Jacques Smith's arrest ends a winless October for Vols

Tennessee defensive end Jacques Smith tackles Alabama's Marquis Maze at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010.

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee defensive end Jacques Smith tackles Alabama's Marquis Maze at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010.

Another loss wasn’t even the end.

After closing October without a victory on Saturday, the last day of the month provided one more bit of bad news for the Tennessee football team.

Defensive lineman Jacques Smith was involved in a fight early Sunday morning after the Vols lost 38-24 at No. 18 South Carolina. It was the first arrest during the season under coach Derek Dooley in his first year with the program. Smith was issued a warrant for simple assault after an incident at RT Warehouse on Cumberland Avenue, turned himself in and was released later in the day on $2,000 bond according to a statement from the Knoxville Police Department.

And though the matter isn’t believed to be all that serious and Dooley indicated the freshman’s punishment would be handled “internally,” the issue certainly wasn’t the way the Vols wanted to turn the page into November and they surely can’t do it fast enough.

“Well, it sounded like in this latest incident that there were some emotions over a girl,” Dooley said during his weekly teleconference. “Jacques used some bad judgment and our team did the right thing to defuse the situation.

“So, I’m not sure that the incident with Jacques is a cultural issue. I think for the most part we’ve seen a tremendous amount of progress in how our players are conducting themselves off the field.”

In fact, just hours before the fight the Vols (2-6, 0-5 SEC) had been complimented separately by both the Transportation Security Administration at the airport and the flight crew bringing them home from South Carolina, and on the field they played perhaps their most complete game since Dooley took over.

Freshman quarterback Tyler Bray took advantage of his opportunity to relieve Matt Simms with two impressive touchdown passes, the UT defense bottled up star receiver Alshon Jeffery for most of the afternoon and collectively the inexperienced roster was close to a breakthrough victory against a ranked team on the road.

That all came undone with a big play from Jeffery in the fourth quarter to break the game open, and UT’s clean record since a brawl at Bar Knoxville in July came to an end shortly after.

According to the KPD statement, the victim, 21-year-old Allen Lewis, was dancing with a female just after 2 a.m. “when he was hit in the head from behind. The victim then fell to the ground where the suspect continued to assault the victim by kicking and punching him.”

Lewis, the statement read, required stitches to a finger and medical treatment for a concussion.

“We had an incident last night involving Jacques Smith,” UT associate athletic director for communications Jimmy Stanton said during the teleconference. “Based on what we’ve heard from both the police and Jacques, there was an altercation between Jacques and another student regarding a girl. Once the altercation started, members of our team who were present stepped in and defused the situation.

“All parties then walked out on their own accord and without major injuries. There were no further incidents, and several hours later the other student and his mother decided to press charges. Those are the facts as have been relayed to us.”

Barring further developments, that would appear to close the matter for the Vols, who can use the big-play potential Smith, who was suspended one game during the high school playoffs last season for punching a teammate, has shown as a true freshman up front as Tennessee tries to right the ship heading into the final month of the regular season.

Four straight losses during a winless October eliminated any room for error if UT is going to get to the six wins necessary to earn a bowl bid, though Dooley has never specifically addressed that as a goal during his first season at the helm. He has spoken much more often about the continuing change in culture the Vols are working on, though, and even with Smith’s hiccup there are still signs of progress.

“Coincidentally I got word from the airline that this was the most respectful, best-behaved football team that they’ve ever transported,” Dooley said. “That means a lot to me, and I think that’s a good statement about some of the progress that we’re making off the field. I’m not just saying that in light of what happened last night, but I thought that was a good positive thing from a third party.

“On the field it’s going to take some time, too. But we showed a lot of progress yesterday in competing for 60 minutes and not getting affected by adversity. We just have a lot of breakdowns in execution, and that just comes with being a better football team.”

After a brutal October, turning the calendar might provide a clean slate to work that all out.

Austin Ward covers Tennessee football. He may be reached 865-342-6274. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Vols_Beat and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/ward.

Austin Ward covers Tennessee football. He may be reached 865-342-6274. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Vols_Beat and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/ward.

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Comments » 83

Orangeblood13 writes:

Try hitting someone on the field
And why out at 2 am? Should be tired maybe?

PUL4VOLS writes:

D I S A P P O I N T E D in Jaques. I truly thought he was a bigger man than this. Need some internal discipline to remind him it is not appropriate. Look out here come the thug calling trolls from the woodwork.

TommyJack writes:

The boy's Mommy wanted to prosecute?

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Guys will be guys.

Not right but it happens.

Now on to Memphus...

VolsToTheWall writes:

i bet our football players were really cooperative during the TSA pat downs. Its familiar turf for most of them

Halls3 writes:

in response to jrod:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're right I'm a troll. I just root for UT (except when they play UF) & UT is where I got my bachelors degree & Knoxville is my hometown. I guess because after Dooley basically said Knoxville bars/clubs on the strip were off limits & this guy was at one & I believe that's direct disobedience & he should sit for Memphis I'm a troll. What does it matter if a backup sits for a game UT is a 20 point favorite in? None, it has 0 effect on this game. What does being sat a game do for discipline, maybe these guys will quit getting in fights at bars & bringing a black eye on Knoxville & UT. I guess though discipline is unimportant to you it's win at any cost. So how does no discipline with a 2-6 record sit with you?

196SVol writes:

Am I reading this story correctly? The team was nice to the flight attendants on the plane coming back from a drubbing. They then have the energy left to be out at 2AM celebrating their loss by taking it out on someone who is dancing?

nocleats writes:

in response to Halls3:

You're right I'm a troll. I just root for UT (except when they play UF) & UT is where I got my bachelors degree & Knoxville is my hometown. I guess because after Dooley basically said Knoxville bars/clubs on the strip were off limits & this guy was at one & I believe that's direct disobedience & he should sit for Memphis I'm a troll. What does it matter if a backup sits for a game UT is a 20 point favorite in? None, it has 0 effect on this game. What does being sat a game do for discipline, maybe these guys will quit getting in fights at bars & bringing a black eye on Knoxville & UT. I guess though discipline is unimportant to you it's win at any cost. So how does no discipline with a 2-6 record sit with you?

When did Coach Dooley say Clubs on "The Strip" were off limits? I dont ever remember hearing that.

Halls3 writes:

in response to jrod:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Here's the problem I have with that. Edwards is off the team for attempted robbery & at the least Jackson was smoking dope with them & probably knew what was going down. Also, Darren Myles was suspended internally then he broke a cop's nose. Internal punishment is fine but suspension tends to send a message. It usually gives the idea that one more mistake & you're done. Look, if nothing really happened then don't punish him but if he did assault someone it is time to send a message. This internal punishment bs hasn't worked suspension does. I'm sorry but I don't see the point of extra laps when the other players then see hey we can be dumb because all we will have to do is run a little extra. However, if someone sits, hey they see the coach may kick me off the team if I do something really dumb. Maybe I'm more of a disciplinarian than some & that's the problem.

6MillionDollarPumpkin writes:

in response to TommyJack:

The boy's Mommy wanted to prosecute?

Maybe press charges? I think she should press charges. Let Jacques parents pay the doctor bill! Sucker punch, way to go Jacques, way to go! What an Idiot!!

FBFan writes:

Assault a kid from behind on the dance florr at 2am? No big deal? Just another thing for parents to consider when sending their kids to UT. I am sure this will help our recruiting tremendously. Please get a handle on the "student athletes".

sjackson#227599 writes:

Same thing happened when he was a senior at Ooltewah which caused him to get suspended for one game. Sounds like he has anger management issues.

sjackson#227599 writes:

in response to jrod:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The other guy was treated for a concussion so he must have pounded him pretty good.

garycg writes:

in response to 196SVol:

Am I reading this story correctly? The team was nice to the flight attendants on the plane coming back from a drubbing. They then have the energy left to be out at 2AM celebrating their loss by taking it out on someone who is dancing?

A drubbing?

Halls3 writes:

in response to nocleats:

When did Coach Dooley say Clubs on "The Strip" were off limits? I dont ever remember hearing that.

It was back in the summer I thought it was Bar Knoxville & all the other bars on the strip. I thought clubs were included in this. Maybe they weren't but in retrospect maybe they should have been. Still yet the fact remains he assaulted some guy & was out at 2 am after a loss. I mean really, how after getting your butt kicked do you have the energy to be out at 2 am. Maybe we should wonder about their on field effort since they can club after giving up over 400 yards. Suspending him 1 game, the MEMPHIS game, the same Memphis who lost by 50+ points to Louisville, would be more advantageous than not discipline & perception wise.

vol_till_i_die writes:

Stuff happens. He's an 18 year old guy, and just like any other 18 year old sometimes makes bad decisions. This was one of them, just have to get over it and move on. Vol Nation stands behind you, Jacques.

rdrgtr writes:

Don't get to excited about that perfect flight through the freindly skies there coach, it is a very short plane trip from K'ville to Columbia. They probably didn't have time to serve every body a drink before they dropped the landing gear...

Halls3 writes:

in response to back2z1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ok that may have been it. As for the possible concussion the guy may have had posted by someone else, if that is true, he needs to sit for the Memphis game & maybe the Ole Miss game.

mercyseat writes:

Wow con air gets a compliment! At least the airlines are proud of tennessee.

RoadTrip writes:

It goes to show that discipline does not apply after a game is over - win or lose. Go party your arse off as a team in the same area that you embarrassed your whole team and school. Then let one hothead in your group start a stupid fight over a girl at 2 in the morning. Who cares what example you show to the public and fellow students. All we care about is if you behaved yourself on the plane coming home. Excuse me?

I'm not liking this phooey at all. Man up and start doing stuff right over there.

Halls3 writes:

in response to jrod:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He hit the guy from behind, knocked him to the ground, & continued stomping him, leaving him with a concussion. Does that warrant a suspension or not? If not you need to reevaluate your beliefs because if it were your kid you would want action taken, UT player or not, & if you wouldn't you are a sorry parent.

sjackson#227599 writes:

in response to Halls3:

Ok that may have been it. As for the possible concussion the guy may have had posted by someone else, if that is true, he needs to sit for the Memphis game & maybe the Ole Miss game.

The article stated that the other guy was treated for a concussion.

VolAlum2003 (Inactive) writes:

Players keep getting arrested and the losses are mounting up...Obama has created more hope and change than Dooley.

I hope the Kool-Aid drinkers think long and hard on Dooley's tenure to this point. We aren't going to be more competitive with Dooley because he isn't a good coach (not because he has a "young team" or because he doesn't have depth...he isn't a good coach). He doesn't run an effective playbook, he isn't good at putting the best talent on the field, his play calling is predictable after two quarters, and he cannot adjust at all to an opposing team. Administratively he has a problem controlling his players, he can't keep his arrogant starting QB from mouthing off, and he, himself, feels the need to whine to the media about his own staff.

This isn't working and it isn't going to get better with time. Honestly, I don't know what UT should do. Firing Dooley will just make things worse, but we, as a program, are so far down in a hole that its ridiculous. If you can't see that, then you need to take off your orange colored sun-glasses and put down the Kool-Aid.

Ironcity writes:

in response to Halls3:

It was back in the summer I thought it was Bar Knoxville & all the other bars on the strip. I thought clubs were included in this. Maybe they weren't but in retrospect maybe they should have been. Still yet the fact remains he assaulted some guy & was out at 2 am after a loss. I mean really, how after getting your butt kicked do you have the energy to be out at 2 am. Maybe we should wonder about their on field effort since they can club after giving up over 400 yards. Suspending him 1 game, the MEMPHIS game, the same Memphis who lost by 50+ points to Louisville, would be more advantageous than not discipline & perception wise.

That was the guys story. I have a feeling there is another side to the story. Halls3 I don't know about you but when I was in school we didn't even go out before midnight so I am sure it hasn't changed much.

Halls3 writes:

in response to Ironcity:

That was the guys story. I have a feeling there is another side to the story. Halls3 I don't know about you but when I was in school we didn't even go out before midnight so I am sure it hasn't changed much.

Pre-med major didn't have time to do anything really after midnight. I did play football in high school though & I was exhausted after games & couldn't have been out at 2 am clubbing that's for sure.

TNPilgrim writes:

Much ado about nothing.

77VolFS writes:

in response to back2z1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah right z, scaring a woman to the point she calls the police on you and then texting "time to die b**ch" to her is nothing. Go back to your hole.

VolAlum2003 (Inactive) writes:

in response to jrod:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

so..only arrests during the season count?

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to pdhuff#552644:

Guys will be guys.

Not right but it happens.

Now on to Memphus...

Thank you, sir. I want even bother to post any additional.

tozzie writes:

Make him practice in an orange jumpsuit. Hamilton might as well have a supply on hand.

Lostvolinhighweeds writes:

in response to KingFulmer:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Okay, so ley me be sure what you're saying here.
"we will be good in three years" is pure speculation.
But, "We aren't going to be more competitive with Dooley because he isn't a good coach" is a proven fact written in stone?
Is that what you are saying?
And you wonder why people think you're a troll?

VolAlum2003 (Inactive) writes:

in response to jrod:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

At what point did I say that "we" are about to lose control? and who is "we"? Let me be clear, I don't care about the fight. Fights happen on the field all the time and nothing comes if it. My problem is that the players are out at 2 am on a Sunday night. When was the last time a UT football player was arrested at 2 pm?

Dooley swept into UT and it was all posters like you could do to keep from drooling all over his "character" and how UT football would be different because Dooley respected our traditions and a whole bunch of other nonsense. My point is: NOTHING HAS CHANGED. Well...that's not true. At this time last year we had at least one SEC win.

I don't care about the arrests. Football programs have players arrested. It's a reality. What I care about is that players keep getting arrested and we aren't winning...but then, I guess next year will be different right? By then Dooley's Hugs for Thugs program will have changed everything...just like his amazing recruiting and play calling. next year next year next year next year (keep saying it and click your heels together three times and we'll win a BCS championship)

BigOrangeinCharge writes:

in response to 02champs#209256:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Smith will be let off with a slap on the wrist, then he'll go do similar stuff another time or two until he gets kicked off. Sneaking up on a drunk guy at a bar and slugging him in the back of the head, then kicking him while he's down... that's disgusting and, at minimum, should warrant a suspension. Who cares if it's "just a fight over a girl?" She chose to dance with the OTHER guy, Smith had a problem with it, so he snuck up behind a guy who didn't do squat to Smith to provoke this.

I honestly don't care if he was out on Halloween night with his friends, even if it came after a tough loss. What I do care about is that a big portion of the UT football team goes around acting like a gang who can bully whoever they want because they know the university will make sure they get away with it so long as they have talent. Janzen Jackson, Da'Rick Rogers, and now Jaques Smith are just the latest members of that club.

Why are UT fans so quick to rush to the defense of this guy? The reports so far all make it sound like the behavior of a thug with previous anger problems who likes to jump guys when they can't fight back. It's not like he's going to miraculously save the season over the next 4 games.

bigorange6469 writes:

Come on guys relax. I do believe that he needs to be suspended, but he is a 19 or 20 year old kid. When you were that age and your girl was dancing with another guy what did you all do..

CCLC writes:

in response to bigorange6469:

Come on guys relax. I do believe that he needs to be suspended, but he is a 19 or 20 year old kid. When you were that age and your girl was dancing with another guy what did you all do..

Well....I don't believe sucker punching him from behind and continued assault on a person is appropriate even if you are jealous. Seems to be a recurrent theme of punching and continued assault while the victim is helpless. Whats up with that?

CCLC writes:

in response to CrippledCoon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"Tired white boy from Halls Crossroads?"
-1. Are you stereotyping here?

vol88 writes:

in response to back2z1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That buzzer means the fries are ready. Pull 'em.

parkloop writes:

Mr. Dooley - here's your sign: Kick him off the team - no discussion, off the team. He doesn't deserve to participate in UT sports. Football players are a dime a dozen - get another one.

OTPVol writes:

I think testosterone was much more of a factor than alcohol in this case. You can't bar them from that...

VolBy3 writes:

He and the other team members there obviously didn't leave it all on the field. The danger meter goes so far off the scale after midnight, I don't understand why these kids are still out.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to WEAREBETTERTHANVANDY:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

WEAREBETTERTHANVANDY whines
Bones NEVER lie.

brod writes:

the football team stinks, but these type of arrests are getting to be the norm across the country. if you don't believe me, then watch espnu or read rivals.com. i happen to think that our coaches are getting us on the right track.

SIMSVOL writes:

VolAlum2003 - just like your name states, you're living in the past. Support the team as a true fan or get lost loser!

Tennessee is extremely fortunate to have Dooley as coach. He's passionate about the game, fired up on the sidelines, which is something we never had in Fulmer. His passion and effort is translating nicely in the team on the field and the VOLS are turning the corner and are beginning the battle back to the top. if you can't wait for the transformation, find another team - then jump back on the band wagon in a couple of years when the VOLS are back. GO VOLS!

Neyland writes:

Jaques made an extremely bone-headed move. Even more when its a sucker punch. I played high school football and from time to time we had students tell us we sucked after a loss even though we had a winning record. All we could do is walk away, thats what Jaques has to learn to do, no matter how ticked off you may be. Im not saying the student mouthed off, Im just using that as an example. One thing is evident, discipline has to be implemented on and off the field. This team is falling apart in the second half and if they can get tougher in the second half they can start winning some of these games that are close at halftime. I support my Vols and these young men have to make better descisions off the field. If Coach Dooley decides to suspend Jaques I will be ok with it.

TKG_VOL writes:

in response to OTPVol:

I think testosterone was much more of a factor than alcohol in this case. You can't bar them from that...

1st: if he is a freshman he is probably only 18 - 19 years old. If he was drinking under age he broke the law. 2nd: He assaulted someone, he broke the law. He needs to be accountable for his actions. If it was my son and he sent him to the hospital he would be paying the hospital bills and I would press charges also. These football players are big strong athletic guys which is not true for most average students. That's like a man beating a teenage kid especially to sucker punch him. These guys need to grow up and consider that they are adults now and need to act like it or pay the consequences. Where I live there not even allowed to go into a club or bar unless they are 21. If Dooley feels he need further punishment for his actions so be it but he does needs to pay for his actions through the court system because he broke the law.

hueypilot writes:

The most troubling thing to me is what kind of 250 pound coward hits a man from behind while he's dancing with a girl? Didn't Smith get a personal foul penalty for a stupid late hit, well after the whistle?

He needs to run stadium steps until his attitude gets adjusted.

Count_Me_In writes:

"Four straight losses during a winless October eliminated any room for error if UT is going to get to the six wins necessary to earn a bowl bid"

Actually the bowl bid chance is now officially zero - can't count the UT-M win towards the 6 needed.

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to back2z1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The SECond Chance Bowl? Jailed players rolled up 150 yards rushing and 71 receiving in Florida-Georgia.

Be proud z, your the little turd piece that won't flush

utfan36 writes:

i say the whole team would like to punch some one there 0&5 in the sec! this is history in the making worst ut team ever!

Count_Me_In writes:

in response to Count_Me_In:

"Four straight losses during a winless October eliminated any room for error if UT is going to get to the six wins necessary to earn a bowl bid"

Actually the bowl bid chance is now officially zero - can't count the UT-M win towards the 6 needed.

I stand corrected - sounds like you get to count one FCS win.

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