Tennessee Stat Book
Tennessee senior fullback Kevin Cooper will not play Saturday against South Carolina because of a one-game suspension for academic reasons.
Coach Derek Dooley did not provide specifics about Cooper’s violation, and added Cooper would have to rectify whatever was wrong if he hopes to play Nov. 6 at Memphis.
“Everybody’s on the same academic accountability policy,” Dooley said. “Team hurts, team suffers.”
Freshman Channing Fugate will take Cooper’s place in the lineup, Dooley said. He has appeared in all seven games, primarily on special teams.
“He ought to be excited,” offensive coordinator Jim Chaney said. “One man’s bad side is another opportunity for Channing so we’re excited about giving him the opportunity (to) get out there and play. From a strategic standpoint, there won’t be much changes.”
Cooper has started six of seven games this season and has been a regular fixture in the lineup since the 2008 season, when he started 10 of 12 games as a sophomore.
Cooper has yet to carry the ball this season, but has six catches for 39 yards. On his career, he has 25 catches for 191 yards and one touchdown.
“When a fifth-year senior departs your offense, you feel a little bit of that, there’ll be pain on that,” Chaney said. “Without any question I feel comfortable Channing will step up to the plate and go compete hard and that’s what we ask all our kids to do.”
Cooper is the first UT player this season to receive an academic-related suspension.