Kiffin dismisses Nu'Keese Richardson, Mike Edwards

Mike Edwards

Mike Edwards

Nu'Keese Richardson

Nu'Keese Richardson

Kiffin on football players' arrests: To paraphrase, "No comment."

Victims of attempted armed robbery speak about the experience

Lane Kiffin has made up his mind.

Mostly.

The Tennessee coach cut ties with two of the three players accused of attempted armed robbery, dismissing freshmen Nu’Keese Richardson and Mike Edwards from the team Monday after a four-day investigation. But a final verdict still hasn’t been made on the status of Janzen Jackson, though he continues to be barred from team activities heading into UT’s game Saturday with Vanderbilt (TV: ESPNU, 7 p.m.).

“After extensive and thorough research of the situation over the last four days and considering various disciplinary options, I’ve decided it’s in the best interest of our program to remove Nu’Keese and Mike,” Kiffin said. “As I’ve said many times before, we hold our student-athletes to an extremely high standard on and off the field. Our student-athletes must be responsible members of society, and this type of conduct will not be tolerated.

“We want a positive culture for our student-athletes that allows them to succeed in the classroom, on the field, and in life after college. My hope is that these two young men will learn from their terrible decision. Clearly, their actions have no place in our program.”

They also provided an unwelcome distraction for the Vols (5-5, 2-4 SEC) heading into a critical stretch of games that will decide their postseason fate.

It’s partially cleared up with Richardson and Edwards off the team, though UT declined to comment on whether the players will remain in school citing privacy of academic records. Athletic director Mike Hamilton also refused to address the situation, and until something definitive is announced on Jackson, it’s not totally over yet.

Kiffin and the Vols have insisted repeatedly the arrests weren’t an issue in the blowout loss to Ole Miss over the weekend, at least not mentally, but the attention won’t likely die down with a possible freshman All-America safety in limbo.

“I think if this was a distraction issue, if this was they weren’t ready, I think it would have showed and the first quarter would have been the fourth quarter,” Kiffin said Sunday. “We would have come out and all of a sudden it would have been 21-0 and we weren’t playing well. That wasn’t the case.

“We’re part-way through the third quarter and going down to take the lead, then obviously we fall apart at the end of the third and the fourth quarter. I think they were ready to play, definitely.”

The loss of the three players clearly hurt from a physical standpoint, particularly on defense.

The Vols have been decimated by injuries at linebacker, were playing without two players in the secondary because of injury and were missing both Edwards and Jackson because of their legal issues. UT might not have been able to slow down Dexter McCluster anyway, but the absences certainly didn’t help as the running back raced for 282 yards and four touchdowns.

“It goes back to when they talk about, ‘How many games are you going to win in your first year?’ ” Kiffin said. “Obviously there are too many variables to know, just like this. You never know what’s going to happen, so that’s why we never talk about how many games we’re going to win, how well we’re going to play, because you don’t know what’s going to happen.

“We’ll have to try to continue to develop the guys that we have, but obviously our secondary suffers from that, not having those two guys in there.”

Two of them are gone for good and the jury is still out on the other.

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Comments » 592

HallowedHill writes:

It was bound to happen given the severity of the allegations. I hope these young men can turn around their lives.

Go Vols!

UTBEATEMALL writes:

Ditto

nfdeng13 writes:

Jackson fails a drug test and gets suspended, then gets arrested the next week and is still on the team?? He will screw up again. Get rid of the thugs and bring in some guys with heart that want to play.

FEARinSEC writes:

I sure hope everyone is happy now! I'm glad this has been announced!

Now, lets move on!! Win out, go to a bowl game, and close a top 5 recruiting class!!

Big Orange Football will continue with or without all 3 of them!!

GO VOLS!!!

gnm53108 writes:

Damn...agree but damn.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

No major surprise, but I’m glad he booted those two off the team. I’m guessing JJ will probably be suspended for the remainder of the regular season at the least.

bluesandbarbq writes:

This is the right move. Don't need bad seeds.

revjulian writes:

Best move for the team to make. It hurts that such good and great talent is lost (ie. James Banks) but removing the cancer from the body allows the body to heal and return to productivity.

My guess is that Jackson, although not involved in the attempted robbery, was guilty by association. He was probably the one who said, "Come on, we need to get out of here now." Watch him closely fellas.

acknowledgment writes:

Props to CLK for attempting to walk a thin tightrope. It's takes guts to kick off any 5-star, and it takes guts to stand behind one who you believe wasn't as culpable.

ellunitiko writes:

I am definitely happy that CLK made a quick decision and got rid of the poison from the team. Hopefully, in time, Janzen will be allowed to continue at UT. I still think he should be punished for his actions, but overall should be allowed to play. Well done CLK.

huntined#565710 writes:

He had no other action to take in this..He was correct in getting the facts and then making the decision to cut them..It is a loss as both were part of the re-building program. Man just hope they both learn from this.

bearbull95#206250 writes:

We knew it was coming, but still it's a difficult decision. I hope the two young men learn from this and try to re-establish their lives as students and student athletes rather than continue down the wrong path as some have done that were kicked off the team.

The_Greater_Pumpkin writes:

I know it hurts, but great decision by Coach Kiffin. If the Pahokee pipeline means thugs, let them go to Miami! I just hope they learn from their mistakes and don't wind up like Maurice Claret. Now, lets see what Mr. Bosch can do with Janzen.....

CarthageVol writes:

Did Jackson really fail a drug test or is that speculation? If true, then he must go to. Guilt by association. What are you doing out that late two nights before a big SEC game? Come on guys!!

SanFranciscoVol writes:

Circle the wagons... Jackson is staying. What garbage...

ellunitiko writes:

in response to acknowledgment:

Props to CLK for attempting to walk a thin tightrope. It's takes guts to kick off any 5-star, and it takes guts to stand behind one who you believe wasn't as culpable.

Please keep in mind that Nu'keese was a 4 star recruit. The only reason why everyone in the country knows about him is from the incident when CLK accused Urban Meyer of cheating.

GainesvilleVol1 writes:

Nobody wins in a situtation like this. It had to be done though. Other schools may make fun of UT for this incident, but the truth is, this will affect these young men, and their familys for a long time. The team will surive, and hopefully this is a lesson to current and future players that behavior such as this will not be tolerated.

I find no joy in, but approve of their dismissal.

GO VOLS!!

tbmccord#279221 writes:

This is a bigger WIN for the program than any win on the field could be. The Tennessee program will be know for having a team that is as good off the field as they are on and anyone that poses a risk to that reputation will be sent packing. Congratulations Lane Kiffin for making this 51 year old Vol proud of you and this team.

Ironcity writes:

Not much choice here. Nuke needs to go to a program where he plays all the time and hasn't the time to get in trouble like this. Don't know much about Edwards other then he is from Cleveland. I hope these guys grow up and they can learn from this experience. You know Jackson is on razor thin ice and if he wasn't so talented and his dad wasn't a good fried with coach O, he to would probably be gone. I do have to agree with a previous poster that its likely he will screw up again soon, but I guess we will find that out soon enough.

The_Greater_Pumpkin writes:

In situations like this now, the school can't just immediately react without REALLY looking over the information. The kid from Penn St that was kicked off the team amid rape allegations now has a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the school.

BrassMonkey writes:

Will they have a chance to walk on next year?

tulelakevol writes:

Good riddance. As for Jackson, I feel he made a poor choice, one of several it seems. He does not play anymore this year. Punish him similiar to the way Blount was punished. He practices, he runs till he pukes everyday, and if, and I mean if he can demonstrate that he wants to stay clean, then he is back next year. But one more screw up, I don't care how minor, cut his butt.

joshvols writes:

hate to see young men throw away an opportunity like they had. i feel like im still waiting for the other shoe to drop with janzen jackson. here's hoping he wasn't involved.

JenB (Inactive) writes:

Takes a lot of guts to do the right thing in this day and age... Props to Coach Kiffin!!

GooglyMoogly writes:

Bravo to LK for doing the right thing, despite how much of a kick in the crotch it might be to the program!

The1 writes:

in response to The_Greater_Pumpkin:

I know it hurts, but great decision by Coach Kiffin. If the Pahokee pipeline means thugs, let them go to Miami! I just hope they learn from their mistakes and don't wind up like Maurice Claret. Now, lets see what Mr. Bosch can do with Janzen.....

I'd go right back to Pahokee. Nukeese made a mistake and he'll pay for it. I'll bet there are plenty of good players and good people in Pahokee. All of us know or somehow can be associated with a bad person or a person that has made some bad decisions. I don't want to be thought of negatively just because of where I am from. I'll give the rest of Pahokee the same benefit of the doubt that I ask for.

GooglyMoogly writes:

in response to tulelakevol:

Good riddance. As for Jackson, I feel he made a poor choice, one of several it seems. He does not play anymore this year. Punish him similiar to the way Blount was punished. He practices, he runs till he pukes everyday, and if, and I mean if he can demonstrate that he wants to stay clean, then he is back next year. But one more screw up, I don't care how minor, cut his butt.

Sounds fair to me!

smokyredbone writes:

Move on!

nocleats writes:

Sad, very very sad. Also extremely stupid on these 2 young mens part. I think J.J. will use this as his turn around moment. I hope other players on the team see this as Coach K dont play! But all in all, it is a very sad story.

thedevil writes:

now they need to pay back all the tuition that was wasted on them.

IH8Gators writes:

in response to Vols_Man:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Kiffin did suspend them immediately. This happened Thursday and they didn't make the trip Friday. What do you think that was? Some time to refresh themselves? He suspended them immediately until he had more information. The whole "we are gathering information" was to decide whether to keep them on the team or not. So I am not really sure why you wish we had done the same when we did.

revjulian writes:

in response to Vols_Man:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That is exactly what Kiffin did didn't he? None of those players practiced with the team, made the trip to Oxford or watched tape Sunday... let alone step inside any of the football facilities since Wednesday. They were immediately suspended. Today, we learn that two were booted off the team. JJ is still, currently, on the team but he is still suspended. Kiffin did exactly what Mack did. Don't appreciate Kiffin being accused of not taking the "high road."

AFVol423 writes:

in response to Tellico_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

My guess is that without a scholarship they are out of school as well. I don't think transfer considerations apply. They should spend some time in jail for this stunt then can apply to school with a felony on their record. Amazing how one bad decision can change your life.

TNPilgrim writes:

It really doesn't matter whether or not Jackson failed a drug test. He was still in the doghouse for a week and suspended for a game. That punishment obviously didn't mean anything to him, since he was out with a crack ho at 1:30AM on a Wed night. Obviously, he's not too concerned with classes or game prep. Kiffen needs to get rid of him now and send the message that there's no double standard at work when it comes to enforcing team rules and standards.

iowavol writes:

The fact that the police release Jackson on his own recognizance tells me there is a lot more to his (dis)association to the other two's actions than we are hearing from the press. Especially considering the seriousness - armed robbery - of the crime. I hope Nuke and Mike do the right thing and offer additional testimony to exonerate him - if indeed he is truly innocent. Based on what we've heard, there's no telling what his role was other than to command the two to leave immediately.

BillyVol writes:

Very well put.
Let's hope all goes well in life for these two.

Ironcity writes:

in response to Vols_Man:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

All three players were suspended immediately from all team activities. Unless Mack kicked the kid immediately off the team, he did nothing more and likely less then coach Kiffin did. All Coach Kiffin said is he didn't want to comment until he gathered more information. That was the fight and prudent thing to do. With more information he has made a pretty big statement.

Bloodrunzorange writes:

This decision will help with "some" closure. Go Vols! Get this cleaned up ASAP and move on! We have to get to a decent bowl so we can have some extra "legal" practice!

Rocky_Top writes:

Good decision by Coach K. I suspect Jackson will be let go soon as well. Can't make excuses for the Ole Miss loss, but it didn't help for those three to put the team in that position.

HallowedHill writes:

in response to TennVolAlum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

4 days was too long?! CLK is in the uneviable position of caring for and coaching these young men, no matter how angry, sad, dissappointed you may be, I imagine in pales in comparison to what CLK feels. Kudos to CLK for not caving in the the angry mob and waiting for the facts to make a fair, informed decision.

VolFaninSouthFL writes:

Not sure what the end result will be for Jackson but if he was truly involved Nuke and Edwards know it. And if they feel Jackson is getting special treatment they will sing like song birds to the their local media if not national.

atlkevin writes:

Very good decision, CLK.

These cancers would have spread to other parts of the team.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to CarthageVol:

Did Jackson really fail a drug test or is that speculation? If true, then he must go to. Guilt by association. What are you doing out that late two nights before a big SEC game? Come on guys!!

I could be very wrong but I believe that is just speculation. Kiffin never gave a reason as I remember. Not that it couldn't be true, The players are kids and drugs get nucky,years ago it was beer and a car. Same result different tools.

TNPilgrim writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

Will they have a chance to walk on next year?

Sure they will - on the prison team.

The1 writes:

Volsman, I would not want the coach to kick the boys off the team permanently until he had done a little investigating. Just being arrested does not automatically mean one is guilty.

tbmccord#279221 writes:

in response to TennVolAlum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Knee jerk reactions are not what we need. Well informed decisions are warranted. If he let them play and took a long time to decide, I would agree. He suspended them from ALL team activities while weighing the evidence and making the correct informed decision. Nothing wrong with that. He needs more information to decide the fate of Jackson. He was the guy that chose not to participate, was the look out guy, was the one saying let's not do this... who knows what his level of participation was? I applaud Kiffin for his cool, level headed decision. If he decides to kick Jackson off as well, I will applaud that too. If not... he has more info than I and I will back that decision.

Vols05 writes:

Good job coach! Get rid of the riff raff! If Jackson had more to do with this than meets the eye, he should go too!

FEARinSEC writes:

in response to Urban_Troll:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Urban Warfare, go back to playing with your G.I. Joe dolls... You're OPINION means jack sheet here!!

west_tn_volfan writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

Will they have a chance to walk on next year?

They may still be in jail for armed robbery next year.

SanFranciscoVol writes:

Hmmm.... Last time I checked there were 3 morons involved... Not two morons and a talented player... Do the right thing... Boot Jackson!!!!

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