UT says Arnett can transfer, but there are limitations

Tennessee wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett (13) makes a catch during a second quarter drive against South Carolina as cornerback Marty Markett (39) defends at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011.  (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2011

Tennessee wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett (13) makes a catch during a second quarter drive against South Carolina as cornerback Marty Markett (39) defends at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tennessee wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett has the Vols’ blessing to transfer to another Division I program, but it will come with a few limitations.

In the school’s first official comments since news broke Wednesday that the freshman was seeking a release from his scholarship to be closer to his ailing father in Saginaw, Mich., UT spokesman Jimmy Stanton laid out why Arnett would not be able to transfer to a school such as Michigan, Michigan State or any other big-name program.

“We’re not denying him a release to be near his family, get a good education and play Division I football at the same time, but we do have a policy of not releasing players to schools we either play or recruit against,” Stanton said Thursday. “Where he’s from, there are several good D-I schools nearby that would be good options to play football, get a good education and keep him near his family.”

In an e-mail sent to multiple media outlets, including the News Sentinel, Arnett detailed his father’s battle with a lung disease, his family’s financial troubles and his desire to land with either the Wolverines or Spartans. Arnett added that coach Derek Dooley indicated UT would allow him to transfer to schools in the Mid-American Conference.

“... If I wanted to attend The University of Michigan and Michigan State University then I would have to pay for school instead of be on the Scholorship (sic),” Arnett wrote. “I dont know whats next my family cant afford to pay for school and my father health reason isnt good enough excuse for me to attend a BCS school close to home. (According to coach dooley).

“Therefore as a student athlete I feel coach dooley is trying to hinder my success by not allowing me to compete at a bcs level! And he’s neglecting the fact that my father is severely ill.”

Arnett wrote that his mother, Virginia, was only able to attend one of his games this past season. Nearby Division I schools at Arnett’s disposal that would not be eliminated by UT’s parameters include Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Toledo and Bowling Green.

“I never imagined being unable to have my dad at any games or me being able to see him as he endures his battle with health,” Arnett wrote. “Yes I want to play football but I NEED to be here for my dad and with my family.”

The paperwork on Arnett’s release has not been processed yet because the UT compliance department is closed through the holiday season. Stanton said Arnett will be granted his release next week if he still desires it.

Considered one of the Vols’ top-rated signees for the class of 2011, Arnett started once and saw playing time in all 12 games this past season. His 24 receptions tied for the second-most by a freshman in program history. He finished with 242 receiving yards, a total that ranked fifth on the team, and two touchdowns.

Before committing to UT in November 2010, Arnett nearly committed to Michigan State. In a January interview with the News Sentinel, Arnett said he was ready to commit to the Spartans in September 2010, but was unable to when coach Mark Dantonio suffered a heart attack while he and his brothers sat in his office. Arnett, who was recruited heavily by former Vol assistant Charlie Baggett, went on to reevaluate his options and ultimately committed to the Vols two months later.

Arnett also used one of his five official visits at Michigan, but that came before Brady Hoke replaced Rich Rodriguez as the Wolverines’ coach.

If Arnett qualifies for an NCAA hardship waiver, he would be able to play immediately at wherever he landed. Hang-ups with his National Letter of Intent, though, could put that in jeopardy.

Because Arnett signed a National Letter of Intent in February, he is subject to eligibility ramifications if he does not complete a full year at UT. It could, perhaps, be in his best interest to go through spring semester and spring football at UT before signing elsewhere.

“The basic penalty may preclude you from representing the second college until you have completed two academic years in residence at the latter institution and you may lose two seasons of competition in all sports,” according to a National Letter of Intent cheat sheet from the NCAA’s official website.

On his Twitter account Thursday, Arnett posted a picture of his father, who opened his shirt to display a package of tubes running through his chest.

“Everybody please pray for me and my family as we go through this tough situation! It’s very stressful for me!!” Arnett wrote. “Just wanted to post that picture so everyone knows that it’s not BS! If he didn’t have that on his chest he wouldn’t be here.”

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

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Comments » 235

voloffaith writes:

There you go...UT/Dooley not dragging feet. He gets to go back near dad and still play football with a top program. Yes the use of Spartan website is unique,but today's chillies are about the exposure and rush.

rtrchatt writes:

Saban allowed 4 star RB Corey Grant to transfer to Awbarn in 2011. What is it with Dooley and his limitations on these kids?

Navaloranges writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

Saban allowed 4 star RB Corey Grant to transfer to Awbarn in 2011. What is it with Dooley and his limitations on these kids?

You mean this Corey Grant who was to sit out a year, or walk-on. Dooley's limitations are for Arnett to play immediately. Saban obviously did NOT agree for Grant to play right away. Therefore he set the ultimate limitation of making Grant sit out a year after the transfer.

http://aol.sportingnews.com/ncaa-foot...

budd#207344 writes:

As if this kid going back to Michigan or Michigan State would impact our team. UT needs to wake up. If the kid does not want to be here for what ever reason let him go. Saying that if we let him go it would hurt our recruiting is idiocy. If anything it would show that we are a good place to go to because we actually care about our student-athletes.

FEARinSEC writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

Saban allowed 4 star RB Corey Grant to transfer to Awbarn in 2011. What is it with Dooley and his limitations on these kids?

That was a totally different situation with Saban. This is a common practice. Get your facts straight before posting, you sound silly.

RockyMtnVol writes:

Hey, if his Dad is sick, then let him go, family should always come first in these decisions. Its the right thing to do regardless of the player.

GBO!!

FEARinSEC writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just as you appear to have control over mommy's BASEMENT?

Razzle writes:

So he can't play for anyone who recruited him? Dumb.

wigmeister writes:

in response to RockyMtnVol:

Hey, if his Dad is sick, then let him go, family should always come first in these decisions. Its the right thing to do regardless of the player.

GBO!!

Amen!

Voluvr writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

Saban allowed 4 star RB Corey Grant to transfer to Awbarn in 2011. What is it with Dooley and his limitations on these kids?

You're leaving out some details on that deal. However, given the same situation if Saban wasn't loaded and was trying to build a program, I doubt you'd see the same generocity.

The second part "what is it w/ Dooley and his ...on these kids?" Who are the other "kids" you're talking about?

I know that you are a Vandy fan and you're attempt at erosion is lame.

cyclonevol87 writes:

in response to budd#207344:

As if this kid going back to Michigan or Michigan State would impact our team. UT needs to wake up. If the kid does not want to be here for what ever reason let him go. Saying that if we let him go it would hurt our recruiting is idiocy. If anything it would show that we are a good place to go to because we actually care about our student-athletes.

so if a kid gets mad at the coach or doesnt start or misses his girlfriend let them go, give me a break.

RemembertheAlamo writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

Saban allowed 4 star RB Corey Grant to transfer to Awbarn in 2011. What is it with Dooley and his limitations on these kids?

I would think we should want him to go to a school such as Michigan or Michigan State where we recruit, because that would be one less scholarship that team would have and it might help us get a player from that area. I just don't understand Dooley thinking at times.

keepitreal4vols writes:

Arnett seems like a good kid and wants off the sinking ship. dooley has wrecked this program so bad that the good kids want out. Pitiful.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to cyclonevol87:

so if a kid gets mad at the coach or doesnt start or misses his girlfriend let them go, give me a break.

Why would we want a kid who doesn't want to be here? Why do we punish someone for making a bad choice. Do you think that by making him stay here that he will work hard? Do you think if he goes to Michigan State it will negatively impact us? The answer to both is no and to deny him is just cheap.

Dougb-VFL writes:

in response to Razzle:

So he can't play for anyone who recruited him? Dumb.

UT is granting his release and this is a common practice NOT our coach trying to control anything!Please just hope that the kid's father is going to be alright and let the young man choose if he is more worried about his dad or where he plays a GAME at. Do not make this such a big deal because UT could have flat out said no but they are trying to do what is best and there is nothing dumb about that.VFL

Dougb-VFL writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I can't say you are a true VOL fan if you are going to take any chance you can to bash our coach.Either back Dooley or cheer for a team that has a coach you might relate to better.DD probably can't do anything right in your eyes and we are talking about a man that has been a lawyer,athletic director, and a football coach.Sounds like a success to me !VFL

Flabbergasted writes:

in response to RockyMtnVol:

Hey, if his Dad is sick, then let him go, family should always come first in these decisions. Its the right thing to do regardless of the player.

GBO!!

I agree. It's mean spirited to not allow him to transfer anywhere he can better himself. UT benefited from the Tyler Smith situation, as I recall. It would be a good PR move, too. Dooley, don't be an a-hole.

voloffaith writes:

Y'all rermember what Clint said,"man's got to know his limitations....." Well UT defined them and they aren't off the wall unreasonable. Subject over unless Young Arnett changes his mind. Otherwise this subject/article is dead in the water. Move on next article for analysis....

GONAVY writes:

If Dooley establishes a precedent, then more kids may opt to leave the program for various reasons and transfer to other major conference schools...that's the principle. However, listening to a sports talk show conversation today there may be some fear that there are more "Arnett's" waiting in the wings at UT to bail, and allowing Arnett to go freely anywhere opens a flood gate potential. Just repeating what was discussed, not stating a fact so chill on getting the dander up...

Ironcity writes:

Terrible. Tell the kid he can't go to an SEC school or anyone on our schedule. Dooley is coming off as petty. Especially after the transfer of Bullard.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Y'all rermember what Clint said,"man's got to know his limitations....." Well UT defined them and they aren't off the wall unreasonable. Subject over unless Young Arnett changes his mind. Otherwise this subject/article is dead in the water. Move on next article for analysis....

Subject is not dead. There is no legitimate reason to restrict where this kid goes as long as it is not within the SEC. Anything else is just mean spirited and unbecoming a good Christian program

budd#207344 writes:

in response to GONAVY:

If Dooley establishes a precedent, then more kids may opt to leave the program for various reasons and transfer to other major conference schools...that's the principle. However, listening to a sports talk show conversation today there may be some fear that there are more "Arnett's" waiting in the wings at UT to bail, and allowing Arnett to go freely anywhere opens a flood gate potential. Just repeating what was discussed, not stating a fact so chill on getting the dander up...

So if there are players that want to transfer because CDD plays favorites or can't coach or whatever should we force them to stay? Doesn't sound like it would solve the problem.

SignalMtnVol writes:

Don't see what the uproar is. Most schools would have him to sit out a year or go to a JC if they wanted to play immediately, regardless of circumstances. I think it is reasonable on Dooley's part to let the young man go to a FBS school and compete right away. If he doesn't like it, he can always appeal to the NCAA.

vorangel writes:

in response to Flabbergasted:

I agree. It's mean spirited to not allow him to transfer anywhere he can better himself. UT benefited from the Tyler Smith situation, as I recall. It would be a good PR move, too. Dooley, don't be an a-hole.

Predictable. Dooley just doesn't get it. He needs to man up.
One more year? He doesn't deserve it, especially if he keeps pulling boner moves like this.
I'm afraid it is not going to get better until UT is buying out his contract.
We all know it. Some just don't want to admit it.

voloffaith writes:

in response to budd#207344:

Subject is not dead. There is no legitimate reason to restrict where this kid goes as long as it is not within the SEC. Anything else is just mean spirited and unbecoming a good Christian program

Ok I get I was lil hasty....subject isn't dead,but I think this move is done. Oh BTW thanks for the slick slide in of "a good christian program." You talk about a tax/aclu fiasco...whoo boy....

SignalMtnVol writes:

in response to Pat777:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Pat777, yes, it is. Most of the time when an athlete wants to transfer, they have to sit a year at an FBS school (while paying their own way) or go the JUCO route (ala Cam Newton)

SignalMtnVol writes:

Or FCS. See Joe Flacco back in the day.

thevoice writes:

Well, well, well. Looks like it's not about his father's health after all. What a surprise. Good luck to both.

Vol43 writes:

in response to Dougb-VFL:

I can't say you are a true VOL fan if you are going to take any chance you can to bash our coach.Either back Dooley or cheer for a team that has a coach you might relate to better.DD probably can't do anything right in your eyes and we are talking about a man that has been a lawyer,athletic director, and a football coach.Sounds like a success to me !VFL

Bodeane is a gay_tor.

thevoice writes:

Based on what DA says (minus the UT dissing yesterday), it sounds like the last thing he should do is complicate things by attending a school, any school, full-time. Be with your father if he's sick.

Vol43 writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

Arnett seems like a good kid and wants off the sinking ship. dooley has wrecked this program so bad that the good kids want out. Pitiful.

Hey sunshine. Let's go eat some worms. We're all doomed. Obama gets re-elected. The end of the world is near. Tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes. Pestilence. Disease. Bugs.

thevoice writes:

in response to Vol43:

Hey sunshine. Let's go eat some worms. We're all doomed. Obama gets re-elected. The end of the world is near. Tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes. Pestilence. Disease. Bugs.

...and irritable bowel syndromes galore.

cyclonevol87 writes:

in response to budd#207344:

Why would we want a kid who doesn't want to be here? Why do we punish someone for making a bad choice. Do you think that by making him stay here that he will work hard? Do you think if he goes to Michigan State it will negatively impact us? The answer to both is no and to deny him is just cheap.

So what you want is free agency in college sports?

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Terrible. Tell the kid he can't go to an SEC school or anyone on our schedule. Dooley is coming off as petty. Especially after the transfer of Bullard.

This is EXACTLY what I told someone earlier. This is petty of Dooley and a joke. It also HURTS in recruiting, anyone thinking different has lost their minds. Anyone backing Dooley on this has lost their mind as well. I'm 100% sure that we have guys on our roster that have been recruited by MAC schools, so why would Dooley let him go there? Actually, the RB Hill in this yrs class has some MAC offers, so what it basically comes down to is Dooley being a FLAT OUT LIAR!!!! Dooley should release this kid with no limitations OTHER that playing for SEC schools. We are not slated to play Michigan or Michigan St. And yeah we might recruit against them, but this move won't help that. I'm gonna say this loud and clear and GLADLY take any roasting that will come my way on this thread...I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL DERRICK DOOLEY IS FIRED!!! You can't pay Honda Civic money and expect a Benz. You can't pay Derrick Dooley salaries and expect Nick Saban. I've tried to back this guy, but he's a joke, a momma's boy, and clearly in over his head. This little move he's pulling will be all over the radio and TV. He's recruited good and I'll give him that. Let him finish this class, flop next year on the field, then bring in a heavyweight to put the final touches on this thing. Dooley can stress character all he wants, but he clearly doesn't practice what he preaches.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/tennessee/foo...

Ayres_Hall writes:

It obvious that Arnett "never imagined" many things in life. He is learning, now, that life's decisions come with consequences.

He's got some great choices. He needs to make one and stick with it... this time.

Ayres_Hall writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

This is EXACTLY what I told someone earlier. This is petty of Dooley and a joke. It also HURTS in recruiting, anyone thinking different has lost their minds. Anyone backing Dooley on this has lost their mind as well. I'm 100% sure that we have guys on our roster that have been recruited by MAC schools, so why would Dooley let him go there? Actually, the RB Hill in this yrs class has some MAC offers, so what it basically comes down to is Dooley being a FLAT OUT LIAR!!!! Dooley should release this kid with no limitations OTHER that playing for SEC schools. We are not slated to play Michigan or Michigan St. And yeah we might recruit against them, but this move won't help that. I'm gonna say this loud and clear and GLADLY take any roasting that will come my way on this thread...I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL DERRICK DOOLEY IS FIRED!!! You can't pay Honda Civic money and expect a Benz. You can't pay Derrick Dooley salaries and expect Nick Saban. I've tried to back this guy, but he's a joke, a momma's boy, and clearly in over his head. This little move he's pulling will be all over the radio and TV. He's recruited good and I'll give him that. Let him finish this class, flop next year on the field, then bring in a heavyweight to put the final touches on this thing. Dooley can stress character all he wants, but he clearly doesn't practice what he preaches.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/tennessee/foo...

I'm backing Coach Dooley because I undetstnsd there are two sides to every story and I'm going with the adult.

Dougb-VFL writes:

in response to Vol43:

Bodeane is a gay_tor.

That explains it all! Thanks 4 the info.

Dougb-VFL writes:

in response to Pat777:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

From what I have heard any player from a school that applies for a transfer is restricted from D1 schools that are also recruiting against the team they are leaving.I read it last year on scout and also heard people talking about the same situation but I could be wrong , I just think UT made the right decision on this one but I am a HUGE fan so may be overlooking something.VFL

CrankE writes:

Dooley is the one holding him back.

Riiiiiiiiiiiight.

tnsportsman writes:

Is there really any of you that thinks Arnett REALLY wants to transfer only because of his dads health, ROFLMAO! Arnett signed a CONTRACT to play at Tennessee! Dooley has given him CONDITIONS on breaking that contract!

If Arnett really wants to be with his father, he will take the deal. The problem these days is Most won't honor their signature, word or commitment, the world we live in now!

GO VOLS ALWAYS!

mthicks1#289742 writes:

It is ludicrious for Tennessee to force this kid to step down to a MAC level when clearly he could play for a Big Ten team. I do not agree with Dooley. He is wrong; and since he is our HC that means our program is wrong. If a kid does not want to be at Rocky Top then he should be released. Period. End of story. That also includes any mal-contented kids as well. Tennessee should not be keeping any kid against their will. And forcing the kid to play for a MAC team when he could go to a Big Ten School is inexcusable. I guarantee General Neyland or Coach Dickey would not do this to any kid, and Yes I realize they had strong programs. I say release this kid- no restrictions on where he goes. Tell him "good luck" and we will keep your dad in our thoughts and prayers. Go Vols!!! We should be better than this!!!!!!

murrayvol writes:

in response to FEARinSEC:

Just as you appear to have control over mommy's BASEMENT?

More likely a cubicle at KNS.

murrayvol writes:

in response to Vol43:

Bodeane is a gay_tor.

He flys no flag Vol43. He's a KNS troll with many names.

eb502us#225637 writes:

If Arnett's father is truly sick, then Dooley needs to release him without restrictions. It's just wrong to tell him where he can and can't go especially when Michigan or Michigan St. isn't in the conference or on the schedule.

Perhaps Dooley would have second thoughts if UT put restrictions on his mother. Then again, he may like that idea.

Vol43 writes:

There was an FSU player from maryville, I think , who wanted to leave FSU for UT and bobby Bowden would not release him. Made him sit out a year. Seems his mama had cancer I think.

fratricide08 writes:

I thought this was about his Dad at first too but now I don't think so: http://www.govolsxtra.com/news/2011/j...

His brother Ralph is the one he considers his father figure. DeAnthony may well be hurt by his family situation and I hope his dad gets better but I believe there's more going on here than we know.

Teamguy writes:

His family was poor and his father was sick when he signed, these things didn't happen in the last year. If it was Realllly that bad, why the fubar did he leave Michigan in the first place?

Using one's sick father as an excuse to relocate to another University of one's choice is not ethical.

In his open letter Arnett didn't capitalize Coach Dooleys' name, a blatant lack of respect. Arnett is unhappy being at UT because of the state of our football program, not because he is away from his father. Can you leave? Yes. You just can't write your own ticket.

Egnaro writes:

I assume that the reason CDD does not want Arnett at UM or MSU is that he would be there to sway recruits that are trying to decide between those schools and UT. It would likely be an effective recruiting tool to have a former UT player help convince new recruits that UM or MSU is a better program than UT. At this point, CDD cannot afford any hiccups in recruiting so I don't have a problem with the restrictions and I don't think they are unfair. Unless incoming recruits are planning on trying to leave after a year, I doubt CDD's position on this will have any negative implications for other recruits.

Ironcity writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

This is EXACTLY what I told someone earlier. This is petty of Dooley and a joke. It also HURTS in recruiting, anyone thinking different has lost their minds. Anyone backing Dooley on this has lost their mind as well. I'm 100% sure that we have guys on our roster that have been recruited by MAC schools, so why would Dooley let him go there? Actually, the RB Hill in this yrs class has some MAC offers, so what it basically comes down to is Dooley being a FLAT OUT LIAR!!!! Dooley should release this kid with no limitations OTHER that playing for SEC schools. We are not slated to play Michigan or Michigan St. And yeah we might recruit against them, but this move won't help that. I'm gonna say this loud and clear and GLADLY take any roasting that will come my way on this thread...I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL DERRICK DOOLEY IS FIRED!!! You can't pay Honda Civic money and expect a Benz. You can't pay Derrick Dooley salaries and expect Nick Saban. I've tried to back this guy, but he's a joke, a momma's boy, and clearly in over his head. This little move he's pulling will be all over the radio and TV. He's recruited good and I'll give him that. Let him finish this class, flop next year on the field, then bring in a heavyweight to put the final touches on this thing. Dooley can stress character all he wants, but he clearly doesn't practice what he preaches.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/tennessee/foo...

I wish I could disagree but you nailed it. Quite frankly its disappointing and reveals a real character flaw in coach Dooley. I do hope he succeeds because its good for my university but every day I see him making stupid mistakes the less likely I see him around after next year.

Ironcity writes:

in response to Vol43:

There was an FSU player from maryville, I think , who wanted to leave FSU for UT and bobby Bowden would not release him. Made him sit out a year. Seems his mama had cancer I think.

Thats accurate and it destroyed the kids career. Bowden looks looked petty and we all called him out in it at the time. Nothing different here except its our coach.

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