Kiffin says No. 1 rule is ‘Protect the team’; will Janzen Jackson return to Vols?

Kiffin and Wilson on the dismissal of Nu'Keese Richardson and Mike Edwards

The University of Tennessee Athletic Department is apparently holding out hope that charges against freshman safety Janzen Jackson will be reduced or dropped, which could lead to his return to the football field.

Meanwhile, first-year UT coach Lane Kiffin said Tuesday the decision to dismiss two players was to "protect the team."

Kiffin declined to comment on what might make Jackson's role different in the alleged attempted armed robbery of three men outside a convenience store on Nov. 12, but did say, "The easiest thing to look at is he was released (from jail) right away and was treated different in this matter by what happened. I can't get into any more detail than that."

Jackson, along with two other freshmen, receiver Nu'Keese Richardson and defensive back Mike Edwards, all 18, are facing charges after allegedly trying to rob the men at the Pilot on Cumberland Avenue. Richardson and Edwards were dismissed Monday. Jackson is still on the team but not allowed to participate in any team activities. Kiffin said he would not consider reinstating Richardson or Edwards even if their charges are altered.

According to a Knoxville Police Department report, Richardson and Edwards approached the alleged victims' car demanding money while brandishing a gun. Jackson's role is not as clear. However, according to the police report, he told the other players they all needed to leave.

"It was a very, very difficult decision," Kiffin said during his weekly press conference Tuesday about the dismissals. "These are two kids that we recruited. (We) sat with their parents, sat with them and the people around them in their house. This has been very tough on me.

"Our No. 1 rule is 'Protect the team.' As the head coach, I have to make decisions that sometimes you don't want to do. It was a sad day yesterday for those two kids and I wish them the best of luck. They obviously made a very poor decision, but we can't allow that to be a part of our team."

The three victims identified the three players and a female accomplice, Marie Montmarquet, 22, also a UT student. Montmarquet allegedly drove the players away from the Pilot in her car. She also faces marijuana charges.

Two of the victims, Cory Zickefoose and Corey Smith, said in interviews with the News Sentinel on Friday they didn't want to press charges, but the police did anyway.

The Knox County District Attorney General's office can move forward with the prosecution without the victims' consent.

The defendants are scheduled to make their first court appearance Friday in General Sessions Court.

Jackson took over the starting safety position in UT's second game this season and held onto it for seven consecutive games before being suspended for the Memphis game for an unspecified violation of team rules unrelated to the attempted armed robbery charges.

Kiffin has referred to Jackson as a potential freshman All-American and said his absence was a factor in UT's 42-17 loss at Ole Miss on Saturday. All three players did not make the travel roster.

Kiffin said he doesn't think the arrests have affected UT's recruiting.

"Everybody at times goes through issues," Kiffin said. "The message sent is how we dealt with it . . . (prospects' parents) understand that situations happen everywhere and it's more about how you deal with them."

Kiffin also discounted the notion that UT should have a midweek curfew during the season.

"We have 120 kids on our team, so are we going to go to 120 houses at 11 o'clock at night and knock on their door and find out if they're there?'' Kiffin said. "I've never heard of that. I don't really know how you could do that."

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Comments » 99

AceVentura writes:

Man I hadn't heard anything about this. What happened? Come on KNS enough already. You guys did the same with the black uniforms. Lets quit talking about this until a decision is made. Thanks.

atlvolunteer writes:

theres no curfew?? i am shocked. I thought that was common practice in college football. And no,most of them room together in the athletic dorm the way i understand it. so it wouldnt be that hard to police..

khelton657 writes:

Why is KNS portraying " Protect the team" as a bad thing, he means to do the right thingm including doing the tough things.....that is what protects the team

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

I hope the team doesn't have lead legs against Vandy and Kentucky, like it did against Ole Miss. Coach can do only so much. The players have to pick themselves back up. Godspeed, Volunteers!

SummittsCourt writes:

At some point, these guys have to grow up and be men, responsible men. Kiffin has sent the message that doing "stupid" things like this will not be tolerated. Good luck to Richardson & Edwards, but they are not Volunteer material.

volswithclass writes:

Fulmer had a nighly curfew for the freshmen. Gibbs Hall is right next to the football building. Perhaps Kiffin should adopt a Fulmer policy.

DownTheField writes:

I don't understand how the "article" addresses the question in its title. Fine piece of detective journalism.

AFVol423 writes:

in response to atlvolunteer:

theres no curfew?? i am shocked. I thought that was common practice in college football. And no,most of them room together in the athletic dorm the way i understand it. so it wouldnt be that hard to police..

that's the way it's always been. i guess Gibbs hall is empty these days. What with all the players having kids and living in apartments near campus.

jcherrie#219531 (Inactive) writes:

I'm a supporter of CLK - but one doesn't need to knock on doors to enforce a curfew any more than one needs to drug test a player daily. An honor system and peer pressure would work. Also, they could have a midnight curfew during the season.

Voluvr writes:

OF COURSE they're not trying to influence anything. They are waiting for the court appearance so they don't DUKE their players. There's a lot of liability if you release players then their charges get dropped. Just ask Duke's president, the university, and the DA. Now it's happened at Penn St.

Be patient folks we're okay.

OrangePride writes:

in response to atlvolunteer:

theres no curfew?? i am shocked. I thought that was common practice in college football. And no,most of them room together in the athletic dorm the way i understand it. so it wouldnt be that hard to police..

It is typical that travel teams have a hotel curfew on the Friday before the game, but it is rare that a curfew is enforced on a nightly basis when on campus. That said, even in the absence of an all-out curfew, some guidelines and "expectations" should be laid out for on campus players a la Pat Summit and the way she handles her student atheletes. When you are a scholarship student, the coaches have a right to dictate behavioral expectations both on and off the field.

FWBVol writes:

Maybe the coaches can't go to 120 doors to check curfew for the entire team because upper classmen are given a housing allowance per the NCAA and can live off campus. But all the freshmen still live on campus, and, I believe most live in Gibbs Hall although it is no longer considered an athletic dorm...again thanks to the NCAA.

Every dorm floor on the UT campus has a resident assistant it doesn't seem like it would be too hard to house all the freshmen football players and other freshmen student athletes on the same floor and have grad assistant serve as an RA on that floor. If they did that it wouldn't be too hard to check the curfew on 25 football players. If the players are roommates, which is usually the case, that would only be 12-14 rooms for football players that would need to be checked.

I know CLK wants to treat these kids like professionals, but the fact is they are still kids away from home for the first time and some of them didn't have a strong home life. They might need guidance that can't come from other freshmen on the team.

Voluvr writes:

in response to volswithclass:

Fulmer had a nighly curfew for the freshmen. Gibbs Hall is right next to the football building. Perhaps Kiffin should adopt a Fulmer policy.

You guys keep assuming all the athletes live in Gibbs Hall. Not true. That ended about a decade ago over a fairness lawsuit in competition to smaller schools who can't have athlete only dorms. Pretty stupid law.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to DownTheField:

I don't understand how the "article" addresses the question in its title. Fine piece of detective journalism.

I agree. Headline is very misleading. Almost scandalous. No, it actually is scandalous. Or KNS is hoping it is.

CoverOrange writes:

Dang. Now they changed it.

DownTheField writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

I agree. Headline is very misleading. Almost scandalous. No, it actually is scandalous. Or KNS is hoping it is.

It's really starting to annoy me.

DownTheField writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Dang. Now they changed it.

I just saw that!

volsbandit writes:

"protect the team" from losing. kif knows that jackson is the best of the 3. he just can't give him up. keep fightin' for him kif and he'll get to stay!

Down_The_Field writes:

JJ needs to go.

it's tough to kick a player as good as he is off, but it's the right thing to do. the staff has done 2/3 of the job right and it's time to finish the work. there's another nick reveiz out there who wants the opportunity and is willing to play by the rules.

SEND THE MESSAGE!

57TexasVol writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Maybe the coaches can't go to 120 doors to check curfew for the entire team because upper classmen are given a housing allowance per the NCAA and can live off campus. But all the freshmen still live on campus, and, I believe most live in Gibbs Hall although it is no longer considered an athletic dorm...again thanks to the NCAA.

Every dorm floor on the UT campus has a resident assistant it doesn't seem like it would be too hard to house all the freshmen football players and other freshmen student athletes on the same floor and have grad assistant serve as an RA on that floor. If they did that it wouldn't be too hard to check the curfew on 25 football players. If the players are roommates, which is usually the case, that would only be 12-14 rooms for football players that would need to be checked.

I know CLK wants to treat these kids like professionals, but the fact is they are still kids away from home for the first time and some of them didn't have a strong home life. They might need guidance that can't come from other freshmen on the team.

Unfortunately, the NCCA will not allow this either as it gives the perception that student athletes get special treatment or resources.

Go4Two writes:

You can thank KY basketball dorm for that rule

bluetick writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Maybe the coaches can't go to 120 doors to check curfew for the entire team because upper classmen are given a housing allowance per the NCAA and can live off campus. But all the freshmen still live on campus, and, I believe most live in Gibbs Hall although it is no longer considered an athletic dorm...again thanks to the NCAA.

Every dorm floor on the UT campus has a resident assistant it doesn't seem like it would be too hard to house all the freshmen football players and other freshmen student athletes on the same floor and have grad assistant serve as an RA on that floor. If they did that it wouldn't be too hard to check the curfew on 25 football players. If the players are roommates, which is usually the case, that would only be 12-14 rooms for football players that would need to be checked.

I know CLK wants to treat these kids like professionals, but the fact is they are still kids away from home for the first time and some of them didn't have a strong home life. They might need guidance that can't come from other freshmen on the team.

I totally agree with all you say. The Coaching Staff should be telling each recruit as they come in on the first day of Football Camp or Spring Practice and reiterated often,that this is a place to get a college degree FIRST and participate in football second. If you are planning to go robb someone at gun point or even carry a gun around, get in fights, get caught drinking underage, violating girls,doing drugs or hanging out with those that do, staying out late nights during a school week (which will only get you into trouble), might as well go on home now. We want you to have fun here, but leave any ignorance you might have behind you. It's time to get an education, play some football, learn from great coaches, and make it to the NFL where you can make millions of dollars. If you plan to screw off here and not use your head and common sense, you will lose your scholarship and possibly your quest for millions on the next level. THINK before you act and don't be stupid! Then make sure the upper classmen on the team keep them in check once in a while. Ok, now I feel better. :)

vut56#231073 writes:

I will not repeat, regarding this article, what I posted regarding Hooker's other dumb post: pointless, misleading and contributing nothing about anything. Is it an editorial? News? Is he an editorial writer, now? Not much of a news reporter; just rehashes everyone else's stories with a misguided twist.

Good to see other readers jump on him; fair game.

beachvol1 writes:

Completely insane not to have a curfew, especially for freshmen...he should wake up now and see what is going on around him....there is something vastly wrong with a student/athlete that wants to be out all hrs of the night when he/she has classes the next day...or do they attend class...Kiff better get a grip on it....if not, this won't be the last incident....

orangevolz writes:

in response to atlvolunteer:

theres no curfew?? i am shocked. I thought that was common practice in college football. And no,most of them room together in the athletic dorm the way i understand it. so it wouldnt be that hard to police..

No one has curfews, and personally, I think it would be wrong if they did. It is not just a UT thing. On road games, I am sure they have one, but no need to have one at home.

BillsBrother writes:

11 pm curfew??? Midnight curfew??? If that was implemented you would see a line of VOL recruits looking to sign at another university.

Part of a university education is learning to live responsibly away from home. One of the things that I laughed at during parent orientation was when the student affairs VP said, "Parents are not permitted to sleep in the dorm. We have actually had some parents try and live with their students the first few days to make sure they attend class." Administrators must actually urge parents to let their freshmen children grow up.

Coaches are not the player's father and the RA's are not dorm mothers. Curfews would be counterproductive.

woodwr#217203 writes:

in response to atlvolunteer:

theres no curfew?? i am shocked. I thought that was common practice in college football. And no,most of them room together in the athletic dorm the way i understand it. so it wouldnt be that hard to police..

It wasn't that long ago that all students had curfew. It would be easy to have a curfew on athletic dorms, especially as the door has card access and a resident assistant at the desk by the door. Anyone coming in late, could be reported to the coach who does wake up calls early enough going to bed as well as staying in the building becomes the habit.

Regular students are not urine tested and regular students might not have to be in the building by midnight on weeknights, but college football players are quasi-employees working their way through college at the job of going to practice and going to class.

Freshmen playing football have no business in a car with any female after midnight.

It sure looks like these three guys were riding with an older woman to share or buy some of her drug stash.

Actually three eighteen year olds with an older female at that hour might look worse if the explanation were not buying or sharing her drugs.

VirginiaVolunteer writes:

in response to atlvolunteer:

theres no curfew?? i am shocked. I thought that was common practice in college football. And no,most of them room together in the athletic dorm the way i understand it. so it wouldnt be that hard to police..

Actually there is no curfew at any major college except for the night before the game or when they are on the road. And as for them all living in the same dorm...only the freshmen are required to live on campus. The older guys usually live off campus. I got this information from several UT and other college players.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to bluetick:

I totally agree with all you say. The Coaching Staff should be telling each recruit as they come in on the first day of Football Camp or Spring Practice and reiterated often,that this is a place to get a college degree FIRST and participate in football second. If you are planning to go robb someone at gun point or even carry a gun around, get in fights, get caught drinking underage, violating girls,doing drugs or hanging out with those that do, staying out late nights during a school week (which will only get you into trouble), might as well go on home now. We want you to have fun here, but leave any ignorance you might have behind you. It's time to get an education, play some football, learn from great coaches, and make it to the NFL where you can make millions of dollars. If you plan to screw off here and not use your head and common sense, you will lose your scholarship and possibly your quest for millions on the next level. THINK before you act and don't be stupid! Then make sure the upper classmen on the team keep them in check once in a while. Ok, now I feel better. :)

I'm sure they do all that....Still, someone with this mentality really doesnt care

paulvol writes:

I say let J.J. return to the team and playing again only if he is found completely not guilty in any way with this attempted robbery case except fore just hanging out with the ones that were too late that night. Then he should be allowed back only under a probation period with strict rules to keep him out of future trouble. A curfew for him and maybe some community service work of some kind, etc might do him good. When teenagers act like children they need to be treated as such sometimes. Maybe J.J. can redeem himself someday with the right discipline, rules, and counseling. Only time can tell if he is given another chance but his next tiniest mishap should definitely be his last and that should be made very clear to him.

paulvol writes:

I don't think the whole team necessarily needs a curfew, only those who prove they can't stay out of trouble. J.J. has two incidents of trouble against him already, the undisclosed on before the Memphis game and the one that just took place before the Ole' Miss game.

smyrnavol writes:

in response to volswithclass:

Fulmer had a nighly curfew for the freshmen. Gibbs Hall is right next to the football building. Perhaps Kiffin should adopt a Fulmer policy.

you gonna volenteer to watch all of them by yourself mr classless? how many players were arrested under Coach Fulmers watch? think about that one big man!! I love the VOLS, but you are clueless! GO VOLS!!!

JACK8254 writes:

Kiffin needs to stop braying about " 11 months without an arrest" 4 kids arrested out of a class of 22 is Fulmeresque. Shut the f up - you are only making it look worse. Also - i agree- JJ is a GREAT player , but he needs to go. Its not worth it in the long run.

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

in response to Down_The_Field:

JJ needs to go.

it's tough to kick a player as good as he is off, but it's the right thing to do. the staff has done 2/3 of the job right and it's time to finish the work. there's another nick reveiz out there who wants the opportunity and is willing to play by the rules.

SEND THE MESSAGE!

I see no valid reason to suspend J.J.'s scholarship. IMO, it is not the right thing to do. 2/3 of the job sounds like the cant of a nutjob. Guys like you must make our players wonder why they should give their all for Tennessee. Please pour yourself a nice tall glass of STFU.

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

in response to paulvol:

I say let J.J. return to the team and playing again only if he is found completely not guilty in any way with this attempted robbery case except fore just hanging out with the ones that were too late that night. Then he should be allowed back only under a probation period with strict rules to keep him out of future trouble. A curfew for him and maybe some community service work of some kind, etc might do him good. When teenagers act like children they need to be treated as such sometimes. Maybe J.J. can redeem himself someday with the right discipline, rules, and counseling. Only time can tell if he is given another chance but his next tiniest mishap should definitely be his last and that should be made very clear to him.

paulvol, I say that you should be allowed to return to your job, if you have a job, only if you are found COMPLETELY NOT GUILTY. Then you should be ALLOWED back with strict rules for a probationary period, with a curfew and community service. When adults talk like dictators, they need to be treated as such...sometimes. Maybe someday you can redeem yourself, with the right counselings, deprevations, and correct punishments. Maybe this should be your very last chance. Somebody should make this very clear to you. LOL

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

in response to bluetick:

I totally agree with all you say. The Coaching Staff should be telling each recruit as they come in on the first day of Football Camp or Spring Practice and reiterated often,that this is a place to get a college degree FIRST and participate in football second. If you are planning to go robb someone at gun point or even carry a gun around, get in fights, get caught drinking underage, violating girls,doing drugs or hanging out with those that do, staying out late nights during a school week (which will only get you into trouble), might as well go on home now. We want you to have fun here, but leave any ignorance you might have behind you. It's time to get an education, play some football, learn from great coaches, and make it to the NFL where you can make millions of dollars. If you plan to screw off here and not use your head and common sense, you will lose your scholarship and possibly your quest for millions on the next level. THINK before you act and don't be stupid! Then make sure the upper classmen on the team keep them in check once in a while. Ok, now I feel better. :)

Now you feel better. But when did you do that in your own life? Let me guess...never. Good grief, this is getting past stupid and into crazy.

MidTennVol writes:

Coach: "The easiest thing to look at is he was released (from jail) right away and was treated different in this matter by what happened. I can't get into any more detail than that."

Me: "The easiest thing to look at is he was already on probation for failing a drug test and right away was hanging out with people smoking weed. I don't need any more detail than that. He's gone."

281Vol writes:

They didn’t point a gun in someone’s face and try to take their money because they were out in the middle of the night. They did this because right now they are bad people. Anyone can change for the better and I hope these men do, but right now they are thugs. All of you *itching about curfews must have forgotten how late you stayed out when you were that age. You stayed out late and so did I, and none of us were pointing guns in anyone’s face. The bottom line is that all three players need to take a step back and evaluate who they are and who they want to become. Anyone who uses drugs, steals or points toy guns in peoples faces should be kicked off the team.

JethroBodine1980 writes:

in response to paulvol:

I don't think the whole team necessarily needs a curfew, only those who prove they can't stay out of trouble. J.J. has two incidents of trouble against him already, the undisclosed on before the Memphis game and the one that just took place before the Ole' Miss game.

My homie is mis understood. The establisment is trying to hold him back. What's wrong wif smok'n some weed?

rocky_topper writes:

Just words. Really depends on how many stars are by your name it seems.

CrankE writes:

You know who Kiffin reminds me of these days?
Lightning McQueen.
Ka-chow!

kjohnson008 writes:

KNS and "The Sports Animal" seem to have it out for CLK ever the since the black jerseys came out. I guess since they weren't allowed in on the secret their feelings got hurt and now it's time for a little payback. News flash for you KNS and local media, CLK is in charge, not you bozo's.

GainesvilleVol1 writes:

As far a the curfew thing goes, I would attach a veteran player to oversee, say up to 10 Freshmen. Not that he could control each player, but he could mentor and check on them randomly. And during school and football season, I think 11 PM is plently late enough for lights out. Unless your up studying!

GO VOLS!

rocky_topper writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I learned a LONG time ago to NOT listen to the sports animal clowns. They have their OWN agenda, and isn't to benefit CLK or the athletic department. In fact, Hyams is not even a VOL fan---by his own admission!

Boycott their programs!

Cherokee writes:

Per Hooker:

"Kiffin declined to comment on what might make Jackson's role different in the alleged attempted armed robbery of three men outside a convenience store..."

Dave, seriously? I think it's OBVIOUS what makes his role different, but if you really don't know...he wasn't present when the other two players approached the victims, he didn't brandish a gun, he didn't demand money...

I'm not saying he may not have still been involved, we just don't know, but don't act like you don't know how his role is different. Please.

volcycle writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Maybe the coaches can't go to 120 doors to check curfew for the entire team because upper classmen are given a housing allowance per the NCAA and can live off campus. But all the freshmen still live on campus, and, I believe most live in Gibbs Hall although it is no longer considered an athletic dorm...again thanks to the NCAA.

Every dorm floor on the UT campus has a resident assistant it doesn't seem like it would be too hard to house all the freshmen football players and other freshmen student athletes on the same floor and have grad assistant serve as an RA on that floor. If they did that it wouldn't be too hard to check the curfew on 25 football players. If the players are roommates, which is usually the case, that would only be 12-14 rooms for football players that would need to be checked.

I know CLK wants to treat these kids like professionals, but the fact is they are still kids away from home for the first time and some of them didn't have a strong home life. They might need guidance that can't come from other freshmen on the team.

We seem to forget that these athletes are also students. There is no campus wide curfew for freshmen. If these athletes are also students, they need to learn responsibility just like the rest of the students on campus. If dismissal from the team is not enough motivation to behave responsibly, then what is?

Mr_Brownstone writes:

does little softie / oscar meyer have a curfew? doubt it.

1974Vol writes:

in response to KatManDewVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

NCAA ruled out athletic dorms (Gibbs Hall) several years ago. Their thought process was the athletes needed to be integrated into the student body not isolated in the athletic dorm. I thought it a bad idea then and still do. At big time schools these guys are not "regular" students they are local celebrities. Look at how their similar aged counter parts act in other entertainment industries. Bring back the athletic dorm at least for freshmen and much of this nonsense goes away; not just at UT but nationwide.

Overitok writes:

Can you journalists(?)let go of trashing everything about UT football and it's coaches! Good journalists seek out the details of things they write about. You guys just want to trash Lane Kiffin and his staff for no other reason than to fan flames of every little incident. Why the He*l don't you pursue what happens at all universities like you do UT???? If you don't want our football program to succeed then you don't need to be covering UT sports period. Nothing has happened in Knoxville that hasn't happened to every "good" program in the country, yet nothing is ever said about that. It's always Lane Kiffin's fault regardless of the cicumstances. It seems to me you all are scared of what this man will accomplish and make you look bad for badmouthing him. Enough one-sided reporting KNS. Close it down or report the facts regarding all other programs as well.

the10sevol writes:

in response to LakeCityGator:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

well said.

GBO

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