Montori Hughes no longer part of football team

Tennesse defensive tackle Montori Hughes leaves the field after the loss to 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.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennesse defensive tackle Montori Hughes leaves the field after the loss to 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.

Montori Hughes arrived as a raw product with untapped potential.

He's leaving Tennessee in almost the same state.

A lightly recruited but physically impressive defensive tackle out of Murfreesboro, the 6-foot-4, 327-pound Hughes arrived in 2009 and looked like a potential stalwart in the middle of the line for the Vols in the future. But that flickering possibility was definitively extinguished on Thursday when UT confirmed he was no longer part of the program without an official reason provided by coach Derek Dooley.

Hughes has had issues related to his academics over his two seasons with the Vols, problems that led to a suspension for the regular-season finale last year against Kentucky and another "violation of team rules" that kept him out of the first two practices of spring camp in March. Off the field, Hughes was also present during the brawl at Bar Knoxville in July of last year and retained a lawyer, though charges were never brought against him.

But regardless of the circumstances, moving forward without one of its biggest tackles will be another challenge for a UT defense already short on depth in the middle.

Hughes left spring practice as a backup on the two-deep behind converted offensive lineman Daniel Hood and talented junior-college transfer Maurice Couch is also expected to play a prominent role up front, so the Vols aren't losing a player expected to be a factor in the starting lineup. But despite dealing with injuries throughout his sophomore campaign, Hughes did post 37 tackles with a sack and 5.5 takedowns for a loss during his two seasons with UT, which can still use as many large, productive bodies as it can find.

"I do (think it's big), because we're so thin and unproductive at defensive tackle," Dooley said after suspending Hughes before the Kentucky game last fall. "Anybody we lose there, it hurts the team - there's no question.

"But we have an academic accountability system that they understand and they know the consequences. I've told them, it's the same old line that everybody can do what they want. Everybody has freedom of choice, but nobody has freedom of consequence and at some point, you can't play."

Hughes reached that point again Thursday, but he won't be getting another chance to play at UT this time.

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

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Comments » 103

Orangeblood13 writes:

kids these days just dont understand
promising but thrown away

10CVOL writes:

Big time loss......not talent wise but depth wise...we are so depleted and small at DT.

lomas98 writes:

Another player gone from the 09 recruiting class. Combining the players gone from Lane's class and the players no longer here and quality of class from the 08, it is almost like we were on probation for 2 years. We essentially have 2 years worth of players missing from the team.

tree_em_smokey writes:

Let the attrition begin. This time of the year is bitter sweet as we're about to begin summer practice, qualifying signees are arriving, some get into trouble and injuries begin to sideline players, some for the whole year.

I'm hoping for less season injuries, better attitudes, better work ethic and an all around better football team, which I think we will be!

Montori I hope you find what your looking for and thanks for being a vol! GBO!!!

bUTchVFL writes:

in response to lomas98:

Another player gone from the 09 recruiting class. Combining the players gone from Lane's class and the players no longer here and quality of class from the 08, it is almost like we were on probation for 2 years. We essentially have 2 years worth of players missing from the team.

He was one of Fulmers last recruits in the '08 class. Redshirted his first year. Was one of this risky recruits that wasn't highly rated but had "lots of potential". Too bad it didn't work out.

RockyToptoNeyland writes:

f$%#

FearTheVols1252 writes:

Why does it always seem you continue to get hit in areas you're already struggling with?!? Last year it was Oline and Dline. This year, Dline and linebacker. Sheeesh!

kazoo writes:

Ultimately, you can't do anything about dumb kids--and unfortunately quite a number of them make their way into major athletics programs.

Bloodrunzorange writes:

Too bad. Not a real "football" loss. He was a no show last year. I wish MH the best. GBO!

Ayres_Hall writes:

No one should be surprised. This kid never grew up. Too bad. I hope he find his way, soon. What a waste of athletic talent.

lomas98 writes:

in response to bUTchVFL:

He was one of Fulmers last recruits in the '08 class. Redshirted his first year. Was one of this risky recruits that wasn't highly rated but had "lots of potential". Too bad it didn't work out.

You are correct, he was in 08. My point is both of those years are the reasons why we are talent depleted. Losing a DT, an already thin position, hurts us bad this year. Fall practice hasn't started yet and we lost 2 lineman for the season last year during that time. We cannot afford to lose any players due to injury or leaving the team.

Volunatic writes:

Good luck to him. I hope he doesn't end up as a star for bama or SoCal, though.

FWBVol writes:

I think this is a prime example of why CDD is looking for quality kids as well as kids that are good football players. From all indications Hughes was given every opportunity to correct his mistakes, but was unable to do so. Yes, it will hurt the team, but the real loser in all of this is Hughes, who has squandered a chance to get a step up in life.

tmartin writes:

Hamilton cant leave quick enough

Chris4Vols22 writes:

All of you guys flaming Hughes are really acting like you know what's going on with him.

wildmed writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

No one should be surprised. This kid never grew up. Too bad. I hope he find his way, soon. What a waste of athletic talent.

This is a good synopsis of Hughes' career with the Vols - lots of potential with no real delivery. Maybe a talented coach at the D-II level can coax some production out of him. Maybe not...

ReVolver writes:

Gotta love the morons still piling on Hamilton in this post.

volman444 writes:

waste waste waste. he was a reach and it didn't work out.

40cap writes:

in response to Volunatic:

Good luck to him. I hope he doesn't end up as a star for bama or SoCal, though.

He won't be a star for anyone, had every opportunity here to excel, even when he wasn't performing, due to lack of depth. Either has no "want to" or no talent. He's an airport All-american, looks great getting off the plane, but can't(or won't) play.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

The 2008 class only had 18 recruits and was ranked 35th. We have lost 6 players from that class which probably makes it the 50th ranked class, maybe worse. Those thinking we can recruit like Boise and compete in the SEC need to read between the lines. If we played in the WAC, we would compete for BCS bowls with our current roster. If Boise played in the SEC WEEK IN AND WEEK OUT, they would get stomped. I'm not talking about 1 tough game annually like they do now. I'm talking about the weekly grind in the SEC.

volinlouisiana writes:

Where are the trolls, saying Dooley won't discipline his players now? Def. couldn't afford to lose another DT.

volsnationalchamps writes:

Hate to hear this, more for him. Hopefully he stays out of trouble and catches on at a smaller school. Probably another UT guy going to UTC. Whereever he goes good luck to you. Can't blame Dooley for this, he gave the guy a few chances. Bad position to lose obviously, he and Lathers on a front 7 that is thin hurts even worse. GO VOLS!!!

Pullingguard writes:

in response to ReVolver:

Gotta love the morons still piling on Hamilton in this post.

Glad u said that, for there are surely lot of those M on this web site...they show their colors every day..rain or shine..

TommyJack writes:

in response to tmartin:

Hamilton cant leave quick enough

The hayel does Hamilton have to do with it?

RashaadSalabeb writes:

Dang....hopefully this will somehow result in a positive outcome.

Go Vols!

us43137415#376444 writes:

What really bothers me is the fact that all of the posters to this particular forum, have not addressed the single, most important thing in this young man's failure.

His grades.

One poster, "kazoo" even calls him a "dumb kid."

That particular post, and all the other posts, prove that you all are not fans of the UT athletic program. It proves how insensitive you are, to any young athlete's future. All you think about is SCORE, SCORE, SCORE. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Getting an education is the reason ANYBODY should want to go to college. If he or she gets to achieve athletically, that's a side benefit. All you care about about, is how thin we're going to be on the O line, the D line, etc. And I'm sure, I'll hear the excuse: "if he's successfully athletically, he can pay somebody to do his thinking for him."

True fans of the UT athletic program are those fans that are concerned that young men and women excell in the classroom. And I'm not talking about graduation rates. I'm talking about this young man and the posters in this forum specifically. This particular person has failed academically, and obviously nobody cares.

Athletic competition only helps you do one thing. Physically beat the opponent standing right in front of you. Scholastic competition helps you do several things, including balancing the checkbook that athletic competition brings you.

Football players don't play football all of their adult lives. Most of them don't play it a fourth of their adult lives.

If a young collegiate athlete fails to get the education to make it in the world, going to college has failed him.

And you have failed him as a fan by not encouraging it.

CoverOrange writes:

Not a good week for you if your initials are M and H at U of T.

jimr07 writes:

in response to tmartin:

Hamilton cant leave quick enough

What does Hamilton have to do with this?

lomas98 writes:

in response to us43137415#376444:

What really bothers me is the fact that all of the posters to this particular forum, have not addressed the single, most important thing in this young man's failure.

His grades.

One poster, "kazoo" even calls him a "dumb kid."

That particular post, and all the other posts, prove that you all are not fans of the UT athletic program. It proves how insensitive you are, to any young athlete's future. All you think about is SCORE, SCORE, SCORE. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Getting an education is the reason ANYBODY should want to go to college. If he or she gets to achieve athletically, that's a side benefit. All you care about about, is how thin we're going to be on the O line, the D line, etc. And I'm sure, I'll hear the excuse: "if he's successfully athletically, he can pay somebody to do his thinking for him."

True fans of the UT athletic program are those fans that are concerned that young men and women excell in the classroom. And I'm not talking about graduation rates. I'm talking about this young man and the posters in this forum specifically. This particular person has failed academically, and obviously nobody cares.

Athletic competition only helps you do one thing. Physically beat the opponent standing right in front of you. Scholastic competition helps you do several things, including balancing the checkbook that athletic competition brings you.

Football players don't play football all of their adult lives. Most of them don't play it a fourth of their adult lives.

If a young collegiate athlete fails to get the education to make it in the world, going to college has failed him.

And you have failed him as a fan by not encouraging it.

You are entitled to your opinion, but I would guess 99% of all college sports fans do not agree with you. I care about how these kids do in school but do not drive hours and spend all kinds of money to watch them take their chemistry exam. You need to get out of your shell and back to reality. Articles are not written on this site or in the sports pages on these kids grades.

BreweryVol writes:

in response to Volunatic:

Good luck to him. I hope he doesn't end up as a star for bama or SoCal, though.

Because he was at spring practice he would have to sit out a year and would only be available in 2012.

Orange_Juiced writes:

Hey us(andabunchofnumbers), have you ever played organized sport at any level? There is much learned there...especially in football. Discipline, teamwork, critical thinking and analysis, and perserverance to name a few. These things are vital in life as well and go along with academics.

So your comment that "Athletic competition only helps you do one thing. Physically beat the opponent standing right in front of you" is completely wrong...and I am sure there are a great number of athletes that will agree with me and say that athletic competition taught them how to compete in life.

While I agree with you on the value of a scholastic education...don't discount the education that athletics can provide...particularly at the secondary and collegiate levels. The work ethic a young man learns on the gridiron is every bit as beneficial as what he learns in the classroom. The classroom may determine to what level you enter into society, but knowing how to work is what makes you a success.

So if I get enjoyment out of watching student athletes compete...and if I expect them to do well and "beat the tar" out of their opponent...then I don't see how I am failing them. I also want them to do well in the classroom, not only so they can succeed in life...but also so they can continue to excel on the football field. What's wrong with having a two pronged approach to becoming a success.

GODDESS writes:

in response to kazoo:

Ultimately, you can't do anything about dumb kids--and unfortunately quite a number of them make their way into major athletics programs.

Unfortunately you are right on the nose with your comment. Too many of these kids are recruited on athletic ability alone and they are just unable or totally unwilling to perform on the academic side. It's sad that this behavior is encouraged by the Powers That Be and the fans.

GreerVol22 writes:

in response to us43137415#376444:

What really bothers me is the fact that all of the posters to this particular forum, have not addressed the single, most important thing in this young man's failure.

His grades.

One poster, "kazoo" even calls him a "dumb kid."

That particular post, and all the other posts, prove that you all are not fans of the UT athletic program. It proves how insensitive you are, to any young athlete's future. All you think about is SCORE, SCORE, SCORE. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Getting an education is the reason ANYBODY should want to go to college. If he or she gets to achieve athletically, that's a side benefit. All you care about about, is how thin we're going to be on the O line, the D line, etc. And I'm sure, I'll hear the excuse: "if he's successfully athletically, he can pay somebody to do his thinking for him."

True fans of the UT athletic program are those fans that are concerned that young men and women excell in the classroom. And I'm not talking about graduation rates. I'm talking about this young man and the posters in this forum specifically. This particular person has failed academically, and obviously nobody cares.

Athletic competition only helps you do one thing. Physically beat the opponent standing right in front of you. Scholastic competition helps you do several things, including balancing the checkbook that athletic competition brings you.

Football players don't play football all of their adult lives. Most of them don't play it a fourth of their adult lives.

If a young collegiate athlete fails to get the education to make it in the world, going to college has failed him.

And you have failed him as a fan by not encouraging it.

enough of your liberal phooey. "The system failed him" is complete BS. Any 8th grader can make C's and D's in college without even going to high school, ask any educator on the planet. This guy has been told he was God's gift since he hit 6 feet tall and has had people fall all over him in HS to get him to this level. At some point, despite all the late night tutors provided by the athletic department, and the strenuous curriculum of the "Sports Management" field, he has to want to do something for himself. No sir the system didn't fail him, he failed all on his own.

easleychuck writes:

in response to tmartin:

Hamilton cant leave quick enough

Dumbest post of the thread.

Orange_Juiced writes:

in response to GreerVol22:

enough of your liberal phooey. "The system failed him" is complete BS. Any 8th grader can make C's and D's in college without even going to high school, ask any educator on the planet. This guy has been told he was God's gift since he hit 6 feet tall and has had people fall all over him in HS to get him to this level. At some point, despite all the late night tutors provided by the athletic department, and the strenuous curriculum of the "Sports Management" field, he has to want to do something for himself. No sir the system didn't fail him, he failed all on his own.

+1

Beaver writes:

A1A - where are you from? You didn't misspell a single word and actually made sense.

easleychuck writes:

Did you not see that this is Mike Hamilton's fault?

Seriously, Montori has thrown away the opportunity to make a good life for him and his future family. A football player from UT with a college degree can go far in life. The road is most likely about to get much more difficult.

I wish him the best but this is a sad waste of potential.

WillyJoe writes:

Was this one of the one's involved the the Bar Knoxville beating of an off-duty cop? I can't remember which ones those were.

us43137415#376444 writes:

in response to lomas98:

You are entitled to your opinion, but I would guess 99% of all college sports fans do not agree with you. I care about how these kids do in school but do not drive hours and spend all kinds of money to watch them take their chemistry exam. You need to get out of your shell and back to reality. Articles are not written on this site or in the sports pages on these kids grades.

Agreed. Reality is a shell.

Point made.

Unfortunately, most people agree with you, and that's the problem with your 99% of college sports fans.

As much as I disagree with Steve Spurrier, I think he's probably right.

Take these guys out of the university system. Stop giving them free room and board (they are my athletic financial contributions anyway).

Instead, take his idea further and let the major league teams pay them (NOT the NCAA), and make what used to be college sports a minor league system. That way, their allegience can be to the major league club who drafted them. And they won't take up space in class that someone else can be using.

But despite your observation.. an athlete's being in school in the first place, is still an educational commitment, thank goodness.

BTW.. not buying your "driving several hours to watch them take chemistry tests" point.

If your kid graduates from UT with a PhD in chemistry, you'll be right there on the interstate "driving to watch him take a chemistry test" in the form of a well-earned diploma.

I won't stop reading these forums. Every poster on them is auditioning for Jay Leno's, Jimmy Kimmel's, or David Letterman's writing staffs, and I want to see who gets the job.

Volunatic writes:

us43137415#376444-- Do you write a tome like that on the articles that discuss UT players who DO graduate?

vols1979 writes:

in response to us43137415#376444:

What really bothers me is the fact that all of the posters to this particular forum, have not addressed the single, most important thing in this young man's failure.

His grades.

One poster, "kazoo" even calls him a "dumb kid."

That particular post, and all the other posts, prove that you all are not fans of the UT athletic program. It proves how insensitive you are, to any young athlete's future. All you think about is SCORE, SCORE, SCORE. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Getting an education is the reason ANYBODY should want to go to college. If he or she gets to achieve athletically, that's a side benefit. All you care about about, is how thin we're going to be on the O line, the D line, etc. And I'm sure, I'll hear the excuse: "if he's successfully athletically, he can pay somebody to do his thinking for him."

True fans of the UT athletic program are those fans that are concerned that young men and women excell in the classroom. And I'm not talking about graduation rates. I'm talking about this young man and the posters in this forum specifically. This particular person has failed academically, and obviously nobody cares.

Athletic competition only helps you do one thing. Physically beat the opponent standing right in front of you. Scholastic competition helps you do several things, including balancing the checkbook that athletic competition brings you.

Football players don't play football all of their adult lives. Most of them don't play it a fourth of their adult lives.

If a young collegiate athlete fails to get the education to make it in the world, going to college has failed him.

And you have failed him as a fan by not encouraging it.

For the most part, I agree; but if you are going to be in the SEC and spend $100 million plus a year on intercollegiate athletics, you have to win. If you don't win, you will not have $100 million to spend on intercollegiate athletics.

Gonzo4Cuonzo writes:

When you've been on the cusp of academic probation for going on two years and STILL bring a pillow to your classes to sleep, it's inevitable that you will fail.

I don't know how hard he worked in practice, but he was a very nice but LAZY guy.

easleychuck writes:

in response to us43137415#376444:

What really bothers me is the fact that all of the posters to this particular forum, have not addressed the single, most important thing in this young man's failure.

His grades.

One poster, "kazoo" even calls him a "dumb kid."

That particular post, and all the other posts, prove that you all are not fans of the UT athletic program. It proves how insensitive you are, to any young athlete's future. All you think about is SCORE, SCORE, SCORE. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Getting an education is the reason ANYBODY should want to go to college. If he or she gets to achieve athletically, that's a side benefit. All you care about about, is how thin we're going to be on the O line, the D line, etc. And I'm sure, I'll hear the excuse: "if he's successfully athletically, he can pay somebody to do his thinking for him."

True fans of the UT athletic program are those fans that are concerned that young men and women excell in the classroom. And I'm not talking about graduation rates. I'm talking about this young man and the posters in this forum specifically. This particular person has failed academically, and obviously nobody cares.

Athletic competition only helps you do one thing. Physically beat the opponent standing right in front of you. Scholastic competition helps you do several things, including balancing the checkbook that athletic competition brings you.

Football players don't play football all of their adult lives. Most of them don't play it a fourth of their adult lives.

If a young collegiate athlete fails to get the education to make it in the world, going to college has failed him.

And you have failed him as a fan by not encouraging it.

Understand where you are heading but "going to college has failed him" is really about as wrong a statement that can be made about a situation where an athlete is dismissed due to poor grades.

These guys and gals have all the support in the world to succeed in the classroom. Unfortunately, MH let himself down by taking advantage of the opportunity that he was given to receive an education. He was also, by all accounts, given several chances to get it right.

If you wish to say that he was not prepared to be a college student then that is a totally different argument.

factor writes:

Just another NFL wannabe who was not in school for the right reasons. I suspect that there are even players who know they will never play at the next level but are too immature and lazy to go to work. Playing a child's game is more "fun" and strokes their ego. These players are treated like children, having almost everything handed to them and done for them except that dreadful thing called studying and test taking. (supposedly) I'd rather see a "student-athlete" than a "dummy-athlete" take up these scholarships. If you're not here for an education/degree you are here for the wrong reasons and stealing a chance for an education from someone else.

easleychuck writes:

in response to easleychuck:

Understand where you are heading but "going to college has failed him" is really about as wrong a statement that can be made about a situation where an athlete is dismissed due to poor grades.

These guys and gals have all the support in the world to succeed in the classroom. Unfortunately, MH let himself down by taking advantage of the opportunity that he was given to receive an education. He was also, by all accounts, given several chances to get it right.

If you wish to say that he was not prepared to be a college student then that is a totally different argument.

by NOT taking advantage of the opportunity that he was given.......

Orange_Juiced writes:

in response to Beaver:

A1A - where are you from? You didn't misspell a single word and actually made sense.

Well now releasing that kind of info depends on whether you're a guy or a gal...

OrangeinCarolina2 writes:

in response to kazoo:

Ultimately, you can't do anything about dumb kids--and unfortunately quite a number of them make their way into major athletics programs.

If you work fulltime, how about enrolling in college with a full load for a semester. Email with your GPA after finals. It takes a tremendous amount of work and dedication to play a sport and carry a full load. It takes time mgmt. skills that many folks do not possess. I'm sorry Montori didn't make it. We could have used his talents. I wish him the best and hope he is successful in whatever he does. (I'm not saying that 'dumb' kids are not in college sports but when one fails academically it is not automatic that they are dumb. It's just a huge challenge.) GO VOLS!

us43137415#376444 writes:

Forget it. Never mind.

The struggles of athletes vs. academics continues. Thought I could provoke some meaningful discussion about it, but not HERE.

Go back to your "it's all about sports and the W-L column."

I'm outta here.

VolNExile writes:

I'm curious --those who automatically assume that he's dumb: have any of you, or your kids, or kids you know failed to graduate due to not getting your/ their butt to class on a regular basis?

This certainly isn't limited to athletes. Check out the graduation rate for all freshmen, not just athletes. It's mostly immaturity, maybe a few other things as well. But I think that programs can be structured in such a way as to avoid a lot of this.

For instance, Lady Vols bball players are not only required to attend every single class, they have to sit in the front row. (Sorry, don't know what the football program requires; it might well be the same.) I was in a management class one summer, and Kara Lawson was there, every single day, front row, notebook out, scribbling away.

Even if you're not particularly motivated academically, this sort of requirement is bound to improve the odds that you keep up the "student" as well as the "athlete" part.

govols2104 writes:

in response to us43137415#376444:

What really bothers me is the fact that all of the posters to this particular forum, have not addressed the single, most important thing in this young man's failure.

His grades.

One poster, "kazoo" even calls him a "dumb kid."

That particular post, and all the other posts, prove that you all are not fans of the UT athletic program. It proves how insensitive you are, to any young athlete's future. All you think about is SCORE, SCORE, SCORE. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Getting an education is the reason ANYBODY should want to go to college. If he or she gets to achieve athletically, that's a side benefit. All you care about about, is how thin we're going to be on the O line, the D line, etc. And I'm sure, I'll hear the excuse: "if he's successfully athletically, he can pay somebody to do his thinking for him."

True fans of the UT athletic program are those fans that are concerned that young men and women excell in the classroom. And I'm not talking about graduation rates. I'm talking about this young man and the posters in this forum specifically. This particular person has failed academically, and obviously nobody cares.

Athletic competition only helps you do one thing. Physically beat the opponent standing right in front of you. Scholastic competition helps you do several things, including balancing the checkbook that athletic competition brings you.

Football players don't play football all of their adult lives. Most of them don't play it a fourth of their adult lives.

If a young collegiate athlete fails to get the education to make it in the world, going to college has failed him.

And you have failed him as a fan by not encouraging it.

It's almost amazing to me how ignorant YOU are. I am a UT student and while I go to UT because it is one of the top schools in the country, I also go because of football. Without athletics UT would not have the students it has, it would be much smaller. And why would I want to go to a school where you lose every Saturday? Winning is important to everyone who loves the vols. And most football players, if they are any good, will go on to make much more money than anyone who graduated with a 4.0. Football players at UT also have unlimited resources to tutors and most professors are willing to help as well. SO you can't say that the fans have failed him bc they care about how well the football team does, he failed himself by not taking the opportunity to do better. And for the record athletic competition does a lot more than beat your opponent. Winning brings boosters who give to the school where the team they love plays. It brings money to the town and winning gets you to a bowl game which also = $$$ for the school. I think you need to reevaluate.

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