A former University of Tennessee football player arrested Thursday on a charge of soliciting a sexual favor from a 15-year-old student is innocent of any wrongdoing, his lawyer said Thursday.
Police allege Joshua Briscoe, 23, who was coaching at Pigeon Forge High School, sent an inappropriate text message to one of the players on the team.
Briscoe's attorney, Joe Baker, said this afternoon that his client plans to fight the charge in court.
"He adamantly denies the allegation and looks forward to clearing his good name in court," Baker said. "Josh has been involved in a lot of leadership roles and activities and is a fine young man."
Baker declined to comment on specific details of the case.
Briscoe, who lives in Pigeon Forge, surrendered to officers with the Pigeon Forge Police Department to face a charge of solicitation of a minor by an authority figure. He was released from jail after posting a $7,500 bond. Briscoe, who resigned from his position, is scheduled to appear Sept. 21 in Sevier County General Sessions Court.
Briscoe is accused of sending an inappropriate text message to a member of the Pigeon Forge High School football team on Aug. 20, according to court records.
According to the arrest warrant, the message stated, "You owe me a lil [sic] action for going off like that," and then suggested a particular sexual favor.
"This statement directly places Mr. Briscoe stating that (the player) owed Mr. Briscoe a sexual favor for 'going off,' " Pigeon Forge Police Department Investigator Rene Kendall wrote in a report.
Kendall said Thursday that he speculates the "going off" comment referred to "some kind of attitude" the player exhibited that Briscoe witnessed.
Kendall said his investigation hasn't uncovered any other improper conduct between Briscoe and the player. "There is no indication of anything other than what I've reported between them," Kendall said.
The player's father declined to comment Thursday.
Court records show that, as a condition of Briscoe's release from jail, he is to have no contact with the victim or the victim's family and he must stay away from the victim's home or "any other location where the victim is likely to be."
Briscoe was in his first year as an assistant coach at Pigeon Forge High School, according to Debra Cline, spokeswoman for Sevier County Schools.
Cline said Briscoe resigned Tuesday.
"He was a teacher assistant and assistant football coach at Pigeon Forge High School," Cline wrote in a press release. "The Sevier County School System is working closely with the Pigeon Forge Police Department as they continue an investigation."
Briscoe lettered at UT from 2005-2008. He caught 79 passes for 866 yards and eight touchdowns in his career. He had five career starts.
His best season was in 2007 when he snagged 56 passes, including six touchdowns.
He was active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and earlier this year blogged about his training regimen for a possible shot at pro football at govolsxtra.com, the News Sentinel's Web site devoted to UT sports.
Briscoe was recruited to UT from Lawndale, N.C.
J.J. Stambaugh may be reached at 865-342-6307. Don Jacobs may be reached at 865-342-6345. Sports writer Mike Strange contributed to this report.