Popular stories on govolsxtra.com in 2011

For the University of Tennessee athletic department, 2011 was a year of turbulence. Coaches were fired, staff resigned and Lady Vols Coach Pat Summitt announced she has early-onset dementia.

For the University of Tennessee athletic department, 2011 was a year of turbulence. Coaches were fired, staff resigned and Lady Vols Coach Pat Summitt announced she has early-onset dementia.

We reviewed our stats for govolsxtra.com and looked for the most viewed news item each week in 2011. Below you will find an abstract from each story, the date it was published and a link to read it again. Enjoy!

JANUARY

Jan. 7, 2011: Notre Dame lineman Alex Bullard transferring to Tennessee after death of father

Alex Bullard feels like he could play anywhere. Given a painful loss in his family, right now the offensive lineman wants that to be closer to home, so he's packing up at Notre Dame and heading to Tennessee.

David Oku

David Oku

Jan. 14, 2011: Running back David Oku to transfer

Outward unhappiness and a lack of “conviction” highlighted the two years tailback David Oku spent at Tennessee.

Jan. 17, 2011: Ron McKeefery named strength and conditioning coach

Ron McKeefery, who recently left South Florida for a role with the United States Army Special Forces, was announced as the Vols’ new strength and conditioning coach Monday.

Jan. 25, 2011: Jay Greeson: Marlin Lane gives UT needed speed back

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Marlin Lane is a talented high school football player. A 6-foot-1, 205-pound running back from Daytona Beach, Fla., Lane has speed and power and the will to come back from a serious knee injury to rush for more than 500 yards after missing the first half of his senior season.

FEBRUARY

Feb. 2, 2011: UT's Signing Day; Tennessee signs 27

The official paperwork is coming into university athletic offices and it looks like the University of Tennessee is having a great recruiting year.

Tennesse defensive back Janzen Jackson goes in to the huddle against LSU at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010. UT lost the game 16-14 after a defensive penalty in the final play of the game. Jackson is from Lake Charles, La.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennesse defensive back Janzen Jackson goes in to the huddle against LSU at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010. UT lost the game 16-14 after a defensive penalty in the final play of the game. Jackson is from Lake Charles, La.

Feb. 7, 2011: Safety Janzen Jackson withdraws from Tennessee

After parting ways with defensive line coach Chuck Smith on Sunday, safety Janzen Jackson withdrew from school Monday to continuing dealing with the personal problems that forced him to miss workouts in December before the Music City Bowl.

Feb. 13, 2011: Lady Vols, Vandy officer have 'a little conflict' after game

Tennessee survived a hard-fought women's basketball game at Vanderbilt and an apparent misunderstanding on the Commodores' court afterward. The Lady Vols gathered at center court, as they do after every game - home or away - for a post-game prayer. The Lady Vols were asked by a Vanderbilt police officer to leave the floor, according to Debby Jennings, UT's associate athletics director for media relations. The officer mistakenly thought the Lady Vols' gathering was disrespecting the team logo, Jennings said.

The University of Tennessee received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA on Feb. 22, 2011 regarding the school's men's basketball, coached by Bruce Pearl, right, and football programs, when coached by Lane Kiffin, left. This notice is in response to reports of alleged violations reported by UT and from external sources.

The University of Tennessee received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA on Feb. 22, 2011 regarding the school's men's basketball, coached by Bruce Pearl, right, and football programs, when coached by Lane Kiffin, left. This notice is in response to reports of alleged violations reported by UT and from external sources.

Feb. 23, 2001: NCAA outlines allegations to UT

The University of Tennessee released its long-awaited NCAA notice of allegations today, as the football and men’s basketball programs were cited for a number of violations that had been addressed in the past few months, but nothing new or unexpected came from the 26-page document.

MARCH

March 4, 2011: Chuck Smith on leaving UT: I put my heart and soul into a job

Chuck Smith's coaching career at his alma mater is over. Termed officially by UT as a mutual decision early last month, Smith offered his side of the equation in a press conference he scheduled himself on Friday morning outside of Neyland Stadium.

March 13, 2011: Vols to play Michigan in NCAA tournament

The Tennessee men's basketball team received a school-record sixth consecutive NCAA tournament berth on Sunday and will open against Michigan on Friday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte in the West Region. The Vols (19-14) received a No. 9 seed, while the Wolverines (20-13) are a No. 8 seed.

Vol Hoops 2010-2011: Out-Dribbled by Distraction and Disappointment

March 21, 2011: Tennessee fires coach Bruce Pearl

The University of Tennessee fired men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl on Monday, ending six days of increased speculation about his job status with a program facing NCAA allegations of 10 major violations.

Pearl, 51, coached the Vols the past six seasons, compiling a 145-61 record. He led the team to a school-record six consecutive NCAA tournaments, including the first Elite Eight appearance in the 102-year history of the program last season.

UT Basketball Head Coach Bruce Pearl, center, and UT Athletic Director Mike Hamilton, right, address the media on Friday, Nov. 19 during a press conference where Pearl's eight SEC game suspension was announced at Thompson-Boling Arena. Hamilton said he doesn’t know at this time if Bruce Pearl will be the men’s basketball coach next season during a radio interview on Wednesday, March 16, 2011.

Photo by Lauren Spuhler

UT Basketball Head Coach Bruce Pearl, center, and UT Athletic Director Mike Hamilton, right, address the media on Friday, Nov. 19 during a press conference where Pearl's eight SEC game suspension was announced at Thompson-Boling Arena. Hamilton said he doesn’t know at this time if Bruce Pearl will be the men’s basketball coach next season during a radio interview on Wednesday, March 16, 2011.

March 17, 2011: Mike Hamilton apologizes to Bruce Pearl

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton apologized to Vols men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl for untimely remarks he made about the uncertainty of Pearl's future with the program.

Two sources, who asked to remain anonymous because of UT's ongoing evaluation of Pearl, said the first contact from Hamilton to Pearl took place via phone before the team arrived in Charlotte for its opening game in the NCAA tournament on Friday.

March 29, 2011: Erik Ainge opens up about ongoing battle with drug addiction

Former Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge, now a backup with the New York Jets, opened up about his ongoing battle with drug and alcohol addiction in an interview with ESPNNewYork.com, which published Ainge’s testimonial Tuesday.

Erik Ainge in 2011.

Photo by Matthew Muise, ESPNNewYork.com

Erik Ainge in 2011.

Though he admitted to being a drug user since the age of 12, Ainge wrote that he became hooked on painkillers and was an “addict” during his senior season with the Vols. He ran through the prescriptions so quickly, Ainge wrote, that the team doctor had no other choice but to stop giving them to him.

APRIL

April 9, 2011: A secret no more: Fulmer confirms Manning twins

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, right, and his wife Ashley walk through the Booksellers Area as they arrive for the State Dinner in honor of Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, Monday, May 7, 2007, at the White House in Washington.

Photo by Haraz N. Ghanbari/Associated Press

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, right, and his wife Ashley walk through the Booksellers Area as they arrive for the State Dinner in honor of Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, Monday, May 7, 2007, at the White House in Washington.

Former University of Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning and his wife, Ashley, are the parents of twins - a boy and a girl - born March 31 near Indianapolis. They are the first children for the Mannings. According to the website RadarOnline, the couple's son is named Marshall Williams Manning and the daughter is Mosley Thompson Manning.

April 16, 2011: Josh Richardson, a 6-foot-5 guard, commits to Vols

Josh Richardson said he likes everything about the University of Tennessee so much that he has issued a verbal commitment to sign with the Vols. Richardson is a 6-foot-5, 185-pound combo guard in the Class of 2011 from Santa Fe High School in Edmond, Okla.

April 18, 2011: UT donors lashed out at university administrators in run-up to Bruce Pearl's firing

A six-figure University of Tennessee donor called the school’s chancellor an “attack gator” because of his ties to the University of Florida and another called its athletic director “self-serving” and “inept.”

Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl walks off the court after his team lost 75-45 to Michigan during the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. Friday, March 18, 2011.  Pearl was fired Monday.

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl walks off the court after his team lost 75-45 to Michigan during the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. Friday, March 18, 2011. Pearl was fired Monday.

Those comments were among more than a dozen email messages received by university administrators from high-level donors that contained name-calling and threats to pull donations in the run-up to the March 21 firing of former men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl over NCAA rules violations.

April 27, 2011: Report: Major tornado damage near Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa

A strong series of storms that have battered the South for most of Tuesday and Wednesday spun off a tornado in downtown Tuscaloosa, Alabama, close to the University of Alabama's Bryant Denny Stadium.

MAY

May 2, 2011: Tennessee offers combo guard Quinton Chievous

Tennessee has offered a basketball scholarship to Quinton Chievous, a Class of 2011 combo guard from Notre Dame High School in Niles, Ill. Chievous, 6-foot-5, is the son of Missouri all-time scoring leader and 1988 first-round NBA draft pick Derrick Chievous.

May 12, 2011: Former UT football player Aaron Douglas found dead

Former Maryville High School and University of Tennessee football standout Aaron Douglas was found dead Thursday morning in Florida at the age of 21.

Friends and family gather outside the Cokesbury Center of Cokesbury United Methodist Church after a Celebration of Life service held for Aaron Douglas on Sunday, May 15, 2011.

Photo by Saul Young

Friends and family gather outside the Cokesbury Center of Cokesbury United Methodist Church after a Celebration of Life service held for Aaron Douglas on Sunday, May 15, 2011.

According to a report from the Fernandina Beach (Fla.) Police Department, officers responded to a call of a deceased male at 8:13 a.m., a man who was later identified as Douglas. The cause of death is pending examination.

May 16, 2011: Hundreds mourn former UT football player Aaron Douglas

Some 2,000 people gathered Sunday to celebrate the life of former Maryville High School and University of Tennessee football standout Aaron Douglas.

May 25, 2011: Offensive lineman Kevin Revis to transfer

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, reserve offensive lineman Kevin Revis is transferring after two seasons in the program with the Vols.

JUNE

June 2, 2011: Signee Eddrick Loften not enrolled at Tennessee

After not showing up in the directory of active students yet again when UT reported for the first session of summer school on Thursday, Eddrick Loften confirmed in a message to the News Sentinel that he’s not yet been granted eligibility by the NCAA Clearinghouse. But he reiterated that he has the requisite test scores and is eying enrollment with the program for the second session of summer.

June 7, 2011: Mike Hamilton out as athletic director

Mike Hamilton announces his resignation as Athletics Director for the University of Tennessee

KNOXVILLE - Noting he'd faced "challenges and frustrations in the last 18 months," Athletic Director Mike Hamilton announced his departure from the University of Tennessee effective June 30.

As he leaves, Hamilton stands to gain $1.335 million over the next 36 months as part of a separation agreement. The document includes the terms of his behavior going forward, including fines if he is critical of UT, and also includes bonuses for department successes and an allotment of UT athletic tickets for life.

"I need to close this chapter of my life and move on."

Mike Hamilton

June 15, 2011: Eric Berry says he had no involvement with porn party

Eric Berry

AP Photo

Eric Berry

Eric Berry’s name was linked Wednesday to a Miami porn party that potentially breached the NFL’s infringement policy, and the former Tennessee star isn’t happy about it.

June 20, 2011: Rae Sykes no longer a Vol 'at this time'

Tennessee’s already-thin group of players on the defensive line got one player smaller over the weekend. Senior Rae Sykes, who went through the junior college route out of Alcoa to land a scholarship with the Vols, is not with the team “at this time” because of academic reasons, UT spokesman Jimmy Stanton confirmed Monday.

June 28, 2011: Medical examiner: Aaron Douglas died of an accidental drug overdose

Former Tennessee and Maryville High School standout Aaron Douglas died of an accidental drug overdose last month, according to a report released Tuesday by the Duval County (Fla.) medical examiner.

David Oku

Photo by Knox County Sheriff's Office

David Oku

JULY

July 5, 2011: Ex-Vol David Oku arrested on domestic assault charge

Former Tennessee running back David Oku, who left the team shortly after the 2010 season, was arrested Monday in Knoxville on domestic assault charges. Bond was set at $1,000 and Oku spent 12 hours in jail before he was released early this morning, according to the Knox County Sheriff's 24-hour arrest list.

July 14, 2011: SEC coaches don't show love to Vols

The preseason all-conference teams as voted on by the coaches around the league were officially released Thursday morning, and the Vols had the fewest representatives on the lists of any team in the SEC with two.

Former Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin, now at Southern California, enters a hearing by the NCAA's infractions committee in Indianapolis, Saturday, June 11, 2011.

Photo by AJ Mast/Associated Press

Former Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin, now at Southern California, enters a hearing by the NCAA's infractions committee in Indianapolis, Saturday, June 11, 2011.

July 22, 2011: Tennessee self-imposes 2 years of probation for NCAA violations

The University of Tennessee self-imposed two years of probation on its athletic department after it submitted its response to the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations on May 20, according to documents obtained Friday by the News Sentinel through a public records request.

July 29, 2011: West kicker George Bullock commits to Tennessee

George Bullock didn't need scholarship offers galore. He had eyes for just two schools: Navy and Tennessee. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound kicker from West High School received an offer from Navy in late June. On Friday it was UT's turn and Bullock committed.

July 31, 2011: Unheralded names could figure big for Vols

They might already be starters waiting to emerge as all-conference performers or they might simply be trying to win a job. But either way, when the Vols begin sorting through the roster after reporting today for the first practice of fall camp on Tuesday, these four players could potentially help swing the momentum when the season starts.

Vols safety Janzen Jackson talks after practice at Haslam Field on Monday, Aug. 8

AUGUST

Aug. 8, 2011: Janzen Jackson opens up on absence

In his first public comments since the Music City Bowl, Janzen Jackson declined on Monday to offer specifics about the personal problems that led to his withdrawal from UT in the spring and created lingering questions about his status with the team throughout the offseason. But while keeping most of the details about his absence private, Jackson did open up about his relationship with coach Derek Dooley and the difficulty on the road back to the Vols, also offering up his gratitude for the people who stood by him during the long process as well.

Aug. 14, 2011: CB Kenneth Crawley becomes Vols' 14th commitment for 2012 class

After attending Tennessee's camp last month, Kenneth Crawley admitted the Vols were at the top of his list among the dozens of college teams pursuing him.

Pat Summitt is diagnosed with early onset dementia

Aug. 23, 2011: Pat Summitt diagnosed with early onset dementia

For such a strong figure, Pat Summitt was feeling almost helpless. Months of erratic behavior had left the Tennessee women’s basketball coach bewildered, scared and asking herself “What’s wrong with me?”

Summitt went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in May. She underwent a series of tests and received a stunning answer. The diagnosis was early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type.

"There's not going to be any pity party and I'’ll make sure of that."

Pat Summitt, Tennessee women's basketball coach

Aug. 29, 2011: Freshman Pat Martin will transfer; safety 'dealing with a personal issue'

A freshman many fellow 2011 signees said helped convince them to commit to Tennessee is looking to leave the program before playing a single game. Safety Pat Martin, a Greenville, S.C., native, is seeking to transfer, coach Derek Dooley said Monday.

SEPTEMBER

Sept. 5, 2011: Dave Hart named Tennessee athletic director

Dave Hart, the University of Alabama's executive director of athletics, has accepted Tennessee's offer Monday to become the school's new vice chancellor of athletics.

The 62-year-old Hart, considered by many as the No. 2 to Crimson Tide athletic director Mal Moore, has been at Alabama since 2008. He spent the bulk of his career as the athletic director at Florida State (1995-2007).

Sept. 14, 2011: Kirk Herbstreit interested in implications of UT-Florida game

So much for the notion that Tennessee's football rivalry with Florida has lost its luster. ESPN college analyst Kirk Herbstreit added to the hype surrounding Saturday's game, saying this season's matchup in Gainesville could have SEC championship game implications.

Derek Dooley on Justin Hunter's injury and the impact on the team

Sept. 19, 2011: Vols forming a committee to replace Justin Hunter

Derek Dooley didn’t sugarcoat the loss of Justin Hunter on Monday in his first public comments since the star receiver’s season was officially ended by torn anterior and medial cruciate ligaments, and the Vols coach made clear his attack would look different moving forward.

Former UT basketball players Tobias Harris, Dane Bradshaw, Steven Pearl and daughter Jackie Pearl, left to right, listen as former University of Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl addresses members of the media in a press conference at his home in Knoxville on Thursday to comment on the punishment he received from the NCAA.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Former UT basketball players Tobias Harris, Dane Bradshaw, Steven Pearl and daughter Jackie Pearl, left to right, listen as former University of Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl addresses members of the media in a press conference at his home in Knoxville on Thursday to comment on the punishment he received from the NCAA.

Sept. 28, 2011: Bruce Pearl's 'business decisions' upset former assistants

It’s not the Hatfields and the McCoys; it’s the former Tennessee men’s basketball coaching staff embroiled in a family feud of sorts. Animosity has grown since the June 11 NCAA hearing in Indianapolis, when former Vols coach Bruce Pearl and his assistant coaches — Tony Jones, Jason Shay and Steve Forbes — pleaded their cases before the Committee on Infractions.

OCTOBER

Oct. 9, 2011: Tyler Bray's injury compounds loss

With little going right offensively as the Vols tried to establish themselves as a threat in the conference race, bad seemed to get worse late in the fourth quarter as Tyler Bray's throwing hand found the helmet of a Georgia defender and sent him to the sideline. UT added a score while he was receiving medical attention, but it wasn't enough to crawl back in a 20-12 loss on Saturday night at Neyland Stadium.

Derek Dooley: The physics of football

Oct. 18, 2011: Snap decision: Alex Bullard poised to replace James Stone at center

The ball has already been back in the hands of Matt Simms for a game after an injury moved him into the starting lineup again. Now some shaky snaps have forced another change, and it appears Alex Bullard will be the new guy in charge of delivering them for the Vols as they prepare for another stiff test from No. 2 Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday (TV: ESPN2, 7:15 p.m.).

Oct. 26, 2011: Spurrier on Tennessee, playing at Rocky Top and Justin Worley

Steve Spurrier talks about his upcoming matchup at Rocky Top in this video from TheBigSpur.com.

Tennessee place kicker Derrick Brodus (26) kicks a field goal to take the score to 24-0 just before halftime during the game against MTSU at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011.  (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2011

Tennessee place kicker Derrick Brodus (26) kicks a field goal to take the score to 24-0 just before halftime during the game against MTSU at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

NOVEMBER

Nov. 6, 2011: Derrick Brodus springs from couch, answers call for a kicker

It was an hour before kickoff Saturday night at Neyland Stadium and Tennessee coach Derek Dooley was out of kickers. Literally. Naturally, he called Fraternity Row.

Nov. 9, 2011: Former coaches believe Alabama still better than LSU

The final score was LSU 9, Alabama 6, and the polls show the Tigers as the No. 1 team in the nation. But some of the members of the Scripps Legend Poll made it clear on Monday they aren't convinced the better team won Saturday night's No. 1 versus No. 2 showdown in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Game recap: Tennessee 27, Vanderbilt 21

Nov. 20, 2011: SEC coordinator of officials: Crew blew call twice in Vols victory

For Tennessee to survive a blown call at the end of Saturday's 27-21 victory over Vanderbilt, the officiating crew made it right by bypassing proper protocol.

Nov. 26, 2011: Tauren Poole: 'No one wanted to be out there'

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Tauren Poole, ice pack wrapped around his left hand, chose his words carefully, but powerfully after Tennessee's crushing, 10-7 loss to Kentucky.

The senior running back's college career was over, but his focus centered on how the Vols approached a game that could have extended it for another month.

DECEMBER

Dec. 2, 2011: Derek Dooley: Da'Rick Rogers 'still a part of our football team'

Despite widespread reports of pending discipline for star sophomore Da'Rick Rogers, including multiple sources within UT confirming the possibility to the News Sentinel, the program shot them down on Friday evening.

Dec. 6, 2011: Jay Graham: 'I'm excited to get back to my old stomping grounds'

Once a part of the rich tradition in the Vols’ backfield as a player, Jay Graham is coming back to the program to try to restore some of the luster as an assistant, leaving South Carolina to return to his alma mater as the running backs coach in a move formally announced on Tuesday.

Dave Hart

Photo by Wade Payne, AP2011

Dave Hart

Dec. 15, 2011: Dave Hart: Vols' loss, and way they lost, to Kentucky 'unacceptable'

Dave Hart considers himself to be "competitive to a fault." That's one of the reasons why the Tennessee vice chancellor of athletics didn't think it'd be appropriate to speak with Derek Dooley or offer the coach a public vote of confidence after the Vols' season-ending loss to Kentucky, the program's first since 1984.

"Nobody was more upset than the guy you are looking at."

Dave Hart on Kentucky loss

Dec. 22, 2011: Jarnell Stokes picks Vols says 'I’m going to be pushing to play'

Jarnell Stokes’ roller-coaster senior season officially ended Thursday when he completed the schoolwork that allowed him to graduate early. Next stop: Knoxville. Stokes, the would-be Southwind High School basketball standout, announced his decision to play for Tennessee on Thursday during a press conference at a Collierville restaurant.

Dec. 28, 2011: WR DeAnthony Arnett seeking release from scholarship

Tennessee wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett, who compiled the second-most receptions by a freshman in program history this past season, has asked for a release from his scholarship. "Due to personal family reasons, I've decided to leave Tennessee," Arnett told SpartanTailgate, part of 247Sports, on Wednesday night.

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Comments » 6

TNORANGEDOGDAD writes:

Not a lot of real good news this year in Vol land all in a nutshell. Hopefully this new year will be a lot better for us.

SummittsCourt writes:

Come on 2012!!!!

Lets Go Vols and Lady Vols!

wigmeister writes:

Looking forward to 2012!

CrankE writes:

Well, at least we've got that Mayan calendar apocalypse scheduled for next year.

Ayres_Hall writes:

Only the bad news is reported as popular. Lazy journalism if journalism, at all. Sad because my alma mater is known for it's Journalism school.

dvhill100 writes:

Well, it hopefully will be better next year. The bar isn't set very high, so if it isn't, we are in real trouble.

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