Tennessee cornerback Brent Vinson has been suspended for Saturday’s South Carolina game for an unspecified violation of team rules, head coach Phillip Fulmer announced following Thursday’s practice.
Fulmer said he wasn’t sure if the suspension would be limited to one game.
“I’ve got to get all the details and we’ll see,” Fulmer said.
This is the sophomore’s third suspension of the season.
Vinson wasn’t allowed to make the trip to UCLA for the season opener because of offseason academic shortcomings. He was also suspended for part of the Northern Illinois game after showing up late to a team meeting.
Vinson hasn’t regained the form he showed as a freshman when he started 10 games last season. Vinson practiced with the second and third team throughout preseason camp as UT coaches awaited a ruling on his academic suspension.
Since then, Vinson has moved up the depth chart, albeit slightly. He plays cornerback in UT’s extra defensive backs package.
Junior Marsalous Johnson is the most likely to fill that role during Vinson’s absence. Senior Antonio Gaines also has experience in the secondary.
“We’re fortunate to have a little depth back there,” Fulmer said.
None of the above has as much ability as Vinson, who is widely considered one of the top athletes on the team.
“He’s got a lot of ability,” Fulmer said. “He’s got to handle himself a lot better.”