Dooley's rule for Douglas transfer: 8-hour drive

Aaron Douglas during the first day of 2009 fall practice at the Haslam Field on the University of Tennessee campus.

Aaron Douglas during the first day of 2009 fall practice at the Haslam Field on the University of Tennessee campus.

Drive afar or foot the bill.

That’s the message sent by Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley to former Vol offensive lineman Aaron Douglas.

In an unusual move, Dooley told the sophomore that he would only release Douglas from his UT scholarship if he enrolled at a school that was at least an eight-hour drive from Knoxville.

Dooley’s decision is being reviewed by a financial aid committee. A final decision is expected this week.

Dooley had long refrained from commenting on Douglas’ reasons for transferring, only saying that it was a personal matter. Dooley offered a bit more insight Monday.

“It’s always been that his problems are from being here, being close to home,” Dooley said. “I felt like, first off, you don’t run from problems, you get problems to run from you. That’s what I tried to work with him on.

“The problems don’t go away, but he was convinced that his problems were here. And so I said ‘OK, Aaron if that’s the case, I think we need to move away from the problem to help you.’ ”

The stipulation doesn’t prevent Douglas from going to any school, but prevents him from being placed on scholarship. Therefore, Douglas would have to pay his way for a year if he decides to enroll at a Division I school to which he has not been released. Dooley announced March 25 that he would not release Douglas to any team on Tennessee’s schedule. That restriction is still intact.

Dooley said he has not heard back from Douglas concerning his college destination.

Douglas is a key loss. The former Maryville High School star was a freshman All-American last season after nailing down a starting job at offensive tackle in his first season at the position. He had previously played tight end.

Dooley maintained the stipulation for Douglas’ departure wasn’t mean-spirited nor meant to be a punishment.

“I think it’s the exact opposite,” Dooley said. “I’m trying to help him. If the problem is truly at home, then he shouldn’t be at home. But if it’s not truly at home, then we think he should be at Tennessee.”

Douglas’ father, former UT offensive lineman David Douglas, declined comment.

Aaron Douglas could not be reached for comment.

Dooley knows what it’s like to play football far from home. He did so when he left Athens, Ga., to walk-on at Virginia.

“I went to school eight hours away from my home and it was a wonderful thing because I had a different set of issues — that I was (former Georgia coach) Vince Dooley’s son, which was wonderful in many ways but you were never able to forge your identity,” Derek Dooley said. “Because I went to school and had a great experience, met new people, they judged me for who I was not who my father was, I felt like that was a very similar thing that Aaron needed on different issues.”

Douglas’ issues are unclear.

Dooley said he will do all he can to help Douglas play elsewhere.

“I’ll be happy to help him anywhere,” Dooley said. “I’ll call (other schools) for him because I’m for Aaron Douglas. Do I want him here to be successful? Of course I do. But if he’s not here, I don’t wish ill will on him. I want him to be a better person and a better player.”

Douglas is one of three high-profile players the Vols lost this semester, along with tailback Bryce Brown and quarterback Nick Stephens. Dooley said he believes Douglas and Brown would have benefited from staying at UT.

“I wish both of them would stay in our program for a year, and then if they don’t like it we can shake hands (and move on),” Dooley said. “But I do feel like what we’re putting in our program is exactly what they need in their lives.”

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Comments » 68

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

Where did that last paragraph come from? Did I miss something?

osbymartin#581730 writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

Where did that last paragraph come from? Did I miss something?

The last paragraph was absolutely useless and irrelevant to the story. Hooker's way of taking a jab i guess.

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

Wtf?

Ironcity writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

Where did that last paragraph come from? Did I miss something?

I agree what was that last paragraph for. Better then any recruit committing to UT would be for Douglas to have a change of heart and stick around.

Cldvols1 writes:

Do what you gotta do Dooley! GBO

mcgink2 writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

Where did that last paragraph come from? Did I miss something?

it makes perfect sense. The reason for the 8 hr stipulation is so that he moves to a school where he is removed from distractions that caused problems here in Knoxville. The last paragraph is a reference in that Dooley did the same thing when he was in college...moved more than 8 hrs away from his home, which forced him to grow up on his own. I did same thing in college, which was a great decision for personal growth.

Orangeyouavol writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

imw8n4u writes:

an 8 hour drive with my mom behind the wheel doesn't get you very far, so that seems like a pretty vague way of telling someone where they are permitted to go. We should either release him to go wherever, or not release him at all and he can still go wherever, just has to pay his way for a year. Anything in between just isn't worth the trouble.

VOLinCO writes:

in response to imw8n4u:

an 8 hour drive with my mom behind the wheel doesn't get you very far, so that seems like a pretty vague way of telling someone where they are permitted to go. We should either release him to go wherever, or not release him at all and he can still go wherever, just has to pay his way for a year. Anything in between just isn't worth the trouble.

i agree... very vague

it seems like a distance in milage stipulation would make more sense. otherwise, he can go wherever... as long as he drives slow enough. but i'm not the lawyer...

volboy81 writes:

in response to osbymartin#581730:

The last paragraph was absolutely useless and irrelevant to the story. Hooker's way of taking a jab i guess.

I took it to mean that Dooley knows how Aaron may be feeling...overshadowed by his parents. I wish he was staying at UT, but hope he succeeds wherever he goes.

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

in response to volboy81:

I took it to mean that Dooley knows how Aaron may be feeling...overshadowed by his parents. I wish he was staying at UT, but hope he succeeds wherever he goes.

Wouldn't say he's overshadowed by his parents. He's had some trouble in the Maryville-Alco area. I think Dooley is saying he needs to get far away from that area. Won't go into details, but there are a couple restraining orders on him from a few people and one business. Personally, I think a fresh start far away from there would be good for him.

springtx_vol writes:

Via interstate (all roads out of Knoxville are interstates), you are looking at 560 miles, plus or minus. Without my wife in the car, I can drive from Gainesville, FL, to the Nashville area in 8 hours, 10 minutes (accomplished this feat while driving home to be with my dad after his heart attack). Driving time does not include bathroom breaks, construction delays (see south Georgia I-75), or refueling car or body.

So, that eliminates everbody north of UCF in FL; all of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois; and most of Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and Missouri.

Interestingly enough, that does not exclude LSU or Arkansas. So, he could transfer to Boston College in the ACC; UConn or Syracuse in the Big East; Wisconsin in the Big 10; or most any school west of the Mississippi except for potentially Missouri.

I wish him luck in his future. GBO

osbymartin#581730 writes:

in response to volboy81:

I took it to mean that Dooley knows how Aaron may be feeling...overshadowed by his parents. I wish he was staying at UT, but hope he succeeds wherever he goes.

Well in fairness to me lol the story has been edited since I made my comment. But I get what you mean.

GerryOP writes:

Interesting way of telling the kid to get away from home and learn to live his own life. I agree.

Going 800 miles away from home to school was one of the better moves I made in my life. Didn't realize it at the time, but I guess a higher power was guiding me. Probably should have listened to "The Big Guy" more often.

eaglentn2002#343016 writes:

Good Luck with your Rapping Career AD! LOL Ice Ice Baby! You could be the next Vanilla Ice! Why go on to make millions in the NFL when you could flop as a rapper? Great decision!

osbymartin#581730 writes:

in response to VOLinCO:

i agree... very vague

it seems like a distance in milage stipulation would make more sense. otherwise, he can go wherever... as long as he drives slow enough. but i'm not the lawyer...

LOL! you have to remember a lawyer came up with it..so I am sure he took all of that into account...

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to mcgink2:

it makes perfect sense. The reason for the 8 hr stipulation is so that he moves to a school where he is removed from distractions that caused problems here in Knoxville. The last paragraph is a reference in that Dooley did the same thing when he was in college...moved more than 8 hrs away from his home, which forced him to grow up on his own. I did same thing in college, which was a great decision for personal growth.

If that's what he meant, I guess Dooley won't be recruiting much local talent.

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well said sir!

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

If that's what he meant, I guess Dooley won't be recruiting much local talent.

Naw, he'll still recruit locally. Some kids can handle it, some can't. Anthony Anderson is a local kid, he's handling it well. Nick Reveiz is a local kid, and where would we be without him? It's all about maturity level. It's like Rich said, the dude is spoiled in this area and needs to get away from here. Nick and Anthony have been scraping and fighting for all they have, and they're light-years ahead of Douglas when it comes to maturity.

winbigvols14 writes:

I set behind his parents and grandparents at a away game this past year. They couldn't have been more kind and more friendly to me and my entire family. Great people. I think they all are heartbroken by his choice but can't do anything about it.

That being said, i think Aaron is spoiled and is a complete headcase. I think Coach DD is doing exactly what he should. Aaron needs to grow up and get over himself. I wish him a lot of luck in his Rapping gig. LOL......

VOLFORLIFE writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Rich, I enjoy your posts and feel that you're dead on the majority of the time. But I read the next article about Darren Myles and I don't see anyone blasting him because of his mistake. And it seems that 99.9% of the posters agree with Coach Dooley's direction on discipline.

Maybe I've missed something. If so, help me out here, because I don't agree with double standards as it pertains to how we treat people either.

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

VolunteerLifer writes:

I googled for drive time between Gainesville, Fl and knoxville just to make sure. According to Google, its more than 9 hours. so I'm fine with the 8 hour thing.

cdldoc#211897 writes:

So the great Vince Dooley of Georgia won 1 championship and his inexperienced son is our coach. I think we fired a coach who had one championship, and had won it more recently?

Yep this is all working out well, I'd say!

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

I think it should at least be not playing anyone on UT's schedule. That's fair enough. That would be the 2011 schedule.

chrisw2967 writes:

If hes going to be a rapper he needs to look the part ,you know like the big clock around the neck,tattoos all over his body,gold teeth and all,i didnt know rappers were suppose to look like a nerd.this kid is a head case period.
Aaron Douglas= sir cant rap at all.

Cldvols1 writes:

in response to cdldoc#211897:

So the great Vince Dooley of Georgia won 1 championship and his inexperienced son is our coach. I think we fired a coach who had one championship, and had won it more recently?

Yep this is all working out well, I'd say!

Somebody's a fair-weathered fan and personally I'm sick of hearing all this phooey. Be gone then!

Pompey writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

Where did that last paragraph come from? Did I miss something?

Aaron may feel that he is playing in his fathers shadow at UT........who knows?

flatrock writes:

Having lived thru a painful period with my
step-son at this very same age, I can offer
this advice:

--Until Aaron mans-up and confronts his
demons head-on, he will not shake-em. Running
8 hours away will lead him right back to Ground Zero. Forget football, rapping and girl
friends, get professional help now. My prayers
are with him and his family!

VOLinCO writes:

hope that's not 8 hours on a game day... cuz he might not make it too far

HallowedHill writes:

My advice is to stick it out at UT, Aaron. Running away never solved anything for long.

P.S. Did Dooley stipulate the mph during the 8 hour drive?

GO VOLS!

TommyJack writes:

in response to volboy81:

I took it to mean that Dooley knows how Aaron may be feeling...overshadowed by his parents. I wish he was staying at UT, but hope he succeeds wherever he goes.

I think you're correct, Volboy. But Dave, it didn't exactly flow. Were you in a hurry to finish?

give_him_6 writes:

Ahh...the Shadow knows!!!!!!

CT_VOL writes:

in response to osbymartin#581730:

The last paragraph was absolutely useless and irrelevant to the story. Hooker's way of taking a jab i guess.

When Hooker is involved, its more likely incompetence.

Millisa writes:

Aaron needs to talk to Coach Pat Summitt She would set him straight.

Need_2_Know writes:

Aaron - I don't know what's going on with you, but I hope you find a comfortable place to be. If you aren't happy at UT, you SHOULD BE somewhere else.

Regardless of what may come, I thank you for your efforts on The Hill, as I thank your parents, David and Karla, for their contributions and continued support. Good luck, young man.

BTW, I will miss tailgating with you guys at the ramp, you're fun to be with! Oh, by the way, somebody's grandfather still owes me a cigar from last year... :}

sambad writes:

He should also say that he can't go to USC.

vol88 writes:

The difference is, AD quit the team. Myles didn't.

QB_10 (Inactive) writes:

I guess that AD job at La Tech allowed Dooley to come with the knew 8 hr rule. Really now a kid that has had some personal issues DD thninks he is the NCAA- anyone forget coaches leave all the time and they dont have an 8 hr rule they have buyouts by boosters- I hope Douglas gets his act together- I think Dooley is over stepping his bounds and rights. Just wait you will see a few more kids will leave afternext week, but i hear Dooley is blocking them as well.

kdaff51 writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

Where did that last paragraph come from? Did I miss something?

A senior moment?

Ayres_Hall writes:

You girls are silly. If you don't get enough information, you complain. When you get it, you complain. So why not exchange emails and simply complain amongst yourselves.

Dooley is handlling these situations very well. He is willing to help these kids in any way and I believe he is sincere.

cumberlandVOL writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

cubs_fantoo#1339500 writes:

Thats it coach get him! I wish more parents would stand up and be dad's to these young men and stop marketing your kids for the million dollar prize.

I have dealt with punks like this Douglas kid and majority of you dad's need your A$) handed to you for molding kids into the manner in which I see daily. Man up and instill some man'ism in your kids and maybe we will not read of what a waste of air stealer they really are.

By the way, I am a Marine Staff Non Commissioned Officer so you can't argue that your kid is the best on the block. I say the hell with college and make the military a requirement before even breathing in the chance of million dollar contracts. Then you dont have the Bryants, Rothlesberger, Williams', or Lewis' raping and killing people.

vols2#227315 writes:

He should take Hamilton and Doodley with him. Be a long time before we get a good AD and Coach.

volbald writes:

Thanks for the inside info people. Lots of young people have serious problems. But it's too bad to throw away a promising football career because you can't get your head on straight. We've seen it happen before at UT in the last few years (Banks and Coker to name two).

cloudodust writes:

Guess this opens the door to USC West...

utclassof1992 writes:

in response to rabidvolfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It would be better than the Mike Hamilton School of ineptitude. 8 hrs. drive. HAH! When I am looking at this kid, irritated with us, stomping one of our DTs, wearing a LSU or Florida uniform, I will remind everyone that the 1AA coach made a good decision there.

Tilly85 writes:

Are we really still talking about this... dude sounds like a psycho. There are already enough no-talent white rappers in the world. Who goes that crazy over a girl, especially one from Maryville. Aaron, not only are there more fish in the sea, but you can also fish in more than one pond. ALRIGHT! I doubt he reads this, but it needed to be said.

utclassof1992 writes:

in response to rabidvolfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah, maybe they should. So that he could play for a two time SEC champion, 4 time SEC champion, and 1998 national champion. Better than snot nosed punk Kif U and 1AA Only guy we could find Tech.

utclassof1992 writes:

in response to cubs_fantoo#1339500:

Thats it coach get him! I wish more parents would stand up and be dad's to these young men and stop marketing your kids for the million dollar prize.

I have dealt with punks like this Douglas kid and majority of you dad's need your A$) handed to you for molding kids into the manner in which I see daily. Man up and instill some man'ism in your kids and maybe we will not read of what a waste of air stealer they really are.

By the way, I am a Marine Staff Non Commissioned Officer so you can't argue that your kid is the best on the block. I say the hell with college and make the military a requirement before even breathing in the chance of million dollar contracts. Then you dont have the Bryants, Rothlesberger, Williams', or Lewis' raping and killing people.

I would not wish mandatory enlistment on anyone. Not to insult you, because I did my time as a Devil Dog too, but the thing this kid would accomplish right now is landing in the brig after he took a swipe at a NCO or went AWOL. Leave the head cases to NCAA football. I would not want to serve with draftees or mandatory enrollees. I would rather serve with people that want to be there and care. God bless, and OORAH!

easleychuck writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

RR2,
If you are refering to Darren Myles folks getting blasted then those people doing that are clueless and, in my opinion, dead wrong. I believe that the immature night that Myles suffered through when he got loaded at the club a few weeks ago brought the wrath of his family down upon his shoulders. I still believe that the resisting charge was most likely bogus.

As to your comments on Douglas, no doubt on my part that you have most of your facts straight on the young man. I have seen similar information on VolNation but your post pulls it all together quite nicely.

The guy should drop a pair and grow up. He is throwing so much god given talent right down the tubes. The embarassment that he is going to feel someday when he wakes from his stupor is going to make the bad night that Darren had seem like a trip to Disneyland (props to Five for Fighting).

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