Charges dismissed against Vol linebacker Austin Johnson

Tennessee linebacker Austin Johnson (40) warms up during the Vols' first official practice of the season at Haslam Field Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011.  (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee linebacker Austin Johnson (40) warms up during the Vols' first official practice of the season at Haslam Field Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Austin Johnson was arrested on Sunday, July 24, 2011, on the Cumberland Strip in Knoxville for disorderly conduct and public intoxication. (Mug shot by KNOX COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE)

Austin Johnson was arrested on Sunday, July 24, 2011, on the Cumberland Strip in Knoxville for disorderly conduct and public intoxication. (Mug shot by KNOX COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE)

Legally, Austin Johnson is out of the woods, but his coach didn't see Thursday's decision by the Knox County General Sessions Court as a happy ending.

Johnson, 22, had his charges of disorderly conduct and public intoxication dismissed Thursday. The senior linebacker, who was never in danger of being suspended from football activities but faces "internal" punishment, was only required to pay for court costs.

"It's good for him," coach Derek Dooley said after Thursday's practice at Haslam Field. "It doesn't change the headline that we all had.

"If we could go back three days and just erase everything (media outlets) wrote, it'd be great news but we can't do that."

A Knox County clerk could not provide a dollar figure for what Johnson owed because he paid it immediately and it was no longer in the court's database.

According to police, Johnson was arrested early July 24 after an altercation with an unidentified male in the back parking lot of Tin Roof at 1915 Cumberland Ave. Johnson also was seen hitting vehicles, according to the police report.

On Tuesday, in his first interview since the incident, Johnson said he wouldn't discuss the details of the police report, but added that "some of the stuff that was said is not necessarily what I was doing."

"I should have never put myself in that situation," Johnson said Tuesday. "I should have never been out that late. I'm extremely embarrassed. I embarrassed my team, I embarrassed the fans, I embarrassed my family and I embarrassed my coaches. I've learned from my mistakes.

"I plan to move forward and become a better person from this."

Dooley said he wasn't surprised by the verdict because Johnson "told me that there wasn't going to be much legally."

"That doesn't mean it's OK what he did. I've always said that," Dooley said. "Sometimes they get off legally and I think they're wrong. Sometimes they get in a little trouble legally and I think they didn't do anything wrong.

"That's why I guess I'm not a policeman or a lawyer anymore or a politician."

Andrew Gribble may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble

Get Copyright Permissions © 2011, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2011 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 64

lahvolman2 writes:

class act... nuff said..

Volunatic writes:

I wonder why the charges were dismissed-- police misconduct or procedural errors?

orangeman1 writes:

Public intox and disorderly get dismissed on costs all the time because they are relatively minor charges and the main intent of the arrest is to remove a person from a situation that if left alone could cause harm to that person or someone else. I hope not only AJ learns form his mistake, but also the rest of the team. Handled internally and dismissed. Those two words sound familiar.

keepitreal4vols writes:

in response to Volunatic:

I wonder why the charges were dismissed-- police misconduct or procedural errors?

Apparently the parked cars failed to show up for court. Charges dismissed.

leprechaun writes:

How convenient!

Just in time for the season kick-off.

Volunatic writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

Apparently the parked cars failed to show up for court. Charges dismissed.

I hate it when cars refuse to press charges for assault.
On a more serious note, the fact that all charges were dropped makes me think that the police allegations of Johnson punching parked cars were complete BS.

Orange_Juiced writes:

in response to Volunatic:

I hate it when cars refuse to press charges for assault.
On a more serious note, the fact that all charges were dropped makes me think that the police allegations of Johnson punching parked cars were complete BS.

Also this from AJ:

"On Tuesday, in his first interview since the incident, Johnson said he wouldn’t discuss the details of the police report, but added that “some of the stuff that was said is not necessarily what I was doing.”

TommyJack writes:

in response to leprechaun:

How convenient!

Just in time for the season kick-off.

Thank you, Captain Obvious. Very astute.

SIMSVOL writes:

Just goes to show that there are some real idiots who post garbage on this site day in and day out...specifically those who spouted off about Johnson being suspended from games, cut from the team...

Always best to wait for the facts and let the coach do his job. Dooley is a great coach on and off the field. And he will bring Tennessee back to the top of the SEC if the yayhoos give him time. Go VOLS!!!

crimsonviper writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

and the KNS Cubicle Boy of the Year fires a shot across the bow.....weak trollin' zz.

EHI writes:

Ahhhhh...the benefits of being affiliated with the UT football team. Wait til these boys get out into the real world. Life won't be so easy.

utchuckster writes:

So many time this is,-- he said, I said.-- Then when all the work is done, many time it is blowed up much more then what went down. That is why we should always wait and see. But like the young man said - I should not of been out that late. There is not much that is good going on after 12-1AM

CoverOrange writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

Apparently the parked cars failed to show up for court. Charges dismissed.

You jest but you may not be that far off the mark. Figure that if his 'hitting' didn't cause any demonstrable damage and/or the owners of said cars couldn't be found to claim damage - charges dropped.

As for the PI, no priors + sufficient remorse + court costs + 'don't show your face in my court room again' = charges dropped.

hockeyham writes:

Isn't it *GREAT*...to be...a Tennessee Vol?

VolQB writes:

A college kid not being out after midnight would be very strange.

John_10065 writes:

in response to Others_Not_Receiving_Votes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We got 7 votes?

We have the potential to be in the top 25 at the end of the season but it's hard to understand how we got 7 votes in the pre-season poll.

hockeyham writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

shipperman#280095 writes:

His neck scared them

VolInIndy writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Thank you, Captain Obvious. Very astute.

Captain? must have received a promotion. Anybody out there get the Bob and Tom syndicated radio broadcast out of Indy? They have a character called Mr. Obvious that is really a hoot.

Down_The_Field writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

good point, zzzz.

it's not like he was charged with threatening to kill his girlfriend.

jimmyrayvol writes:

in response to shipperman#280095:

His neck scared them

Neck in effect

GreerVol22 writes:

I could say...about his pic.....somebody get that boy an epi-pen....or maybe Lattimore can't see around his neck or something aweful like that...but I wont.

Volunatic writes:

CSS really needs to learn how to check facts about CFB. Ignorance of that subject is understandable for a U of Memphis dropout, however.
Dooley DID win a bowl game, at LA Tech, no less. He will win many more here at UT.

Volunatic writes:

Coincidentally, Dooley's bowl game win was by 7 points over a team (NIU) that Fulmer was only able to beat by 4 AT HOME that very same season.

Volunatic writes:

in response to GreerVol22:

I could say...about his pic.....somebody get that boy an epi-pen....or maybe Lattimore can't see around his neck or something aweful like that...but I wont.

His neck is stronger than Lattimore's legs.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to Others_Not_Receiving_Votes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What? Florida not ranked in the top 20 after the great Brantley and all the 4 and5 star recruits the past couple of years? Darn,say it ain't so.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

Apparently the parked cars failed to show up for court. Charges dismissed.

Actually it was ruled self defense. The Ford Explorer kept giving him a threatening look. Then, when the Impala blew its horn the fight was on.

FWBVol writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Come on CSS, how many great coaches have you really known...personally that is? You might know of great coaches, but know them, I doubt that seriously. Funny how a Vandy guy has to use coaches from other schools to make his point. I guess that goes to show that, as we all know, Vandy hasn't had any great coaches.

Spurrier took over a great situation at Florida and showed that the Gators could win. Paterno went from assistant coach at Penn State to head coach and had a full cupboard when he took the job. I won't deny the Bear was a great coach, but I wonder how great he would be playing under today's rules that drastically limit the number of scholarships a school can offer.

And as for Saban, yes, he's a great coach so I would guess he recognizes talented coaches and he has given CDD a ringing endorsement.

USC was Kiffin's dream job, but before he bolted he even said that last year was going to be tough. I seriously doubt there are many coaches that could have done more than CDD did last year considering there wasn't a QB on the roster that had ever taken s snap in the SEC and the most experienced offensive lineman had three career starts heading into last season.

Bash CDD all you want, but you are still Vanderbilt and enjoying the riches that the other SEC schools have put in your bank account.

The fact is Austin Johnson made a mistake. He is paying for the mistake and most Tennessee fans will support CDD and the way he handles things without going to another site dedicated to one of our rivals and harp on things we know nothing about.

EHI writes:

in response to Volunatic:

His neck is stronger than Lattimore's legs.

roids??

kletusfleabiscuit writes:

in response to EHI:

roids??

most trolls have 'em.

Volunatic writes:

FWBVol-- I disagree with your assertion that Vandy hasn't had any great coaches. They have had two.
Dan McGugin (1904-1934, except in 1917-18 when he served in WWI) had a record of 197-55-19.
The other great one, of course, was Bobby "Navin" Johnson, whose record at VU was 29-66. That record isn't very impressive unless you consider the fact that he won over 30% of his games AT VANDERBILT. It takes a great coach to do that in the modern era.

keviningeorgia writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good one, SB!

kman29 writes:

in response to abnerPeabody:

What? Florida not ranked in the top 20 after the great Brantley and all the 4 and5 star recruits the past couple of years? Darn,say it ain't so.

Don't hate on the fact that the Tennessee program has resorted in recruiting the "safe 3 star guys" and are building a program more in the mold of the current Kentucky program where a great season will be winning 7-8 games and going to a 2nd or 3rd rate bowl, than what they use to be. I don't expect fans like your self to want to believe that, but when you look at Dooley now building his 3rd recruiting class, where are the big splashes? Current rivals team rankings don't even have Tennessee in the top 50. While coaches in the same tenure or newer are running circles around Dooley. 9 SEC teams are currently out recruiting Tennessee, including Vanderbilt. But I'm sure you know this, which is probably why Vol fan continues to bring up the star rankings of the current Gator players.

In the mean time I'll take the current Gator squad being ranked in the same position in preseason that last years national champion was over being sloted with just 7 points in the "others receiving votes" category

FEARinSEC writes:

in response to kman29:

Don't hate on the fact that the Tennessee program has resorted in recruiting the "safe 3 star guys" and are building a program more in the mold of the current Kentucky program where a great season will be winning 7-8 games and going to a 2nd or 3rd rate bowl, than what they use to be. I don't expect fans like your self to want to believe that, but when you look at Dooley now building his 3rd recruiting class, where are the big splashes? Current rivals team rankings don't even have Tennessee in the top 50. While coaches in the same tenure or newer are running circles around Dooley. 9 SEC teams are currently out recruiting Tennessee, including Vanderbilt. But I'm sure you know this, which is probably why Vol fan continues to bring up the star rankings of the current Gator players.

In the mean time I'll take the current Gator squad being ranked in the same position in preseason that last years national champion was over being sloted with just 7 points in the "others receiving votes" category

If what you say is true, then why are you here? Do you troll on the Kentucky site and all the other team sites who are outside the top 25?

You don't make sense SpecialKMan?

NO_DIGGITY writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey Turncoat,

I know you were a UT Fan for at least 20 years, maybe longer. In one of your posts you said how much you enjoyed Reggie Cobb and the 89 Team. That was one of my favorite Teams also. Just curious, when you turn your back on the team you used to cheer why do you choose Vandy and Belmont as your so called favorite teams? You said Dooley hasn't won anything. HE HAS BEEN COACHING YOUR EX-FAVORITE TEAM FOR ONE YEAR. Give him some time. Your coach from the 1989(Johnny Majors) team went 29-27-1 his first 5 years and beat one decent team (Notre Dame). Also curious, what makes one like you become a Benedict Arnold? Was it Hamilton? Sad fan is one that turns his back on the team when a down period hits.

Dalton writes:

This is an anomoly because Austin Johnson has shown nothing but character until now....he obviously behaved wrong and I trust Coach Dooley's discretion on internal punishment....public intoxication is a mixed bag...to paraphrase the great Ron White, I'm sure Austin didn't want to be drunk in PUBLIC he wanted to be drunk in a BAR....on the other thread that concerns our head coach....no he isn't great or terrible at this point no one KNOWS but I have faith from what I've observed and no blindly manic supporter of a division II quality program in Nashville is going to convince me otherwise.

stumpyb writes:

well if the charges were dismissed then what is there for DD to punish??? NOTHING It's ;like it never happenned.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to kman29:

Don't hate on the fact that the Tennessee program has resorted in recruiting the "safe 3 star guys" and are building a program more in the mold of the current Kentucky program where a great season will be winning 7-8 games and going to a 2nd or 3rd rate bowl, than what they use to be. I don't expect fans like your self to want to believe that, but when you look at Dooley now building his 3rd recruiting class, where are the big splashes? Current rivals team rankings don't even have Tennessee in the top 50. While coaches in the same tenure or newer are running circles around Dooley. 9 SEC teams are currently out recruiting Tennessee, including Vanderbilt. But I'm sure you know this, which is probably why Vol fan continues to bring up the star rankings of the current Gator players.

In the mean time I'll take the current Gator squad being ranked in the same position in preseason that last years national champion was over being sloted with just 7 points in the "others receiving votes" category

Kman,nothing you say will have any bearing on the ranking of the mighty Gators.

We are not suposed to be in the top 20 because of the recruits we have had the last couple or more years.Your Gators on the other hand are loaded with 4 and 5 star recruits.They were ranked in the top 10 for the past upteen years.Just goes to show that you are more stupid than I gave you credit for,and that was very little to begin with.

Truth is,the Gators are not in the elite if we can go by the poles,which are close but by no means gospel.

We know where we are and we are not worthy of a top 20 ranking. The Gators on the other hand have been boasting about how they are on top and will stay there with Brantly and all of the elite players you have. Reality has come home to greet you and all your snobby arse fans.I hope the Gators never win another game.Not because it is Florida,but because of mf fans such as you.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to stumpyb:

well if the charges were dismissed then what is there for DD to punish??? NOTHING It's ;like it never happenned.

No one said he wasn't guilty of anything,only that the charges were dropped.

U.T. did not drop the charges that he admitted to.Therefore he will pay the fiddler for the dance he attended.

STstatefarmVOLS writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And your comment has WHAT to do with the comment you linked it to? Because in his opinion he is a great coach? REALLY? Please go to the team's board that you like and LEAVE THE REAL UT FANS alone. You are pathetic.....

Vol43 writes:

in response to NO_DIGGITY:

Hey Turncoat,

I know you were a UT Fan for at least 20 years, maybe longer. In one of your posts you said how much you enjoyed Reggie Cobb and the 89 Team. That was one of my favorite Teams also. Just curious, when you turn your back on the team you used to cheer why do you choose Vandy and Belmont as your so called favorite teams? You said Dooley hasn't won anything. HE HAS BEEN COACHING YOUR EX-FAVORITE TEAM FOR ONE YEAR. Give him some time. Your coach from the 1989(Johnny Majors) team went 29-27-1 his first 5 years and beat one decent team (Notre Dame). Also curious, what makes one like you become a Benedict Arnold? Was it Hamilton? Sad fan is one that turns his back on the team when a down period hits.

Hey Dig, I read his life story and was taken in by it all. I mean he dropped UT football players names and made it all sound so convincing, but I'm not so sure about any of it. If css is not a KNS plant, I beginning to think his story of being a VOL is only a hoax. No way do I believe a man who followed the VOLS the way he claims he did becomes an enemy of the program. No way. And you know what? It doesn't even matter. One thing is for sure though: Our mighty Volunteers will be taking the field soon and I think we will all be pleasently surprised! GBO

Ironcity writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Its great to hear your opinion on Johnson

rocky_topper writes:

in response to stumpyb:

well if the charges were dismissed then what is there for DD to punish??? NOTHING It's ;like it never happenned.

Right! It never happened. Watch for a later article where AJ will say he was "embarrassed and lost sleep over NOTHING that ever happened". I'm glad it wasn't a regular university kid who did it; he or she wouldn't have been so fortunate.

hueypilot writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Now why would I think that your list of "Every great coach I (have?) ever known" would be shorter than the list of great Vanderbilt coaches.?

Titan writes:

in response to Volunatic:

CSS really needs to learn how to check facts about CFB. Ignorance of that subject is understandable for a U of Memphis dropout, however.
Dooley DID win a bowl game, at LA Tech, no less. He will win many more here at UT.

A man of CSS's power and self importance doesn't have time to check facts. He was too busy moving the Naval Academy all the way from Annapolis to West Point.

chattavfl86 writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Spectacular. Just when I thought I was going to read a bunch of intelligent posts by genuine fans I got this little gem. Wonderful little piece, you truly make my day when you post. Don't ever leave us css, Idk what I would do if I couldn't laugh at your comments. You are like the monkey that craps in his hand a forgets to throw it.

taylorsvolfan writes:

At least we did not have our QB coach peeing on a downtown street like the Gamecocks did in Greenville SC last week. He was at a HS coaches convention and went out and got drunker than Cooter Brown. No wonder Garcia is such a piece of work with a mentor like Mangus.

TNGirl40 writes:

in response to shipperman#280095:

His neck scared them

ROFL!! Seriously...what is up with that? Wow!

DalTexVol writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Let's see Dooley has been a head coach for 4 seasons now. Tom Landry didn't have a winning season until his 7th year as a head coach. Bet you would have fired him in year three.

Seriously dude, your posts have become tiresome and repetitive. Nothing but a one trick pony full of irrational bitterness toward Dooley. I bet your buddy Kimbro is real proud of you.

GainesvilleVol1 writes:

Let's all agree Dooley is somewhat legally competent. I'm not saying he had anything to do with the dismissal, but either way, AJ will pay, with all the positive spins, I would not want to under Dooley's bad side during fall pratice. But, it may make him better in the long run. Live and learn sometimes the hard way.

GO VOLS!!

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