Former University of Tennessee safety Darren Myles Jr. apologized Thursday for “my poor decisions” after entering into a plea bargain that not only spares him any jail time but also gives him the chance to wipe his record clean — if he can stay out of legal trouble for the next two years.
Myles, 19, was charged with assaulting a UT Police Department officer, evading arrest and resisting arrest following a brawl on Cumberland Avenue on July 9. He was already facing charges of disorderly conduct, public intoxication and resisting arrest for causing a disturbance in the parking lot of a West Knoxville nightclub just hours after the April 17 Orange and White game.
The assault charge against Myles and a disorderly conduct charge from the earlier incident were dismissed Thursday in Knox County General Sessions Court, said John Gill, special counsel to Knox County District Attorney General Randy Nichols.
Myles, who was kicked off the team after his second arrest, was given judicial diversion on the remaining charges, which means the allegations will be expunged from his record if he keeps out of trouble for two years, Gill said.
Myles also will have to take an alcohol education class and pay court costs, Gill said. He had already performed 48 hours of community service in anticipation of pleading guilty to the charges from the first incident.
“I regret my poor decisions that I made while I was at the University of Tennessee,” Myles said in a written statement. “I am sorry, and I realize that my choices affected, and continue to affect, my former teammates, Coach, the University and the fans on many levels.
“I have learned some tough life lessons from this experience, and will continue to use it as a learning opportunity. I am looking forward to my continued career in academics and football . . . I hope that you will forgive me for my mistakes, and I wish everyone the best.”’
Myles likely will be released from his scholarship and be allowed to transfer without restrictions. He has already been dismissed from the team by UT coach Derek Dooley.
Asked about Thursday’s developments and Myles’ possible release, Dooley said: “I don’t know anything about it. He hasn’t come and asked me for one. This isn’t going to be a drama deal, I can assure you. There will be a release.”
Myles’ attorney, Don Bosch, didn’t answer questions Thursday but suggested in a press release that Myles hopes to enroll at another school and continue playing football.
“He is a fine young man from a good family, and I am confident he has a bright future in front of him in academics, football and in life,” Bosch said.
Myles was one of two UT football players arrested after the July fracas at Bar Knoxville, 1820 Cumberland Ave. During a foot chase, Myles struck UTPD Cpl. Brian Greenlee in the face when he “slipped out” of the officer’s grip, according to court records.
Greenlee didn’t require medical treatment, and Bosch said Thursday that both sides agreed the encounter between Myles and Greenlee didn’t constitute an assault.
“Our investigation determined there was not an assault committed by Darren Myles throughout the course of the evening and the parties appropriately agreed that this case should be dismissed,” Bosch said.
A UT spokeswoman confirmed that campus police had agreed with dropping the assault charge but referred further questions to the DA’s office.
Gill said the evidence in the case showed “the assault charge was related to him struggling to get away” from Greenlee, which led prosecutors to drop the assault charge in favor of pursuing the resisting arrest charge.
“We couldn’t convict him of both” because both charges were for the same incident, Gill said.
J.J. Stambaugh may be reached at 865-342-6307.