Lamaison denied release from scholarship, has no plans to return to UT

Nick Lamaison is sure that he's not coming back to Tennessee.

Where the former junior-college quarterback winds up is seemingly still in the hands of the Vols though.

Currently back home in California and trying to find a place to land after a brief and unsuccessful career with UT, Lamaison appears to have his hands tied thanks to a denial of his request for a release from his scholarship.

A UT official cited the desire to keep the backup in the program as the reason for the recent decision, but with Lamaison adamantly opposed to a return, at the moment that's keeping him from moving on elsewhere and frustrating his old position coach at South Hills (Walnut, Calif.) High School.

"I understand, I get it, he played there and got a scholarship opportunity, there's a new coach and things didn't work out," Michael Owens said Tuesday. "But I feel like they're just penalizing the kid.

"When he left school in May, he told them he wasn't coming back to UT, he asked for a release, they denied it, denied it. The next thing we heard from them was that he signed to play for the University of Tennessee, and we're going to hold you to that. OK, I get that, I understand that.

"Nick's problem is that he feels like he didn't get an opportunity to compete. If he's third on the depth chart and he's not going to get a chance to compete, let him go."

In some ways Lamaison is already free to go play at the lower-division schools closer to his home that have targeted him, but the problem for the would-be sophomore is that college wouldn't be.

If he's not released from his scholarship, the former Mt. San Antonio (Calif.) College standout would have to pay his own way or go back to junior college again after redshirting last season with the Vols.

Given financial issues in his family, Owens indicated the former wasn't a viable option and he's doing all he can to help Lamaison avoid the latter.

"The school's being punitive because he told them in May he's not coming back, and they're saying if he's not going to come back they're going to exercise their right to penalize him not to play," Owens said.

"Nick's beat-up emotionally, he said to just forget it and he'd just go back to junior college, but I think it's too important. You only get five years to play four. It's too important.

"They're within their legal rights to do what they're doing, but we're adults. Part of our business is to help young people develop and stay in line, but it's also to take care of them. I can see if Nick was in the plans for them, then fine. But if he's not in the plans, let him go play somewhere else."

Lamaison was an unlikely candidate to play for the Vols this season or down the road, and he never seriously threatened either Jonathan Crompton or Nick Stephens for playing time a year ago either.

Stephens transferred midway through spring practice, but like last fall, Lamaison was again clearly stuck behind two quarterbacks as junior transfer Matt Simms and freshman Tyler Bray quickly jumped him on the depth chart.

The Vols are already working with a smaller roster than they'd like though, and sacrificing some of their depth at quarterback could pose challenges for them in the future - likely a factor in the decision to try to convince Lamaison not to leave.

"He just doesn't trust them now," Owens said. "They're telling him things will be different in the fall, he'll get some reps, but everybody knows you can't rep three quarterbacks in the fall.

"He wanted to leave when (former coach Lane) Kiffin left, but I said, 'No, wait and see this new guy's style.' There's a place for you somewhere in America. It might not be there, but you're good enough to play somewhere else."

Without a release, finding that place has become a bit of a problem.

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Comments » 138

VolGrad writes:

Let him go, Tennessee.

SmyrnaMan writes:

life sucks, get used to it

jcherrie#219531 (Inactive) writes:

He'll be let go - just caught temporarily in the bureaucracy. Best of luck to him.

alvol writes:

in response to VolGrad:

Let him go, Tennessee.

I agree. Let him go. Not his fault that Tn changed coaches.

VolInIndy writes:

wonder if they still want him in Dakota?

VOLorado writes:

the beginning of this article is a mess...

VolFanNC writes:

Let him go....better off in the long run.

bigfogg writes:

Just another reason this staff is sad. NL wanted a shot and Coach Dooley said I know you want what's best for you a chance to compete for the job, but I want what's best for the team and that is for you to come out and throw against our D and to warm up our receivers.
If a guy with a new coach cannot get a release from his present school than the NCAA is sad also.
Do the right thing and let the student/athlete move on!!!!!

FWBVol writes:

in response to aviator1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Because of the attrition that comes with having three coaching staffs in three years, we are down about 10 scholarship players. Because the NCAA only allows 25 incomimg players a year, it will still take two or three signing classes to get us up to the full 85 scholarship allowed by the NCAA.

I see both sides of the coin. I can understand Lamaison feeling he's the odd man out. But in reality, from a seniority standpoint, he's the senior most quarterback on the squad even if he is third on the depth chart.

Within the last 10 years UT has been forced to play three quarterbacks in the same season. I think it is wise for CDD and his staff to want to hold on to him...even if it is only as a safety net if Simms and Bray go down.

Without Lamaison, our QB situation amounts to a pair of true freshman and a JC transfer. With Lamaison we at least have someone that has been through a season as a SEC backup.

hamrbr writes:

Seems like there is more to this story than what his former coach has to say. But Dooley has very tight lips and we may never know the whole story.
jmo

Lostvolinhighweeds writes:

One of lifes' lessons is : "You commited to do this job. Do this job."

bmgvirgo#210233 writes:

Let him go!!!!!!!!!!

golfballs03 writes:

Free Nick!
kind of like this:
http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/the_...

allvol9 writes:

Coach Dooley...I am behind you as our coach 100%. But please let this kid go. He will never see the field at UT. Let's give him a chance elsewhere. It's the right thing to do....good luck Nick.

Bogus writes:

in response to DoctorVol50:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

May I make a suggestion? You should change your screen name. Your command of the English language is so inept that I find it hard to believe that you got a Bachelor's degree, much less an M.D. Then again, maybe you got a doctorate in Political Science, which would explain why you're so full of you-know-what.

boogimn3 writes:

in response to Bogus:

May I make a suggestion? You should change your screen name. Your command of the English language is so inept that I find it hard to believe that you got a Bachelor's degree, much less an M.D. Then again, maybe you got a doctorate in Political Science, which would explain why you're so full of you-know-what.

Agreed...If he is Poly Sci, then he might, god help him, be an "academic" or an "activist," useless as tits on a boar hog...

OrangePsyched writes:

Every time I read an article I know that I can anticipate and negative comment or two from DoctorPhilFulmerfan. It's usually the best laugh that I have all day. It's not because he is funny, but that he is so pathetic. It's like the dude not being able to let go of his old flame. Phil is the apple of Doc's eye and he can't let it go. Maybe we can start FA (Fulmer Anonymous)...you know Doc admitting you have a problem is the first step. ROCKY TOP!

VolinCalif writes:

in response to DoctorVol50:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Now Now Doc. is there a storm in Fl?

OrangePsyched writes:

Hey VolnotHamiltonbutlovesmesomephilfulmerfan...get over it. Hamilton and CDD's not going anywhere and Phil's NEVER coming back. You and DocVol are so funny.

tdforvols writes:

A free education to sit on a bench doesn't sound that bad to me judging from what others have posted about his ability. If Dooley wants him to stay though he must see some potential in the kid. But if his hearts not in it probably should cut him loose.....I guess I'm on the fence with this one! lol

The1 writes:

I think there is a life lesson here for Nick. That is be careful before signing because one day you'll be signing for mortgages, getting married, making business deals, etc. It's good to learn now about sticking to commitments. Perhaps Kiffin lied to him...he lied to a lot of people, but that's not Dooley's fault. Whether Dooley lets this kid go is not the issue...Dooley is setting a precedent by holding this kid to his commitment and teaching this kid a life lesson. The former coach, Owens, is not doing this kid any favors when he says "let him out of the commitment" because life doesn't let you out of your commitments unless you are a politician or Wall Street Scam Artist. The only person I see that cares about this kid's future as far as this article goes is Dooley. If Dooley holds this kid to his commitment then he, Laimaison, will be better off in the long run. After all, he is not going to make a living playing football if he is number three on UT's quarterback depth chart.

The1 writes:

I think there is a life lesson here for Nick: be careful before signing because one day you'll be signing for really important things such as mortgages, getting married, making business deals, etc. It's good to learn now about sticking to commitments. Perhaps Kiffin lied to him...he lied to a lot of people, but that's not Dooley's fault. Whether Dooley lets this kid go is not the issue...Dooley is setting a precedent by holding this kid to his commitment and teaching this kid a life lesson. The former coach, Owens, is not doing this kid any favors when he says "let him out of the commitment" because life doesn't let you out of your commitments unless you are a politician or Wall Street white-collar criminal. The only person I see that cares about this kid's future as far as this article goes is Dooley. If Dooley holds this kid to his commitment then he, Laimaison, will be better off in the long run. After all, he is not going to make a living playing football if he is number three on UT's quarterback depth chart.

The1 writes:

in response to VolnotHAMILTONfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If I knew as much about football as you proclaim to know I'd be the coach instead of Dooley.

orangecountyvols writes:

As some have mentioned, we don't know quite all there is to this.

But one thing we do know, and that as far as "letting someone go"..............it's best that this "Doctor troll" (Vol50 ) and "volnothamiltonfan" be let go.

The two of you, just go.........go somewhere so Tennessee fans can enjoy this site. Totally negative trolls.

ClassicVol (Inactive) writes:

This kid is like a yo yo. I trust coach on this one.

Couchdummy writes:

in response to VolFanNC:

Let him go....better off in the long run.

Agree, release him!

dvols writes:

we miss you jim bob cooter!

Mule_Days_King writes:

Come on Ward. Is this the best you can do? A story about a 3rd string (at best) QB that had his feelings hurt? I guess Dooley's media policy has you guys digging for any seemingly credible story.

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to VolnotHAMILTONfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

20 yrs of true mediocrity.....

Sounds like your early years.

PMC2726 writes:

A point of clarification -- Nick would NOT be 3rd on the depth chart in the fall. Gerald Jones would likely be the 3rd option..... or Nash Nance, if he is anywhere near being ready.

I'm reserving judgment on whether Nick should be let go from his scholarship until we hear both sides of the story. I trust Dooley enough that he wouldn't mess with a kid to be senselessly punitive -- he's got other things to do with his time. With that said, Nick is a kid and should have the ability to chase his dreams before he has to work the gas pump like the rest of us.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Sometimes the water is a whole lot deeper than it looks.

Good luck, youngster.

NTNSTY writes:

in response to Lostvolinhighweeds:

One of lifes' lessons is : "You commited to do this job. Do this job."

Agreed.

eprahm (Inactive) writes:

We appreciate the fact he gave Ut his best shot but it just didn't work out. We not only let him go but should also wish him well. Having a classy football team begins with having classy leadership in the university.

orangebloodgmc writes:

Nick, I hope you do stay ... sometimes qbs get hurt and we will need you to be ready when you get the call. Nick Reveiz, talk to Nick L.

Ironcity writes:

Let him go. He is a west coast kid who will never see the field at UT. This helps no one by attempting to force him to stay.

orangecountyvols writes:

Troll time again...........listentothemusic enters the building. Another troll who needs to be cut loose.

Tennfan4075 writes:

in response to DoctorVol50:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I like your logic. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. You make a deal live with it.

Volunatic writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Because of the attrition that comes with having three coaching staffs in three years, we are down about 10 scholarship players. Because the NCAA only allows 25 incomimg players a year, it will still take two or three signing classes to get us up to the full 85 scholarship allowed by the NCAA.

I see both sides of the coin. I can understand Lamaison feeling he's the odd man out. But in reality, from a seniority standpoint, he's the senior most quarterback on the squad even if he is third on the depth chart.

Within the last 10 years UT has been forced to play three quarterbacks in the same season. I think it is wise for CDD and his staff to want to hold on to him...even if it is only as a safety net if Simms and Bray go down.

Without Lamaison, our QB situation amounts to a pair of true freshman and a JC transfer. With Lamaison we at least have someone that has been through a season as a SEC backup.

Good point. The 3rd QB on the depth chart has gotten a start all 3 times in the past 10 years when the Vols went into the season with no experienced QB.
In '00 Joey Matthews was the first starter, and then A.J. Suggs, and then the Vols finally settled on Casey Clausen.
In '04, Brent Schaeffer got the nod initially, then Erik Ainge won the job, and then he was hurt and Rick Clausen got the job.
In '08, Jon Crompton, Nick Stephens, and B.J. Coleman all got their chance to prove themselves as starting QB.
If Nick Lamaison didn't expect to be 3rd on the depth chart when he signed with Tennessee, then he was being unrealistic. All major college football programs try to keep 3 or 4 QBs on the roster because football is a rough sport and injuries are part of the game.

OldNumber7 writes:

in response to alvol:

I agree. Let him go. Not his fault that Tn changed coaches.

So by setting this precedent, should we then let all the Kiffin-recruited players go?

CCLC writes:

What about Nash?

Volsrbest writes:

Let him go! This would be another step in the right direction of building character back into this program.

seaplane#216536 writes:

I wonder if by letting him go with no restictions, might open the door for other Vols who are contemplating leaving?

shrick writes:

in response to Lostvolinhighweeds:

One of lifes' lessons is : "You commited to do this job. Do this job."

Good point but the facts are not clear what job he committed to do I am confident that had he been given a chance to "do the job you committed to do,young man" he would have

OrangePride writes:

This kid was never really afforded much of an opportunity to play here. Perhaps it's because he just was not as sharp as the others and that's just the way things worked out. But let him go. If he's not coming back in to play for UT anyway, there is really nothing to be gained by holding him here other than to set a tone with others. I feel for his dad because he must feel awfully bad that he made him stay on. I wish him the best however this works out.

GreerVol22 writes:

all you "life lesson" saps think about it. He did do his job. He commited, went thru practice, and did as much as his skill allowed. It just so happens he is not management material and sitting in a management role.....gotta cut bait before he starts e-mailing the playbook to the enemy.

Shiggidyhappens writes:

Make him stay...he'll have the worst attitude ever and get blasted on here by Vol Illuminati for not being loyal or not bleeding orange. He will eventually work his way up to 6th string scout team qb and then never dress for any home games. Next year he will be the designated host for visiting Cali recruits looking for a home the next 5 years. So I say....if he doesn't want to be here, punish him. Put the kid in Vol jail...make him stay. Burn some mattresses and a stuffed likeness of the ungrateful pseudo signal caller then call all California the land of......... quitters and w(h)ine.
Damn...he ain't Lebron James.

PetePanuskanator writes:

LET HIM GO!

tensie2004 writes:

Wish him luck and LET HIM GO! He is never going to play for us and now doesn't want to play for us, so let him go. It not like Florida or Alabama will offer him a scholarship.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Because of the attrition that comes with having three coaching staffs in three years, we are down about 10 scholarship players. Because the NCAA only allows 25 incomimg players a year, it will still take two or three signing classes to get us up to the full 85 scholarship allowed by the NCAA.

I see both sides of the coin. I can understand Lamaison feeling he's the odd man out. But in reality, from a seniority standpoint, he's the senior most quarterback on the squad even if he is third on the depth chart.

Within the last 10 years UT has been forced to play three quarterbacks in the same season. I think it is wise for CDD and his staff to want to hold on to him...even if it is only as a safety net if Simms and Bray go down.

Without Lamaison, our QB situation amounts to a pair of true freshman and a JC transfer. With Lamaison we at least have someone that has been through a season as a SEC backup.

Being down 10 scholarship players has been a bit understated;IMO it's a pretty big thorn in our side..I don't think any other SEC team has this problem and it hurts..On the positive side a lot of less talented players will get some much needed real SEC playing time and considering this season is all about rebuilding; thats a good thing..I do hope that Walls and King get straight and return to the line up

Lizardgrad89 writes:

If you were in a job where you had gotten a new boss that told you that you had no chance at raises or promotions, and new people had been brought in and immediately promoted past you, wouldn't you be looking to leave?

Nobody wants to be somewhere they don't feel wanted or appreciated.

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