Nick Reveiz was the first person who came to mind when I heard about Vol Brawl while on vacation.
Don't worry. He's not an unnamed suspect.
He was just a reminder of unfinished business from my last assignment. Reveiz and two other Tennessee players, Daniel Lincoln and Austin Johnson, spent part of that mid-June afternoon visiting with fans at a local independent living center.
By then, I assumed the team was deep enough into off-season workouts for it to have comprised a rallying cry for the upcoming season. So I asked Reveiz, a fifth-year senior and team leader.
"Yes," he said. "Chris Walker came up with it."
It's on a wrist band. The abbreviated version is "AO1," which stands for an "Audience Of One."
I was expecting something less cryptic. "Don't believe what you read," seemed appropriate given the unflattering predictions from preseason football publications. Or, in light of the recent Vol-driven barroom brawl that put an off-duty policeman in the hospital, you might suggest, "Leave no witnesses."
But an "Audience of One?"
"We've had a big spiritual revival on this team," he said. "I think it started last year when (former quarterback) Jonathan Crompton came to Christ. From then on, it just snowballed.
"We've had so many guys give their lives to Christ and go to (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) retreats. It's about realizing the big picture. The big picture is serving the Lord."
The big picture is an Audience of One.
It's not just Reveiz or Walker. It's a lot of players who are very serious about their religious convictions, according to Reveiz. They go to bible studies and FCA retreats. They try to practice what they preach.
I left for vacation with that message, imagining the 2010 Vols as a team full of Tim Tebows. I thought about that team - and those players - when I read the varied accounts of who did what to whom at Bar Knoxville nine days ago.
Aside from the policemen who was beaten unconscious, those are the guys who were hurt the most by what happened that night.
The Vols already had enough to overcome. Three different coaches in as many years have left them short on players and talent. Now, they have an image problem as well.
Most of the players don't deserve that. New coach Derek Dooley should keep that in mind when meting out punishment to the guilty parties. To his credit, he already has dismissed repeat offender Darren Myles from the team. That's a good start.
This is no time to sympathize with the players who got in trouble. Sympathize with the ones who didn't, because they will be painted with the same broad brush.
College football players who wreak havoc on the general populace aren't just breaking the law. They're sticking it to their own teammates. In the context of a football locker room, what's worse than that?
The guilt by association is magnified at a program whose outlaw history is well documented. Walker and Reveiz surely will be quizzed about that when they represent UT at the SEC football media days Friday in Birmingham.
Maybe someone will notice their wrist bands, too.
John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or email@example.com