Teammate says Morley had missed offseason workouts, was suspended indefinitely

Kiffin: Morley no longer a Vol

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Highlights from the Vols' spring practice - April 7, 2009.

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News of Tennessee senior safety Demetrice Morley's dismissal on Tuesday afternoon took some by surprise.

Others, including cornerback C.J. Fleming, saw it coming.

"It seems like they just kind of like prolonged it," Fleming said. "Everybody kind of knew it was coming."

After missing his fourth practice of the spring, UT coach Lane Kiffin announced that Morley, a highly touted recruit from Miami and a two-year starter, was no longer a member of UT's football team.

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

Morley's dismissal comes after plenty of chances.

According to Fleming, who counts Morley as one of his "better friends," Morley had missed several offseason workouts and had turned a clean slate with UT's new coaching staff into an extended stay in the doghouse.

"Probably a couple months ago," Fleming said when asked when he had an inkling that Morley's UT future could be in trouble. "He missed a lot of team runs, and then he was suspended indefinitely for a while. That's when I kind of figured it out. Him and (defensive line coach) coach (Ed) Orgeron never really got together. It was always kind of a big thing with them two."

Junior Eric Berry, who earned All-America honors in his only season playing alongside Morley, first learned of the dismissal when asked by the media following Tuesday's workout in the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center.

"He's done a lot for us for the past year," Berry said. "It's tough to say, but we've got to move on."

Highlights on the field - combined with struggles off it - defined Morley's UT career.

During three seasons with the Vols, he started 20 games. He was suspended for all or part of three games, including two last season.

In January 2007, Morley was not allowed to re-enroll after falling below UT's required 2.0 grade point average. He attended Pellissippi State Technical Community College - and paid his own way by waiting tables - before being readmitted to UT in January 2008.

Then, three days after Kiffin's introduction as head coach, news of a 2007 arrest on charges of strong-armed robbery on the campus of Florida International University surfaced when Knoxville police detained him on an outstanding warrant mistakenly issued by Miami-Dade County officials after Morley missed a scheduled court appearance in September.

Around the time of his arrest, Morley was living out of his car in Miami before returning to Knoxville. Morley received pretrial intervention for the robbery charge, and UT said he completed his court-mandated 75 hours of community service in May 2008.

Last month, Morley was suspended for the Vols' first spring practice after being late for a team meeting.

Last Tuesday, he did not practice to witness the birth of his child. On Saturday, Morley was again absent, and Kiffin did not disclose the reason.

Morley had plenty of chances to walk the line, said Fleming who started Saturday's scrimmage as a first-team cornerback.

"He's a senior. He's got kids to take care of. This is his second chance back," Fleming said of Morley, who cited the birth of a son in 2007 as a major driving force for returning to UT. "Man, my blessings go out to him. I hope Demetrice straightens his life up, but that's about it."

Kiffin's decision to dismiss Morley sent a message to the team about discipline.

"That gets everybody's attention right away," Fleming said. "Everybody tomorrow is going to be talking about how they put Demetrice off the team. That's Morley. That's our five-star, No. 1 overall DB, and it's down the drain. It's real big that it's D-Mo rather than just being somebody who never really played."

Morley's departure opens the door for several underclassmen this spring and some highly touted recruits this fall.

Stephaun Raines and Rod Wilks got extended work at safety Saturday with Morley gone and Berry prohibited from full contact following offseason shoulder surgery.

Prentiss Waggner and Daryl Vereen could also see increased playing time, while junior Dennis Rogan worked at Morley's old spot Tuesday.

Highly touted safety Darren Myles, who attended Thursday's practice, and athlete Nyshier Oliver will likely get strong looks at safety when they arrive this fall.

And while Morley's departure was tough to take, Fleming didn't have a hard time seeing the silver lining.

"It's probably a better thing for everybody as far as a family thing," he said. "When somebody sees somebody just really doesn't want to show up to practice, doesn't want to come to meetings and still think they can show up and when they get there it's their spot. ... With the new coaches, they wasn't having it. I think it's making everybody stronger."

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

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Comments » 239

RoadTrip writes:

There you have it. Lazy and undisciplined. Team chemistry is better served when going into battle.

BSweet writes:

At least one player has received the message.

HonoluluVol writes:

Wow, talk about letting the cat out the bag. Well, that's all the info that I needed. There's no "I" in "TEAM". Good luck with whatever you decide to do D-Mo. GO VOLS, CAUSE THE TRAIN HAS LEFT THE STATION!!!!

volaboard writes:

So is he gone for good, or is there a way for the indefinite suspension to be lifted?

TrueVolFan writes:

As bad as I hate to see the talent of D-Mo go, his attitude and work ethic are unacceptable in a team first atmosphere. Best of luck to him and his family, maybe he can regroup and land on his feet again. Can't say he didn't have plenty of opportunities though. Sad story for him, his son, his girlfriend and the new baby.
Go Vols!!

govolsxtra writes:

I think flemmings comment about everybody being a family explains just how far kiffin has lead this team out of the "mental" dumps

TD_4_UT writes:

It's best to do it now than in the fall.

VAvolfanRON writes:

Morley did have more chances the most of us....his resurection could've been a book...(and still could)...i wish him the guidance to suck it up....

My man C.J. Fleming seems to be on the right track......

VAvolfanRON writes:

in response to biggestutfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

ouch....you are tough!!....

ATLVOL23 writes:

Very unfortunate. I thought (hoped) he had turned the corner after his second chance. Kiffin is doing the right thing. I hope D-Mo gets his act together or he'll be back to living out his car.

KJVol writes:

Kiffin is impressing me more and more as not just a coach, but a leader of men.

volsfannsc writes:

Such a shame really. A lot of talent but not the heart to perservere. Give Kiffin credit as I know this was a tough decision but D-Mo left him no choice. I wish the young man well, and hopefully he can find a way into the NFL somehow. The only problem with that would be if he does not have the drive to play college ball- I doubt if he could do well in the big show. I hate to make comparissons but can't help the feeling he would end up like Vick, Burress, etc. I wish Kiffin well and I hope this team gets the hint....There's no such thing as entitlement!

stayingorange writes:

too bad for Morley, but probably better for the team. He's got skills, hope he can still use them at the next level but this is a heck of a detour.

BSweet writes:

A little off topic, but I wonder if Kiffin's views on the importance of fans has rubbed off on Crompton. His whole "I play for my teammates, not the fans" routine last year really annoyed me. I get he was agitated by the booing, but fans were agitated by his poor play. Play better and you won't get booed.

Love him or hate him, one thing you have to give Tebow credit for is owning it after their loss. Then he went out and did something about it. Complimenting a gator kinda hurts,lol.

TD_4_UT writes:

Overall the defense will probably have a better attitude. Evidently Morley just did'nt "get it".

MrBamSeydu writes:

Good riddance! If you can't practice and do what everyone else does, you don't play!

Morley just never had his act together. He belongs right where he is.... at home.

murrayvol writes:

in response to volaboard:

So is he gone for good, or is there a way for the indefinite suspension to be lifted?

His return would bust open a whole new can of worms. End of story.

murrayvol writes:

From the penthouse to the doghouse to the outhouse.

teampenny#658108 writes:

I do not see why any team has a player who has two kids. Does not have to be that way. My guess is if we demanded better conduct we might just get it. Go Vols

TommyJack writes:

in response to UTfan4life:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good point. Dad-burn shame about Morley. What a waste.

OrangeAppeal writes:

I ran into Morely on campus. This is what he said to me...

If a coach say I miss practice then y’all hear it, then that’s that. We sittin’ here, I supposed to be the franchise player, and we in here talkin’ about practice. I mean, listen, we talkin’ about practice. Not a game, not a game, not a game…we talkin’ about practice. Not a game. Not a, not a, not the game that I go out there and, and die for and play every game like it’s my last. Not the game. We talkin’ about practice, man. I mean how silly is that? Man, we talkin’ about practice. I know I supposed to be there. I know I supposed to lead by example. I know that. And I’m not, I’m not shoving it aside, you know, like it don’t mean anything. I know it’s important. I do. I honestly do. But we talkin’ about practice man. What are we talkin’ about? Practice? We talkin’ about practice man. (laughter from members of the press) We tal…we talkin’ about practice. We talkin’ about practice. We ain’t talkin’ about the game. We talkin’ about practice man.

Seriouslyorange writes:

Keep the petal to the metal. D-Mo just ran out of Mo.
Kiffin and company will just not stand for this type of behavior and rightly so. The player, his team mates, his coaches, the university, and the fans even, deserve better.
Good luck and get it together soon for the sake of your family.

golfballs03 writes:

This is really unfortunate.

TD_4_UT writes:

One thing about it this spring we have had glimpses of why this team was 5-7 last year. Favoratism, lack of disipline, no direction.

volsbats12 writes:

Its a shame that he couldnt tough it out for one more year then see what could happen professionaly to help his kid out. He obviously wanted to be somewhere else.

Oenoboy writes:

in response to marc_ash#231781:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The more distracting players that get booted, the more scholarships we have for recruiting and rebuilding.

I hate to see these young men throw away their careers like this but they are not above being held accountable for their decisions any more than the average student who decides to party instead of studying.

I wish the man luck but I'm very pleased with Kiffin's standards of conduct.

ect1983 writes:

in response to BSweet:

A little off topic, but I wonder if Kiffin's views on the importance of fans has rubbed off on Crompton. His whole "I play for my teammates, not the fans" routine last year really annoyed me. I get he was agitated by the booing, but fans were agitated by his poor play. Play better and you won't get booed.

Love him or hate him, one thing you have to give Tebow credit for is owning it after their loss. Then he went out and did something about it. Complimenting a gator kinda hurts,lol.

A lot off topic, you mean. Crompton is doing what he is supposed to do-----dont even try to compare him to D-Mo. Whether JC lives up to your expectations or not is totally irrelevant here...put a sock in it, and give a good kid some credit

TD_4_UT writes:

in response to marc_ash#231781:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It makes me think of what Fulmer said when he left, that he was concerned for his player's. He probably knew there would be some that would not make it under a disiplined coach.

VAvolfanRON writes:

in response to BSweet:

A little off topic, but I wonder if Kiffin's views on the importance of fans has rubbed off on Crompton. His whole "I play for my teammates, not the fans" routine last year really annoyed me. I get he was agitated by the booing, but fans were agitated by his poor play. Play better and you won't get booed.

Love him or hate him, one thing you have to give Tebow credit for is owning it after their loss. Then he went out and did something about it. Complimenting a gator kinda hurts,lol.

very good post...and i personnally agree......

except for the booing part...that is the WORSE TYPE OF FAN.....i shouldn't even say booing and fan in the same sentence......noone....i mean noone, should ever boo...

woodwr#217203 writes:

Funny it was getting along with the defensive LINE coach that was the issue.

Some fathers remember missing a few workouts, or going through the motions of a few workdays, while sleep walking right before and after birth of second child.

Maybe he had already been cut enough slack, but how many of us could be Dad, and full time student, and 20 hour a week athlete?

How many athletes lost a scholarship, worked a job, paid their own way, and got good enough grades to get re-admitted and win back that scholarship?

So now he has two kids, and might not graduate, let alone with a degree in a subject where a non-football job is available?

99gator writes:

that's what happens when keeping it real goes wrong.

dee morley had nfl talent. all he had to do was go to class and keep his nose clean.

but, he decided to keep it real.

i never will be able to understand why some people are so freaking stupid.

could be making millions on sunday, but instead might have to pump gas in south carolina.

BillsBrother writes:

Discipline off the field, leads to discipline on the field.

I am much prouder to support a team with character than a team full of characters.

tennesseebee writes:

Shame to lose Morley.He had alot of talent. One day he will regret he had to be so selfish. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Good luck, DM.

walt23tn writes:

in response to OrangeAppeal:

I ran into Morely on campus. This is what he said to me...

If a coach say I miss practice then y’all hear it, then that’s that. We sittin’ here, I supposed to be the franchise player, and we in here talkin’ about practice. I mean, listen, we talkin’ about practice. Not a game, not a game, not a game…we talkin’ about practice. Not a game. Not a, not a, not the game that I go out there and, and die for and play every game like it’s my last. Not the game. We talkin’ about practice, man. I mean how silly is that? Man, we talkin’ about practice. I know I supposed to be there. I know I supposed to lead by example. I know that. And I’m not, I’m not shoving it aside, you know, like it don’t mean anything. I know it’s important. I do. I honestly do. But we talkin’ about practice man. What are we talkin’ about? Practice? We talkin’ about practice man. (laughter from members of the press) We tal…we talkin’ about practice. We talkin’ about practice. We ain’t talkin’ about the game. We talkin’ about practice man.

C'mon dude, isn't the talkin bout practice joke over yet? AI is probably a HOFer who was making sure he was ready for game time. I'm tired of this joke. It's played in every situation of every sport. It has nothing to do with a guy who felt he could get away with murder under Kiffin like he did Fulmer. Not happening.

tripper writes:

Does this really suprise anyone? This not what I would call breaking news. The next round of dismissals will begin the second week of May when grades come out.

xvolx writes:

He won't be the last.

BigOrangeVol writes:

in response to teampenny#658108:

I do not see why any team has a player who has two kids. Does not have to be that way. My guess is if we demanded better conduct we might just get it. Go Vols

D-Mo will be 22 in three months. So you don't know anyone who is 22 and has two children??? What country are you living in...China?

7.5% of all females in this country have a child by 19 years of age and 10.5% have at least one by 24 years of age.

But 50-70 years ago if a girl wasn't married and hadn't popped out two or three before she hit 18 years of age someone would have wondered about her ability to even have children!

The total number of U.S. births to unmarried women in 2007 was over 1.7 million. That's 53% of every unmarried woman ages 15-44.

BSweet writes:

in response to ect1983:

A lot off topic, you mean. Crompton is doing what he is supposed to do-----dont even try to compare him to D-Mo. Whether JC lives up to your expectations or not is totally irrelevant here...put a sock in it, and give a good kid some credit

Wasn't comparing him to Morley, just posing a question.

You're entitled to your opinion, I'm entitled to mine. I don't feel the need to "put a sock in it". You don't like the question, ignore the post.

I don't know Crompton to say if he is or is not a good kid. If you want me to give him some credit, then he needs to get it done on the field. Hopefully he does. Even so, I'm not a fan of how he handled adversity last year. Hope he grows from it this year.

TnScooby writes:

in response to VAvolfanRON:

very good post...and i personnally agree......

except for the booing part...that is the WORSE TYPE OF FAN.....i shouldn't even say booing and fan in the same sentence......noone....i mean noone, should ever boo...

No one should ever boo? C'mon, WORSE type of fan? The WORST type of fan is one who NEVER boos! 5-7 last year and JC's play earned boos. Fans pay for the right to watch a game and react however they choose.Most fans don't boo but fans who do aren't the worst type of fans, just some of the most passionate!! Just my opinion as a FAN, boo me if you like...lol.

VAvolfanRON writes:

marc, sorry....

i didnt mean for my post to get another vol fan riled....

expat...i think you misunderstood.....i was ribbing marc.
expat, please accept my apology!!!.......i ticked off RichRollins when i didn't mean to.....typed words are different that oral words......

are we good?

JohnsonCity_George writes:

You know what, somebody is going to end-up in his spot that really, really wants to play and I say good for them.

BSweet writes:

in response to VAvolfanRON:

very good post...and i personnally agree......

except for the booing part...that is the WORSE TYPE OF FAN.....i shouldn't even say booing and fan in the same sentence......noone....i mean noone, should ever boo...

Yeah, I don't agree with booing either, but I understand where those who do boo are coming from. Some feel the need to express their frustration, and let's face it, there was a lot to be frustrated by last season.(Understanding and agreeing are two different things.)

LiveFaith writes:

Well. Looks like were about back to even from National Signing Day. Pick up a 4Star and a 5Star after the bell, only to lose a 4Star and a 5Star in the days following. Strange stuff, this college football.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to 99gator:

that's what happens when keeping it real goes wrong.

dee morley had nfl talent. all he had to do was go to class and keep his nose clean.

but, he decided to keep it real.

i never will be able to understand why some people are so freaking stupid.

could be making millions on sunday, but instead might have to pump gas in south carolina.

Don't worry about Morley and his NFL days.If Morley is good enough to play in the NFL,some team will sign him as a free agent.The NFL does not care about your past and will sign and play anybody that they think will help them win.They love jail birds and drunks.Would not be the NFL if they didn't.

VAvolfanRON writes:

in response to BSweet:

Yeah, I don't agree with booing either, but I understand where those who do boo are coming from. Some feel the need to express their frustration, and let's face it, there was a lot to be frustrated by last season.(Understanding and agreeing are two different things.)

BSweet (now im not homophic since you explaned it!!!lol)

i understand frustration...but, i dont understand booing....a person has no right to boo unless you can get out there and do better.....that's all im saying....i admit i give an 'all sh#t and damn.....but, booing is degrading and uncalled for

jst4tdyvols writes:

Glad to see some discipline.GO VOLS

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to BigOrangeVol:

D-Mo will be 22 in three months. So you don't know anyone who is 22 and has two children??? What country are you living in...China?

7.5% of all females in this country have a child by 19 years of age and 10.5% have at least one by 24 years of age.

But 50-70 years ago if a girl wasn't married and hadn't popped out two or three before she hit 18 years of age someone would have wondered about her ability to even have children!

The total number of U.S. births to unmarried women in 2007 was over 1.7 million. That's 53% of every unmarried woman ages 15-44.

You may be right with the stats,but wrong is wrong.There are no morals or family values today and haven't been for many years.Seems your values are questionable also.

VAvolfanRON writes:

im waiting on the english majors to correct my error!!!

BSweet writes:

in response to VAvolfanRON:

BSweet (now im not homophic since you explaned it!!!lol)

i understand frustration...but, i dont understand booing....a person has no right to boo unless you can get out there and do better.....that's all im saying....i admit i give an 'all sh#t and damn.....but, booing is degrading and uncalled for

Good point. I tend to curse as well. Normally very loudly, getting lots of stares, lol. Beer will do that to you.

posivol writes:

in response to marc_ash#231781:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

dude you have got to be david freeride reaves.

you do relize your hero is is 0-0 and has never coached a college team in his life.

fulmer has forgotten more about coaching than wonderboy will ever know.

trust me,when the newness wears off this guy and the real x and o,s come into play.you guys are going to be begging for an immediate change of guard.

wheres our qb,why couldnt this clown go out and find a servicable jc qb to get us thru this year.it worked out well for ucla against us last year!

we are putting the same cr-ap on the field this year as we did last year minus creer/morley..yep im stoked!

but what the heil,at least by 2011 or 12 or 13 we will be competitive again.

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