Line takes a hit; Douglas granted release

Coach Dooley addresses Douglas leaving the Vols

Another shoe dropped.

This time the cleats will be much harder for Tennessee to fill.

Freshman All-American offensive lineman Aaron Douglas asked new coach Derek Dooley for his release Thursday, joining sophomore running back Bryce Brown as the second high-profile player in a little more than a week to leave the program. And for a team with such a glaring need on the offensive line, the surprising loss of its expected starting left tackle could be a devastating blow.

“Aaron Douglas and I met today, and he’s decided that he no longer is a part of our football team,” Dooley said. “It’s unfortunate that we never got a chance to coach him, but as I’ve told (the media) and I’ve told the team, our concern is not what we don’t have — it’s who we have.

“We have 84 guys who are excited about our program, we’re shaping a new culture, and as we do, this is a process. So that’s the story there.”

It’s virtually the same one UT had to deal with at the start of camp when Dooley had a similar meeting with Brown to discuss his departure, though the impact could be far greater with Douglas.

The converted tight end blossomed at right tackle as a redshirt freshman, moving into the starting lineup, winning an SEC lineman of the week award and playing a critical role for one of the best pass-protection units in the conference. But with a lingering ankle injury and an undisclosed personal issue, the former Maryville High School star hadn’t taken part in any team activities since camp opened last week.

The Douglas family — former UT and NFL offensive lineman David Douglas and former Lady Vols basketball player Karla Horton Douglas — declined comment on the matter publicly and Dooley didn’t give specifics about releasing him other than indicating it won’t be to a team the Vols play. And at this point, a return to the team appears highly unlikely.

“Well, there was a point where we were going to have to have a talk, and certainly we’re always going to support our players when they’re having problems, but there’s also a responsibility that every player has to the team,” Dooley said. “So I think it had reached that point where we needed to sit down and really decide, ‘Which way are we headed here?’ He decided he no longer wants to be a part of the program. He did ask for his release, and we’ll certainly, with conditions, allow him to go to some other places.

“It doesn’t do anything to me, because he was never here. Every decision we’ve made, I mean, I’ve never even seen Aaron jump over a bag. There’s been no change as far as what we’re coaching and the personnel decisions we’ve been making.”

The possibility that Douglas would eventually be back on the field this spring at least provided some reason for optimism up front given his emergence a year ago.

But now the Vols will go into the season without a regular returning starter to protect a new quarterback or block for a new running back.

“We lost two really good players, man — especially Aaron Douglas,” senior wide receiver Gerald Jones said. “Bryce Brown did a wonderful job last year. It hurts to lose them, it really does. But the thing is, we lost a coach last year, we lost a couple of coaches last year. What do we have to do? We’ve got to move on.

“We would love to have those guys on the team, but unfortunately we don’t, so we just have to keep moving. I think it brings the team together. I think even the coaching change brought the team together. We’re in here, we play, and when we’re on the field it’s each other that we play for. We’ve got to have everybody’s back. It sucks to not have (Douglas), but I think we’ll be all right without him.”

The Vols have already been at work without him this spring. Now they know that’s the way it will stay.

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Comments » 126

Dobervol writes:

Sounds like whatever the personal problems were, Douglas just pretty much wanted to take the spring off, kinda like a leave of absence, and keep his scholly. Dooley said he'd work w/him and allow him to miss a few practices, but he wasn't just going to allow him to just show up in the fall and start like nothing happened. Sad situation, really, for all concerned, but I can't blame Dooley for his position. This team needs a bit of a drill sergeant type right now.

boonhower writes:

Dang. This is going to get ugly for whomever has the misfortune of taking snaps for us in the fall.

xx5vegasxx writes:

Not good....not good at all.

american_pitvol_terrier writes:

I think it has to be something pretty big to leave the school where you were excelling, your mom and dad went there and fell in love there, you were a lock to start...I mean, damn. I hope he doesn't have a drug problem, I really do. I'm pulling for you A.D.

dvols writes:

the douglas's can keep up with the no comment personal phooey all they want, it will just make the media dig deeper......

Thad123 writes:

On a brighter note Lonnie Ballentine will commit to the Vols if his visit goes well this weekend. No reason to think it would not. Memphis is second. Probably a redshirt, but IMO it is better for him to be competing against players of his ability then steamrolling over highschool kids for another year and getting the coaching. It also leaves out the possibility of him going somewhere else. Good News.

Give_It_My_ALL writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

newtonrail writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Bud Ford

Down_The_Field writes:

in response to FARRAGUT0406:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

another proud bubba fan since 2008.

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

in response to FARRAGUT0406:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It's called a life. Get one. Or at least get a full set of teeth.

DarthWilson writes:

in response to FARRAGUT0406:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Go post on a Bammer site where people actually give a @#$%. While your at it change your name. You only disgrace Farragut.

VolSkins writes:

While I do understand the effects this has on our offensive line, what the phooey has to be so bad for him to leave? It cannot be Kiffin, Douglas was a Fulmer guy...I just don't get it

DarthWilson writes:

I pray for the Douglas Family. I hope Aaron gets over his personal problems and finds success. Too bad It won't be in UT orange.

ThugTillIDie writes:

START THE COACHING SEARCH NOW!

VolSkins writes:

You changed my word to phooey GVXTRA?

Orange_Crush writes:

in response to FARRAGUT0406:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Mouth breather

Couchdummy writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree. He seems to have matured and speaks straight--no fluff.

VolSkins writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I don't use the LOL thing, but i actually laughed out loud with Richard Head

Orange_Crush writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Bunch of female dogs!

tennezz writes:

in response to FARRAGUT0406:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah, Bama bought about half of these trophy`s @ Walmart!

OrangeVeins writes:

in response to FARRAGUT0406:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah....but if I when, when Saban leaves you all, you're NOT ALLOWED TO COME BACK ON THIS SITE? Bet?!?!

OrangeVeins writes:

in response to OrangeVeins:

Yeah....but if I when, when Saban leaves you all, you're NOT ALLOWED TO COME BACK ON THIS SITE? Bet?!?!

I meant "if I WIN, when he leaves..."...sorry?

gatorstomper writes:

WHAT THE HECK GOING ON OUT THERE?

ThugTillIDie writes:

in response to FARRAGUT0406:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Anybody want to bet that Alabama gets caught for their 5th major NCAA violation in the last 15 years?

OrangeVeins writes:

in response to ThugTillIDie:

Anybody want to bet that Alabama gets caught for their 5th major NCAA violation in the last 15 years?

Yeah and then SABAN will leave!

tnaseevol writes:

in response to VolSkins:

I don't use the LOL thing, but i actually laughed out loud with Richard Head

If you want to go really 'uptown' it's
Richard Cranium!

redskinvol1 writes:

Just follow the fullback towards the side that Luke Stoker is blocking on.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to ThugTillIDie:

START THE COACHING SEARCH NOW!

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

RockyToptoNeyland writes:

in response to ThugTillIDie:

START THE COACHING SEARCH NOW!

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

ThugTillIDie writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

1volk-nowi-tall writes:

Venom is poisonous! Snakes have it as do some other animals you want to stay away from...Some people spew it freely. Hate and anger are traits of one's poor opinion of themselves.

uwishuwereassmartasme (Inactive) writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Don't say stuff like that unless you are 100% certain.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Dooley pretty much summed it up.."It doesn't do anything to me; he was never here"..Iam not sure who labeled him "All American"; for a freshman he was good but when Va Tech's Worlids went around him like he was paper 10 times he wasn't looking so "All American" to me

cloudodust writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Am I on the right planet..?

cloudodust writes:

Like the rest, I'm not pleased losing a letterman on the OL but that's the game. His 'undisclosed personal issue' has no bearing on my tomorrows. Another door opens and stepping through that door may be 'The One'...GBO and whip the Schmuckeyes...

vol88 writes:

in response to Down_The_Field:

another proud bubba fan since 2008.

Bingo. The dude probably has a Kentucky flag on his car right now for b'ball.

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

in response to cloudodust:

Am I on the right planet..?

You are. DC's not. Guy still thinks Brantley has more experience than Nick Stephens.

99gator writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

g. jones is starting to sound like someone who wishes the season were already over.

dynasty101 writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I can see that, if we played half the teams on THAT schedule.

FAIL

volsunited writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What schedule u looking at?

reddevilfever writes:

Wonder if he will end up in sunny Southern California?

This move doesn't surprise me...didn't he leave Webb for Maryville when he was in the 8 grade? Just goes to show you, you can't change your true colors no matter how hard you try. They are all out for themselves.

TennesseeTuxedo writes:

If the rumors on Douglas are true, that means that much was swept under the rug. Thus, it looks like this is one more stain left behind on the living room rug, where Fulmer sat.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to ThugTillIDie:

Anybody want to bet that Alabama gets caught for their 5th major NCAA violation in the last 15 years?

Maybe so, but yesterday they discovered an additional 3 National Championships, bringing their total to 87. This includes the National Championship they awarded themselves for the 2008 spring game.

NO_DIGGITY writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That is the 2008 Schedule Nostradumbazz. Sad thing is you were almost right.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm so embarrassed for you. If you ever had any credibility, it has been shattered. It's now time for you to hang your head and walk away quietly. Maybe you can come back in a few years. By then, most people will have forgotten how you made such a fool of yourself. I'm so sorry for you and your family.

MANVOL writes:

Enough with the drama; Good Bye, Good ridience. Go Vols.

Mjollnir writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Man, I just about busted a gut laughing. Classic.

Futurevol2011 writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hell, you might be right on again. The only problem with that logic is that you obviously don't know the schedule. We don't play UCLA, MSU, or Wyoming this year. I'm glad you can predict games that we won't even be playing this year. GBO!

OldNumber7 writes:

in response to FARRAGUT0406:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"Show class, have pride and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself." - P. Bryant

It is readily apparent that you are not educated, nor do you display the characters that a former Alabama coach believed in. You will crawl under the first rock when Tennessee beats you. I suggest you get a Paul Bryant book of quotes - he was a wise man. You are not.

bigorange61 writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

First of all, you predicted squat. Posted under a different name and always predicted the Vols getting beat.

Secondly, that's the 2008 schedule. Bet you could be bought for a penny right now. ROFLMAO.

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