Adams: No judgment on passing on judgment

John Adams

Walls, King reinstated to Vols as of today

Time to recheck the box score from July 9. Because unless you recall the hits, runs and errors of that early-morning incident, you can't fully appreciate the news generated by Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley at Tuesday's press conference.

It was a busy, brutal night at Bar Knoxville. And a number of Vols were at least guilty of playing late.

The barroom brawl left a local police officer in the hospital and a lot of Vols in trouble.

n Starting safety Darren Myles was charged with assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and evading arrest.

n Freshman wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers was charged with resisting arrest and evading arrest.

n Starting defensive tackle Montori Hughes wasn't charged but was concerned enough to hire a lawyer, who promptly pointed out that his client was "attacked without provocation" (the attacker was not a teammate).

n Three other players were identified as being at the scene but weren't charged with anything.

n Linebacker Greg King and defensive tackle Marlon Walls were "indefinitely suspended" by Dooley even though they weren't mentioned in the police report.

Dooley didn't waste time responding. Aside from suspending King and Walls, he kicked Myles off the team following the player's second off-the-field offense in several months.

Almost a month later, Dooley told Tuesday's media gathering that King and Walls would rejoin the team for training camp, and no other players would be suspended unless the coach got new information. From a coach who was so quick to boot a prominent player from the team, you might have expected something more stringent, especially since Dooley has talked frequently and passionately about the importance of players having high character and representing the program and university in a positive light.

While I applaud Dooley's decision to dismiss Myles swiftly, I can't help but wonder about his decision to welcome back the entire Bar Knoxville gang without a half's worth of suspension for a single player.

Maybe that's because I'm so familiar with the recent history of UT's football program, which has been marked by too many off-the-field incidents and too little punishment.

Maybe it's because so many players were involved, and the policeman's injuries were so severe.

Yet only one player misses a game?

That's not to suggest Dooley should throw players under the paddy wagon just to underscore his commitment to discipline.

But for a new coach intent on laying the foundation for his program on solid character, it's important that he's right about this.

He sounds convincing.

"It's still a little tricky because there hasn't been full closure by the legal process," he said.

"So I can't talk much on it, but I can tell you this: I'm extremely comfortable with what the facts are and with what happened and their role in it. It's been consistent since day one and there's been no new information that would lead you to believe otherwise."

I would be more skeptical if this was just another football coach talking. But Dooley is a former lawyer who knows the value of thorough research.

He acknowledges there could be "new information that I had no idea was out there." However, he's so sure of that research, he's lifting the suspensions of King and Walls a month before the first game and not taking playing time from anybody.

If the legal process proves him right, he shouldn't be second-guessed.

John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com

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Comments » 32

vut56#231073 writes:

"If the legal process proves him right, he shouldn't be second guessed." You just spent a column doing so, John.

I guess this is LSU journalism 1/2 01: lay out all the negatives, garner attention, imply proper decisions are not being made (by those the organization entrust to make them) and then close with the caveat: "Oh well, if it works out okay, then okay." All bases covered in a sarcastic, negative way.

Par for the day.

redskinvol1 writes:

Trust in the coach!Everyone else's oppinion does'nt matter,including your's John.

DannyVol writes:

I've been screaming about Adams' columns for years, going so far as accusing him of using his position as sports editor to harm the program as much as he possibly could.

No further witnesses.

richvol writes:

One would think that McElroy is smarter than someone that allows his editor to degrade and criticize the very institution that butters their bread. Adams goes against common sense by being a thorn in the side of UT. If you want to sell papers and increase readership then the staff of KNS should have enough sense to find the positives of our beloved institution and be a contributor to their success.

It just kills Adams to write anything supportive of the UT athletic department and when he does it takes on a tone of reluctance like this article. What a shame we can't have a fan of the school writing about it. Oh,I know their claim to not be fans of the school they write about as somehow it would ruin thier professional standing...and to that I call BS. You can hold on to your misplaced fantasy about your integrity keeping you in your imagined position of superiority but in actuality you are intensely disliked by the majority of the very fans you are supposed to serve. Why don't you guys wise up and be positive for a change.

BigOrangeFreak writes:

Quoting the article:

"While I applaud Dooley's decision to dismiss Myles swiftly, I can't help but wonder about his decision to welcome back the entire Bar Knoxville gang without a half's worth of suspension for a single player."

Sorry, John, but referring to these player's as the "Bar Knoxville Gang" kind of feeds the UT Haters implication that ALL of these guys are thugs. I'll go along that some of these guys were very much out of line, but with the circumstances, (no video evidence, shoddy bar mgmt. and security, and conflicting witness testimony) Coach Dooley did the best with what he had. Is he supposed to suspend all the players who were at the scene? Even if he does not go to that extreme, with what little evidence he did have who is he supposed to discipline? Or, as you suggested, who misses gametime?

For as little evidence as there is on this situation, they need to just put it to bed.

smifrat writes:

Adams, you sir are a taint lickin' jack-hole! Always trying your best to destroy the UT football program!

leedsvol2007 writes:

John,

Only one player misses a game? Myles should have been one of our keys especially considering the loss of Berry and Rogan early to the NFL.

And the evidence that I have read leads directly to the feet of Myles who has been dismissed.

Both UT and Myles are the lesser for the incident.

Montori Hughes was apparently jumped on by a patron and defended himself.

If you were jumped on in a bar would you reserve the right to defend yourself?

I think you would.

GoVols!

pomp_and_circumstance writes:

John is gravely concerned, and rightfully so. The bar room brawl was his bun in the oven, silently rising and turning golden brown with yeasty corruption and chewy depravity that he would butter for months and months. Now it seems his bun went with the garbage can and poor John is left to throw knives as a blow up photo of Fulmer.

Bigger_Al writes:

More of the same from Tuscaloosa John, always putting Tennessee sports in its worst light. He twice mentions the profession of the guy who got beat up and went to the hospital, without bothering to to state the fact that he was simply another twenty-something-year-old bar patron that night.

VOLliven2it writes:

A key phrase from Coach Dooley,"full disclosure by the legal process," puts it in perspective. The team cannot wait until that all plays out. So he is responding with the info. he has. What really gets me are the sportswriters and so called experts who have never coached a down of football speculating on how to handle this kind of thing or Bryce Brown or any part of NCAA Div. I football as a coach. But ours is a country where that thing happens. As others have implied it is very disheartening to have all that we get from the hometown Knoxville newspaper be so negative. I am glad I live in another area and have to see this kind of blather only on here.
Dooley WILL do the right thing. If it means adjustments later, he WILL DO IT! Stop all the second guessing unless you have faced this in your huge coaching endeavors!

VOLliven2it writes:

Is there any way to buy out John Adams' contract?

TommyJack writes:

in response to VOLliven2it:

Is there any way to buy out John Adams' contract?

Like the Supreme Court, I think it's a lifetime appointment.

oskie_score writes:

John, let it go.

gaj619 writes:

in response to vut56#231073:

"If the legal process proves him right, he shouldn't be second guessed." You just spent a column doing so, John.

I guess this is LSU journalism 1/2 01: lay out all the negatives, garner attention, imply proper decisions are not being made (by those the organization entrust to make them) and then close with the caveat: "Oh well, if it works out okay, then okay." All bases covered in a sarcastic, negative way.

Par for the day.

You summed it up nicely! Oh by the way. All those awards that KNS gets amounts to nothing more than journalistic inbreeding. You do me 'cuz and I'll do you. First cousins marrying never leads to anything good.

RinggoldVol writes:

Gentlemen, understand that the more we rant and rave the more KNS likes it. It is ratings. The best way to remove Adams is to ignore his articles. Don't comment on them and they will think he is irrelevant. That's the way the ratings game works.

Ralph_Crampton writes:

You fellows that constantly harp on a critical comment about anti-UT incidents as a way to sell newpapers, that is not correct, newspapers do not make cent off selling newspapers...they make their money like all other newspapers...selling ADS. I had to break that habit of saying "to sell newspapers...I did the same thing fellow Vol fans." Now, an ironclad rule in any large police department...is do not become a paying customer...or hang around a bar when off duty. If an incident happens when you are in there..get out and call the uniform officers om duty with blue lights and siren...the fight immediately halts and the battlers run...even if you are in the right...most departments will fire you if you don't follow these procedures.

whistlinwingman writes:

in response to vut56#231073:

"If the legal process proves him right, he shouldn't be second guessed." You just spent a column doing so, John.

I guess this is LSU journalism 1/2 01: lay out all the negatives, garner attention, imply proper decisions are not being made (by those the organization entrust to make them) and then close with the caveat: "Oh well, if it works out okay, then okay." All bases covered in a sarcastic, negative way.

Par for the day.

Excellent Post.

whistlinwingman writes:

Also...ADAMS, you pretty much sum it up with articles like this as to why you can't get a job any where else. This includes your home state. Get a clue KNS, you all are becoming the major reason why Vol nation is so divided.

CrankE writes:

Yawn....

murrayvol writes:

in response to whistlinwingman:

Also...ADAMS, you pretty much sum it up with articles like this as to why you can't get a job any where else. This includes your home state. Get a clue KNS, you all are becoming the major reason why Vol nation is so divided.

The Vol Nation is divided because a former coach stopped doing what he was paid handsomely to do:
-Recruit top notch players
-Hire top notch assistants
-Coach

KNS had nothing to do with it.

whistlinwingman writes:

in response to Ralph_Crampton:

You fellows that constantly harp on a critical comment about anti-UT incidents as a way to sell newpapers, that is not correct, newspapers do not make cent off selling newspapers...they make their money like all other newspapers...selling ADS. I had to break that habit of saying "to sell newspapers...I did the same thing fellow Vol fans." Now, an ironclad rule in any large police department...is do not become a paying customer...or hang around a bar when off duty. If an incident happens when you are in there..get out and call the uniform officers om duty with blue lights and siren...the fight immediately halts and the battlers run...even if you are in the right...most departments will fire you if you don't follow these procedures.

No one will see the ADS if they DONT SELL THE NEWSPAPER.

whistlinwingman writes:

in response to murrayvol:

The Vol Nation is divided because a former coach stopped doing what he was paid handsomely to do:
-Recruit top notch players
-Hire top notch assistants
-Coach

KNS had nothing to do with it.

Very True! That is history though. We are trying to move forward now. But bringing up the Fulmer era or if Fulmer was here we wouldn't be in this shape..Kiffin..bar brawl gangs..recruiting spoofs..certainly isn't helping. All these things keep fueling negativity. I think the posters on this website are very divided and it

whistlinwingman writes:

shows

BornOrangeAlwaysOrange writes:

I checked the police report for Da'Rick Rogers posted elsewhere on govolsxtra. I find no mention of him being charged with evading arrest---only resisting arrest. That fact should have been checked before posting this article.

RespectTradition writes:

in response to smifrat:

Adams, you sir are a taint lickin' jack-hole! Always trying your best to destroy the UT football program!

that was highly inappropriate... but it made me giggle!!!! LOL

Go Vols!

OrangePride writes:

Uhhhhhhhh.........John. Just which point are you actually trying to make in this article? I mean, is there a topic sentence anywhere here or just a bunch of rambling thoughts? The coach was too light and missed the boat? If no reports emerge he was right? You don't think the police report is accurate or complete? You're OK with how it was handled? This article would get about a D in most journalism classes. We'll give you another chance later in the week and see how you do. Yi yi yi.

RespectTradition writes:

in response to Ralph_Crampton:

You fellows that constantly harp on a critical comment about anti-UT incidents as a way to sell newpapers, that is not correct, newspapers do not make cent off selling newspapers...they make their money like all other newspapers...selling ADS. I had to break that habit of saying "to sell newspapers...I did the same thing fellow Vol fans." Now, an ironclad rule in any large police department...is do not become a paying customer...or hang around a bar when off duty. If an incident happens when you are in there..get out and call the uniform officers om duty with blue lights and siren...the fight immediately halts and the battlers run...even if you are in the right...most departments will fire you if you don't follow these procedures.

You are wrong. Newspapers make ALL of their money by selling papers. No one will pay for an ad that is never seen. Circulation determines how much they can charge for adspace.

Go Vols!

RespectTradition writes:

Also, why are so many people upset about what players were there? If you didn't do anything wrong, your mere presence is not reason to be condemned. Why do people like Mr. Adams question a college kid clubbing but never seem to think it odd that an off-duty cop wanted to go to the same place and party? Either its good enough for a cop to be legally there and therefore it is ok for a student that is legally there or it is wrong for a student to be there and therefore wrong for the cop to be there too. Why the hypocrisy?

Go Vols!

abnermc writes:

Can't believe yall still read his junk. STOP IT!! BTW, Where does Rogers stand w/ the team ?

gaj619 writes:

in response to Ralph_Crampton:

You fellows that constantly harp on a critical comment about anti-UT incidents as a way to sell newpapers, that is not correct, newspapers do not make cent off selling newspapers...they make their money like all other newspapers...selling ADS. I had to break that habit of saying "to sell newspapers...I did the same thing fellow Vol fans." Now, an ironclad rule in any large police department...is do not become a paying customer...or hang around a bar when off duty. If an incident happens when you are in there..get out and call the uniform officers om duty with blue lights and siren...the fight immediately halts and the battlers run...even if you are in the right...most departments will fire you if you don't follow these procedures.

If you don't sell newspapers you have no circulation and ad sells are based on circulation and demographics. Your argument does not hold.

Ralph_Crampton writes:

Lets clear this misunderstanding among my fellow Vol fans about profits from newspapers...only 10 per cent of customers read the sports page...and that includes us...but 90 per cent read the funnies....Advertisers are locked into contracts with big local editions for years...this pays their expenses such as salaries, overhead etc. I had that explained through my thick skull by several newsmen that I have. GO VOLS. Anyone know if Volunteers have won that 800th game as yet in football?

tovolny writes:

John, looks like you caught H*** on this... (insert Fulmer's HECK). I do not remember seeing one single post that agreed with you. You beat up Fulmer long and hard with your Trojan Horse rhetoric to the point of slaughtering his recruiting efforts. I heard a preacher once say that embellishing the truth is worse than lying. Embellishing the negatives might fall in that same category.

Reporting the facts and nothing else died out with the passing of Paul Harvey. Now every editor and media upstart has this desire to be like Jim Rome or ESPN sports embellishers. You can bet there is going to be mouth gaping headlines daily...even if they have to mention a bunch of phooey that happened last year.

I suppose since you are the Editor you feel that you are required to editorialize. You sometimes got by me with the guise of "telling it like it is"...but now it is becoming clear that you "tell it like you surmise" and you do it with precise timing to prolong a dying ember of embarrassment to keep cutting into UT's image to the world.

Tennessee has several young men who really try to do right. Young men who give their all for the Vols while leading a decent existence as students athletes. Words on the street like gang, NCAA Probe, thugs, and brutal night have different meanings to young men than they do for us.

You are hard to figure out what your true feelings toward UT sports really are. The participation in the spring Orange and White game was a plus and tipped the scales to the good side, but some of the KNS recent stuff is beginning to cause the scales to rock back the other way. I hope that I am wrong, and I hope that you would really like to see the Vols be successful. Just let us know straight out how you feel, and I can live with that.

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