academics or drug tests, otherwise it would have been on the police blotter and splattered all over GoVols.

PureOrange writes:

Play by the rules or go home. We have enough problems and potential does not solve any of them. Our recruiting should utilize background checks instead of just game film. I do not believe these guys go bad after they get to Knoxville. They must be punks before they get here. We need to know that before we waste scholarships.

thesavageorange writes:

Sounds like a failed drug test to me ,since no police were involved.All I can say to these men is, take the road less traveled like DM did.

TommyJack writes:

General: Exactly. Lock'em up.

thesavageorange writes:

Man, Hampton is going to have a hell of a team if they can snag a couple more of our fall-outs.

thesavageorange writes:

Let's go pirates.Whooo!

BigManVolFan writes:

OK?????? Lets see here?

Wardlow and Davis are kicked off the team for " a violation team rules "

Walk-on Vince Faison is arrested for a DUI and receives a 2 game suspension.

Vareen is arrested for "Public" Intoxication. He receives community service and police ride alongs?

Paige, Brimfield, and G. Jones are hosting a highly recruited recruit and Jones and Paige get a citation for simple possession of a controlled substance(marijuana). All three receive community service, more frequent drug tests, and police ride alongs?

Our team captain, all-sec and all-american Anthony Parker got arrested for disorderly conduct and had other run ins with the police that resulted in tickets and warnings. He receives morning runs, a curfew, and police ride alongs?

My point here is that if whatever Wardlow and Davis did were a "violation of team rules", where does what these other kids here did, fall under? Are they not team rules?

Looks to me that Fulmer Jones's his way with punishment. I though the motto whn it comes to punishment and being a head coach is firm, fair, and consistent?

coach75 writes:

something has to be done, we have way to many people getting into trouble. and it seems that there is a double standard depending on playing ability or potential. why did we have to wait so long to get to the point that he kicks another person out like (coke)coker. i really like phil but i feel that if something is not done then changes need to be made.

beaznvol writes:

Guys please tell me something... Do police in Knoxville fight any actual crime? I love UT, but everytime I'm there it seems like I get hassled for something dumb. Hell, I'm a white guy in Law School. Twice police officers have walked over to me and asked me what was in my cup. (two plastic cups, one UT one Tennessee Titans)Both cups contained beer and no kidding, both times I had just poured my first beer. I am of legal age. Both times they told me to dump the beer onto the ground or face jail. Seriously, I know there is no legal grounds for their idiotic outlandish threats but those idiot cops will arrest you anyway and even when you win in court, you're out 1500 bucks plus court costs. Seriously, they cost Knoxville more $$$ than anyone cares to admit. Bottom line... When I hear of athletes having run ins with the police, I give the kids the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the Knoxville police have bets as to how many UT football players they can arrest and/or hand out citations to. You think I'm full of it... Check out why Steve McNair got out of his first DUI. The cop had said to another one "I'm gonna get me a Titan". The second time he was pulled over and was charged with a DUI was an incident in which he wasn't even driving. The Nashville police used the ole' "you gave the drunk guy permission to drive your car". I believe that one gets thrown out of court more times than not.
By the way, in no way was any of the above post legal advice. Just my opinion. (There you have my disclaimer)

thesavageorange writes:

BigManVolFan, I assure you they are multiple offenders of something.This sounds to me like a Lamarcus Coker type strike deal.

beaznvol writes:

To add to my soap box, my alcohol was in a cup and at least 20,000 people were walking around me with blatant beer bottles and cans. That is what was so upsetting. When I pointed this out to the nice but tremedously ill-logical officer he explained I should worry about myself and not other folks.

DennisVols writes:

These two men broke a team rule bad enough to be dismissed. Anyone who can not see the value of being a Vol and obeying the rules would not be an assit that we need.
Potential is is a belief, production can be taken to the bank.
Fulmer took a step I am sure he wishes he did not have to. No one wants to see young men trow away a great opportunity but these two have done just that.
Choices and consequences. They made their choices and now must face the consequences for their actions.
This isn't Fulmers fault, they all know the rules and they understand the punishment involved.

gobigorange writes:

i agree with jh43 ; these kids are propably troublemakers before they come here. i think they should consider more background checks.

TommyJack writes:

sjt: Not sure kicking someone off the team frees up a scholarship? You sure about that?

beaznvol writes:

Police profile people all of the time, which is stupid and illegal in my opinion however it seems Knoxville police harass anyone.

BigManVolFan writes:

Both Wardlow and Davis both had trouble before, but when they are kicked off the team for rule violations, wouldnt that constitute what the other kids did as team rule violations?

pdhuff#552644 writes:

5:14-Tngeoff is right - everthing is fine. Mix up a 5 gallon pail of kool-aid and watch "Dune". The spice will solve everything.

Beat Arkie & LSU.

thesavageorange writes:

sjt18 at 5:59 p.m. ,That may be the case.It could have been something that could have brought the NCAA down on us.

Hunter writes:

"Fulmer has been busy handing out disciplinary since January."

Where can I get "disciplinary?" Do they sell it in Wal-Mart?

I've heard of "disciplinary action," but KNS apparently can't find mistakes that a band director can catch. John Adams is earning his paycheck like the punter for the Patriots this year.....

TommyJack writes:

Geoff: You stole my thought. :)

I'm sure with the firepower on this site, someone can answer the question(s)..If you get booted, do you lose your scholarship, and MORE IMPORTANTLY, does it free up the scholarship?
I'll be waiting..

utchris writes:

Violation of unspecified team rules usually will usually mean that they failed too many drug tests. To get to this point they probably fail at least 3, but more likely 4 or 5

gohawks1 writes:

phooey. Looks like I may have to suit up to fill the void. I run (walk) a 44 40 (no decimal intended) and can bench press the bar, but at least I'll stay out of trouble. How about it, Coach?

TommyJack writes:

General: I, for one, applaude your positive posts and overall camraderie with your Vol brethren. Quite admirable.

DennisVols writes:




These are 3 stories from other universities who have had to kick players off the team in the past couple of month. One involves PSO and Joe Pa.
This is much bigger than UT and Fulmer. It is happening all over the country and NO ONE is imune from this happening.

DennisVols writes:


pms151 writes:

Just another argument about the perils of having to recruit on a national level. We get the thugs the hometown teams pass over.

thesavageorange writes:

General, this puts a serious dent in your 2008 national championship prediction. pms151 ,Wardlow was offered by Va Tech,N Carolina, NC State,and S Carolina.Davis was offered by Iowa,Iowa State,and K state.These players chose us , so that statement makes no sense.

dave1#220678 writes:

I have inside info that they were caught violating team fritter rules. Obviously hoarding them for thier own self indulgence.

daddyaxe writes:

I am behind Fulmer's decision....Let the next great VOL step in their spots...NO MORE THUGS

thesavageorange writes:

dave1 ,In that case they got what they deserved.Although I need to go to fritter rehab myself.5005!

Gustoly writes:

It is about time he does his job. Kick'em all off if they can't behave. He will get some attention from the kids.

GerryOP writes:

Four words come to mind - David Cutcliffe Trooper Taylor! Couldn't keep Cutcliffe, could have kept Troop. Right the ship, stay the course, done it this way for 15 years, all is well.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Gen Fritter, I agree it is impressive the developement of young men under Phil's watch. He rules with an iron fist.

Is there any chance while leading them into battle (ala Pickett's charge) he would look around and only see Cooter and Dupree left behind him?

Beat Arkie.

CoverOrange writes:

Beazn, when I was there 20 plus years ago there was an open container law. In fact I remember a story of a guy standing on the sidewalk outside his own house talking on the phone (cordless, cell phones weren't prominent then) and getting arrested.

TIDE29viles9 writes:

Thug U

Vols1998 writes:

Can't be over their shoulders 24/7, bad decisions lead to this.....its not CPF fault, its these young men that made the decision.

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