Bryce Brown claims depression for release from UT

Former player says 'I did not fit in with the other players'

Tennessee running back Bryce Brown (11) runs with the ball on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009 at Neyland Stadium.

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee running back Bryce Brown (11) runs with the ball on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009 at Neyland Stadium.

Bryce Brown is still trying to get out of his football scholarship at the University of Tennessee.

Now the former Vols running back is doing it by claiming he never fit in at UT.

Bryce Brown during a March 16, 2009, news conference, where he announced he will sign with Tennessee.

Photo by Wichita Eagle

Bryce Brown during a March 16, 2009, news conference, where he announced he will sign with Tennessee.

According to a letter and sworn affidavits from Brown's lawyer Gregory Isaacs delivered to a handful of administrators at UT and obtained by the News Sentinel on Thursday, the No. 1 recruit in the nation a year ago cited depression, health concerns for his family, being uncomfortable with some off-field problems last season and issues created by the old coaching staff in his latest attempt to be released by the program.

Isaacs declined comment when reached by phone, and UT athletic director Mike Hamilton declined a request as well through a school spokesperson.

"Upon arriving in Knoxville, I immediately felt like I was too far away from home," Brown said in an affidavit signed Wednesday. "I would constantly call home to talk to my family, who thought I would overcome my homesickness once more players and students arrived on campus.

"Once other football players did arrive on campus, I quickly realized that I did not fit in with the other players in the football program. My teammates were involved in a range of activities that I was not comfortable being around."

Brown, who was employed as a commissioned petwalker by All Kreatures Pet Care from March through June while his teammates took part in spring drills, said he discussed his "situation with the UT coaching staff, the team chaplin (sic) and a team ordered psychiatrist," according to the affidavit.

Brown said that his father, Arthur Brown Sr., is "under a doctor's care for stress, insomnia, anxiety, anorexia, and marital discord.

"My grandfather continues to be treated for prostate cancer."

Brown said missing his "high school graduation and senior trip had a severe emotional impact on me."

Brown's father also gave examples of other problems at UT.

According to the affidavit signed by Arthur Brown Sr., that includes allegedly seeing former teammates Nu'Keese Richardson, Mike Edwards and Janzen Jackson in an elevator and being made aware the three were "on their way to rob a convenience store" on the night of their arrests. That issue, along with others included in the documents, apparently contributed to his decision not to show up for spring practice and then ask for a release from new coach Derek Dooley this summer, a request that was denied and later upheld during an appeal.

From the perspective of Dooley and the football program, the matter has been considered closed for months and Dooley has never wavered from his statements after declining to release Brown in July.

"As with the other players who have asked for a release, I went through the same process with the same criteria with Bryce," Dooley said then. "These are the three key factors - what their personal investment into the program was, did they have their heart into it and did they give it a good, fair shot. No. 2, the harm that their departure creates for the organization. No. 3, how they handle it as a professional.

"I've done that with every one of these guys - with Aaron (Douglas), with Todd Campbell, with Nick Stephens, Nick Lamaison and now Bryce. So now my decision, based on those three factors with Bryce, is not to release him."

A subsequent appeal to UT administrators also appeared to be the end of the lengthy saga, but then Brown's father appeared on The Sports Animal for a radio interview and threatened to sue the school and Dooley in an attempt to win a release for his son, who's now enrolled at Kansas State and sitting out the required year before he can play for the Wildcats.

Arthur Brown Sr. retained the services of Isaacs, who wrote a letter addressed to Hamilton, Dooley, chancellor Jimmy Cheek and president Jan Simek asking UT again to reconsider and provide a "second chance."

"Bryce Brown has the deepest respect for coach Dooley, the University of Tennessee and the university's football program," Isaacs wrote. "However, Bryce should not be penalized as a result of the internal and external pressures that resulted in a debilitating fog of depression.

"The well-being our young student-athletes that families entrust to the University of Tennessee to educated and develop should take priority over what is perceived as detrimental to a football program. Ironically, (former coach Lane) Kiffin, who was responsible for Bryce coming to the University of Tennessee, is actively coaching at the University of Southern California, making an exorbitant salary while the Browns are struggling to pay for Bryce's education."

If UT did reconsider and release Brown, Kansas State could place the running back on scholarship immediately, but he would still not be eligible to play until next season. With or without a release, Brown will still be able to suit up for the Wildcats in the future.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2010, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2010 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 107

MemphoVol writes:

So you go to your coach and explain the extenuating circumstances and respectfully request to be released. Especially after the coach has given you multiple opportunities to do just that.

mikejohn11 writes:

I would just like to add WHO CARES!!! Can we please report about our current team. Brown was a whining baby brat of kid. He's now gone. End of Story!

VolunteerLifer writes:

You think Bryce has a complaint? We were depressed watching him run the ball last year.

midgetangel#279179 writes:

IF Bryce Brown had ANY respect, for coach Dooley or Tennessee, he would have met face-to-face "like a professional". IMO, he followed the hype to UT and so far his actions demonstrate that. I understand the financial issues they are facing. However, if you would have met with Dooley, you would have had a release. Simple as that. Time to issue a tissue!

VolsToTheWall writes:

you were depressed about missing your senior trip? really? Really? Thats the argument your gonna use?

DooleysOrangePants writes:

im depressed too. i never had 100's of people kissin my rearend from the time i was 12. had a chance to go to any college i chose for free and missed my shot at the pros. whhhhaaaaaaaaaa!

PMC2726 writes:

Oh goodness me, Bryce couldn't find any nice kids to hang out with - Berry, Crompton, Stocker, Jones, Reviez, Oku, the list goes on and on. There are so many wholesome kids on this team he could have hung out with, it's stupid. I almost feel bad for this kid -- his dad is such a nut job. Between him and Butler, he's getting really bad advice.

This kid is going to be an EXCUSE ARTIST his whole life. He's already missed the most important part of being a good football player -- let your actions on the field do your talking.

Good luck at K St. We don't need any more drama.

jumboliyah writes:

I say release him...I don't see how it hurts UT...and not releasing him doesn't help us either. He doesn't want to be here and he can't play till next year anyway...let him go and lets' move on.

dvols writes:

too late now!

keepitreal4vols writes:

Lane Kiffin, Bryce Brown, NCAA, and depression. I can't decide if that's the joke or the punchline to a good joke?

joseph_kibler#212421 writes:

He even goes as far to throw in the armed robbery being a deciding factor.

DERELICK_MY_VOLS writes:

Why KNS hatin' on DERELICK?

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

Simplest solution, for EVERY athlete: every year you can move without penalty between universities.

Set up a simple guideline: 2 weeks in june, whatever.

I do NOT agree with making athletes sit our a year. all this does is give coaches even MORE power.

I just don't think it will shake the earth as much as people think if we do this. A lot of kids settle in and don't want to change. A few do, so let them.

hcjournals#206623 writes:

I hope to God Bryce and his family reads this.....Your selfish and holier than thou attitude got you in this mess. Your egos all screwed you and you want....Once again to get a free ride. The worst part is you weren't as good last year as you were supposed to be. You want to take your toys and go home....Well, don't let the door hit you where the good lord split you.....We don't need people like you. You have a chance to start over, but until you get the blood suckers out out of the equation nothing will ever change. The idiot agent, the father, God knows how many family members and wannabe friends. pathetic. Hit the road jerkwagons.....Out........

Observer43 writes:

I am sure he is so depressed. How do you think KNS got the documents? His lawyer called the paper and gave them to them. The Both the Browns and Issacs just want to be in the press. It is very sad.

pms151 writes:

It is no doubt that this kid is clinically depressed and needs treatment. But for that matter the people who have guided him into this statement, including his former handler, his so called attorney, and his hurt father, have all taken advantage of him. Who really knows how long this has been going on? What we should all be aware of is that his now lawyer in KTown is not comfortable with being the 2nd most talked about lawyer in town. Maybe he should put his socks on.

TennesseeTuxedo writes:

If this is true that Bryce Brown knew of this ahead of the robbery, would this not make him an accessory to the act? He had knowledge of this and did not inform the police of his knowledge of the pre-meditated robbery.

http://www.thevolunteeronline.com

OldVols68 writes:

in response to VolsToTheWall:

you were depressed about missing your senior trip? really? Really? Thats the argument your gonna use?

Sounds like his lawyer has been coaching him. Why this is even an issue in the KNS is beyond me.

jimr07 writes:

in response to OldVols68:

Sounds like his lawyer has been coaching him. Why this is even an issue in the KNS is beyond me.

It is an issue because KNS wants to make it one. One that can keep a negative impression about our program.

HallowedHill writes:

What a crock?! He overheard the three planning to rob a convenience store? LOL - It is clear that the Brown family will stoop to any level to try to get their way. The best thing for them is make him sit on the sideline and watch KState attempt to play football. If you think he's depressed now, let him watch a few more KState games, then he'll know real depression.

Bryce Brown is a JOKE! He's like Mike Tyson - the body of a man, but the mind of a child. From the side of him that we're seeing now, I can't imagine him playing at the next level. He'll be the next Ryan Leaf crying in the locker room. Good riddance!

GO VOLS!

The7Maxims writes:

I'm glad we have Tauren Poole, cause Bryce Brown is as soft as a Dairy Queen Blizzard. We need a running back with a chip on his shoulder. We need someone that's gets pizzed off every time he hears something remotely similar to Mark Ingram; if he hears "Starch Pilgrim", he needs to be madder than MegaTron with veins exploding from his red face. No wonder we weren't impressed by this kid. No wonder Eddie Gran went to FSU so quick; his future running back would rather walk a puppy than run over somebody!?!?

The7Maxims writes:

A day in the life of Bryce Brown: "I think I'll go walk some puppies today. Ooo, I need to go to tanning because my bikini line looks awful. I think I'll get waxed too. And then I think I'll get my little self over to the nail salon, my nails look ridiculous. Uhhgggg! I seriously need to go to Kroger and get some tampons. Oh my goodness, did you see TMZ this morning; Brad Pitt is so adorable with those kids. What is he doing with her? Gaw." He never ran with any authority or passion. Trent Richardson makes this guy look like an old fay lady. This further proves that Kiffin was a bad hire.

quickslant writes:

"From the perspective of Dooley and the football program, the matter has been considered closed for months...."

So why can't you guy's drop it? We're in the middle of the season, with kids that want to be here who are busting their tails out there on Saturday's.

I don't care about BB. His whole presence here was shady,
and I'm sick of hearing about it.

And what's up with you Greg Isaacs?
Why are you wasting your time with this?

jandjhome#228397 writes:

BS

skm writes:

in response to jumboliyah:

I say release him...I don't see how it hurts UT...and not releasing him doesn't help us either. He doesn't want to be here and he can't play till next year anyway...let him go and lets' move on.

yeah, realease him, and set the precident that all you have to do to get out of your scholarship to ut is text your coach. i understand his situation, but he sits out a year for what he did. simple as that.

thevoice writes:

Dear Brown family,
The money you just spent on an attorney would have been better spent on tuition this fall.

Flyfisherman writes:

Pot...Ricky Williams used it to get over his depression...just a thought and no charge for that diagnosis!

Lostvolinhighweeds writes:

in response to Driving_Ms_Dooley:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I see, understand, and (kind of) agree that he should not be released, due to the way he handled it.
Here's my problem.
A scholarship is a one year deal.
Meaning it has to be renewed every year.
There is no guarantee to any young man that a university will offer every year.
Under those circumstances, I'm struggling with why there is no process where a player can opt out. It just looks to me like the schools have a one year deal while the atheletes sign on for two.
I'm struggling with that.

bspurlingcac#225603 writes:

in response to Driving_Ms_Dooley:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yep!

jobrando#216494 writes:

I support CDD in not giving him a release. Brown's reasons are selfish. Even bigger the University is making a statement to others to think it out before you sign.

SavTnVol writes:

in response to SirSpanky:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

But aren't the KC Chiefs on the Missouri side of KC,not the Kansas side?????

BIGORANGEDOG writes:

The relevance in this article lies in the fact that once again KNS brings up the fact that in all likely hood he was brought here under false pretences by a less then honest staff and moved ahead of the talent Poole because he was promised freshman play time. We all know the better back was pushed aside to accomodate the Choosen One and like a previous poster wrote; doesn't knowing prior to a crime and not acting, make you an acessary to that crime. Tell your attorney that nobody is buying the hollier then thou bit. Now go pet your puppy and quit whining.
IT'S A BIG BOYS WORLD!

77VolFS writes:

Can you imagine if Lanechange was still the coach and this drama queen still had the tailback position without earning it? We'd have a weekly cry session of "they hit too hard" or "they were dissing my momma". I for one am thankful we have a HC that stands on principle. Move on, KNS. Don't be a tool for publicity- seeking parents and lawyers.

HoustonVol writes:

I am sure that if he actually walked up to Dooley and talked with him and asked him for a release like a man, he would have received it. However he became the sore who thought he was bigger and better than everyone and so he is getting nothing. As he deserves. He tried to play the game and lost.

Lostvolinhighweeds writes:

in response to back2z1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

SHHHHHHH
You weren't supposed to bring up that side of it.

jdogg44 writes:

Let the kid, and he is a kid, go. All his and his family's animosity then turns to the former coach who lied to him and his family about EVERYTHING>

TNVol72 writes:

Boo hoo...... Boo hoo...... sob, sob... sob... (that's crying; I'm not calling him names...) boo hoo.... Oh, boo... boo hoooooooo...... cry me a river, you had you chance and walked out on the Vols, so you deserve what you get, "wing-nut!"

easleychuck writes:

in response to Timed_vol:

Simplest solution, for EVERY athlete: every year you can move without penalty between universities.

Set up a simple guideline: 2 weeks in june, whatever.

I do NOT agree with making athletes sit our a year. all this does is give coaches even MORE power.

I just don't think it will shake the earth as much as people think if we do this. A lot of kids settle in and don't want to change. A few do, so let them.

This post makes naffy look smart. Got to be the dumbest post in the history of this site.

MilitaryBrat writes:

If he is depressed, homesick, and need to be with his family - then wouldn't it be in his best interest to take a year off, and deal with those issues.
Possibily get a job to help out.

but instead he gives his family more stress, and financial problems with all these lawsuits.

easleychuck writes:

If this is the best the Brown bunch can pull together then they should demand a refund from their lawyer.

I would be really curious to know the finances that drive this family's day to day existence.

CrankE writes:

in response to TennesseeTuxedo:

If this is true that Bryce Brown knew of this ahead of the robbery, would this not make him an accessory to the act? He had knowledge of this and did not inform the police of his knowledge of the pre-meditated robbery.

http://www.thevolunteeronline.com

My thoughts exactly. If not an accessory, he could at least be called as a witness. Wonder if the DA is listening out there?

As for Brown himself, if he knew-REALLY knew before hand and said nothing to those kids, then what kind of man does this make him?

Go west young man! Go back to Kansas and walk your dog. Or cat.

wileycoyote32 writes:

Regardless if he has completed Dooley's 3 factors or not and as long as it is not within the same conference, he should have the option to be released. UT and Dooley should let him go. The NCAA needs to step in and grant the release. I think this shows Dooley's true colors...oh yeah UT, while your at it, maybe you should cut Dooley's contract down to 2 years and see where the program is before you have to pay a buyout in order to get rid of him before the 6 years of losing is up. Never mind, Dooley obviously can not count, so fire him after 2 years and tell him it was 13...

smoky50 writes:

What a cry baby looser. There are kids lined up just wanting a chance to play some where like TENNESSEE with the same opprtunities. Bryce Brown needs to reach down deep, pull his manhood out since obviously it hasnt dropped. Family illness, family issues, and discord run their course. He needs to get a grip and grow up. Seems like this boy needs a good dose of Paris Island, N.C. for a "Spring Camp".

ParaVol124 writes:

in response to jumboliyah:

I say release him...I don't see how it hurts UT...and not releasing him doesn't help us either. He doesn't want to be here and he can't play till next year anyway...let him go and lets' move on.

you cant release him now, not after all this. if you do that all youre going to do is reinforce this behavior. he is going to think that all he has to do to get his way is throw a hissy fit. dooley made the right decision. he has to stick to it. if BB had been depressed he would have said so before, this is desperation. if we just ignore the behavior eventually they will tire and fade into the background. we have more important things to worry about. georgia.

ParaVol124 writes:

in response to TennesseeTuxedo:

If this is true that Bryce Brown knew of this ahead of the robbery, would this not make him an accessory to the act? He had knowledge of this and did not inform the police of his knowledge of the pre-meditated robbery.

http://www.thevolunteeronline.com

you make a good point, if he had knowledge of a crime prior to it being committed it is his civic duty to report it to the police, or at least to the coach. though, admittedly, kiffin prolly told those guys to rob the store, the millions we were paying him werent quite enough, you know?

AFVol423 writes:

I read two lines of this. I got no time for this crying child. Spank him and move on. He can sit out from now on. He isn't a football player he is just a guy with some speed that sometimes wears a football uniform. He is gone now and not our concern. Looking forward, not back.

ParaVol124 writes:

HAHAHAHA thats the reason he could never make a cut and get up field... the reason he shied away from a hit at the end of a run... its because he was used to walking poodles! what a joke! i cant wait for him to be a total bust at K-State and then not get drafted... he will play in arena football or the canadian league or something... but in the end Bryce Brown will fade from memory, forgotten in the abyss of guys who just didnt have it, who were too soft in the body or in the mind. good luck BB. youre gonna need it.

MilitaryBrat writes:

I think it would be poetic justice, if he gets on KSU's roster next year, and then the year after Snyder retires, and the new coach plays a freshman over him, that the new coach recruited.

VOLliven2it writes:

I deal with depression on many levels in the job I have. It is nothing to take lightly. But it becomes obvious that the thing to do if a place is making you more depressed, then leave it. The very simple way that would have turned out the Bryce Brown Family way was to have spoken with Dooley as soon as you knew you were not going to be there. Then, respectfully asking for a release is the logical act which would have led to a positive exit. But...no the Bryce way was hold out, say nothing but not leave. Then he does leave and thinks he can demand a complete release. It just makes no sense how this was handled in any way to pretend this way could turn out good for him. I hope Dooley and UT do not give in. If his dad is ridiculous enough to continue pursuing this legally, it shows his true character or lack thereof. Meanwhile, I vow to move on. I will not write the BB name again as I only refer now to the former head coach as Twinkie(soft cakes). I will now only refer to him as TDTS(too depressed to stay). But I do wonder if the onset of the worst part of the depression came when he realized the ball would not be automatically handed to him. MOVE ON VOLNATION! Refuse to get in on any more of these pathetic articles. GO BIG ORANGE, game time is near and I smell dogbreath!

Highlands_Whisky writes:

in response to wileycoyote32:

Regardless if he has completed Dooley's 3 factors or not and as long as it is not within the same conference, he should have the option to be released. UT and Dooley should let him go. The NCAA needs to step in and grant the release. I think this shows Dooley's true colors...oh yeah UT, while your at it, maybe you should cut Dooley's contract down to 2 years and see where the program is before you have to pay a buyout in order to get rid of him before the 6 years of losing is up. Never mind, Dooley obviously can not count, so fire him after 2 years and tell him it was 13...

Wiley, I think you should go back to the ACME Supply Company and get a refund on the box of intelligence you purchased.

In addition to a complete lack of coherence, your post illustrates a complete lack of knowledge of the NCAA's release process.

Also, the proper contraction for "you are" is "you're", not "your". Couple that with the liberal use of ellipses and comma splices, and I shudder at how poorly you must perform the most basic daily activities.

I'm sure your inbred parents are very proud of the internet genius they brought into the world.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features