Rae Sykes no longer a Vol 'at this time'

Academic issues cited

Tennessee defensive tackle Rae Sykes, center, locks up with Alabama Birmingham offensive lineman Darion Smith, right, at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010.

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee defensive tackle Rae Sykes, center, locks up with Alabama Birmingham offensive lineman Darion Smith, right, at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010.

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.

The sparsely used defensive tackle played in eight games last season and picked up three tackles. He was not listed on the Vols’ two-deep depth chart coming out of spring practice.

The Vols now have two less defensive tackles than they had at the end of spring. Montori Hughes, listed as a backup on the post-spring depth chart, was kicked off the team because of academic reasons earlier in the month.

A three-time All-State selection at Alcoa, Sykes originally signed with the Vols in 2007, but failed to qualify. He spent two seasons at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College before signing with UT again in 2009.

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 » 80

orangeman1 writes:

At least we arent losing anyone from the 2 deep rotation so it shouldnt have a big impact. Why these players cant go to class and make the grades is beyond me. Or maybe he just got behind on a bill.

ncvol17 writes:

c'mon kid get a clue b4 you fall through the worm hole of life.

HtownVol writes:

I just hope that CDD's recruits will take everything that comes with being a Vol more seriously. It does not take a genius to keep a 2.5 (CDD may expect a little higher). There are plenty of benifits for players to take advantage of yet every week we see another UT player leaving the team due to not putting forth the effort.
Hughes was Fulmers and Sykes was daddys boys (in 09) if I am correct, so I hope CDD can keep the players he signs.

Some of these kids will never know how lucky they are until they lose it all. Apparently Sykes didnt learn the first time, or he just is not college material.

How long before CantStandVandyFan gets on here attempting to convince us that Vandy players never fail to qualify and that Vandy football will win more than 2 games and that Vandy basketball will not fall apart again.

GO VOLS!

givehim6 writes:

But if he studys and passes a test or two he is a Vol agine right?

VolinVirginia writes:

Be careful: don't just assume he wasn't going to class. He may or may not have, but he could have a severe learning disability, or had off-the-field issues (death in the family, etc.) that consumed his time. This article didn't really tell us anything other than it was "for academic reasons."

Seems a little odd that someone who went to junior college and worked his way back to UT did it without making at least some effort.

Best wishes, Rae Sykes: I hope you find your path in life.

BigBadVol writes:

Another idiot. CDD is definitely doing things the right way. I will bet we don't see this happening with his recruits.

HtownVol writes:

At least the O-Line has made a major improvement from 10 months ago, now ranked as the 5th best in the SEC.
http://espn.go.com/blog/sec/post/_/id...

And they also have Malik Jackson ranked as the 2nd best DT in the SEC. If that holds true that usually equals a 1st round draft pick (M Darius,N Fairly 2011).

GO VOLS!

DERELICK_MY_VOLS writes:

Studying is for suckers!

AC_84 writes:

8 games and only 3 tackles i dnt see much good coming from him.

GreerVol22 writes:

in response to VolinVirginia:

Be careful: don't just assume he wasn't going to class. He may or may not have, but he could have a severe learning disability, or had off-the-field issues (death in the family, etc.) that consumed his time. This article didn't really tell us anything other than it was "for academic reasons."

Seems a little odd that someone who went to junior college and worked his way back to UT did it without making at least some effort.

Best wishes, Rae Sykes: I hope you find your path in life.

go hug a tree or something. You can't fix stupid.

LJS1984 writes:

FINE WITH ME! Dooley is just weeding out many of the guys that Fulmer was counting on towards the end of his career (and more recently Kiffin). These are the types of problem players that Dooley is trying to avoid. Fulmer was counting on them towards the end of his career and many of them have shown that they have no accountability. Just another example of why we are so depleted accross the board.

PHAT_VOL writes:

in response to DERELICK_MY_VOLS:

Studying is for suckers!

Naw Studin's fa Sukkas!!
Main

dvols writes:

in response to simmsagain:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I concur, Coach Rankin does nothing to develop talent to the college level.....remember JUICY!

Kelly8 writes:

in response to simmsagain:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We're 0 for Blount County if you count Aaron Douglas (or Fulmer for that matter). Although Aaron Douglas spent most of his childhood off of Bluegrass Road in the Bearden High School district, and then mysteriously moved to Maryville when it was time for high school ball.

LJS1984 writes:

in response to Kelly8:

We're 0 for Blount County if you count Aaron Douglas (or Fulmer for that matter). Although Aaron Douglas spent most of his childhood off of Bluegrass Road in the Bearden High School district, and then mysteriously moved to Maryville when it was time for high school ball.

Not sure about Maryville, but Alcoa which is also in Blount County allows students from other school districts to pay $500 to attend school there. So from what I understand there are a lot of kids not from the Alcoa area that attend school there. Also, according to the article below 40% of all male students attending Alcoa High School play on the football team. Interesting read below from the Chattanooga Times Free Press none the less.

http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/20...

OrangeDew writes:

in response to Kelly8:

We're 0 for Blount County if you count Aaron Douglas (or Fulmer for that matter). Although Aaron Douglas spent most of his childhood off of Bluegrass Road in the Bearden High School district, and then mysteriously moved to Maryville when it was time for high school ball.

Aha...the ol' Maryville is recruiting conspiracy theory. They would never do that.

rivieravol writes:

Fulmer gets Rae Sykes and loses Randall Cobb to Kentucky. And some people want him as AD? Ha

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Best of luck, young man.

It can be a rough world out there at times.

VolinVirginia writes:

in response to GreerVol22:

go hug a tree or something. You can't fix stupid.

Wow: I wish him the best, hoping that he finds his path in life, and that comment was the best you had?

That post says more about you than it does about me......

clvolfan writes:

in response to ncvol17:

c'mon kid get a clue b4 you fall through the worm hole of life.

That's right,remember Nu'Keese?

orangeman1 writes:

in response to rivieravol:

Fulmer gets Rae Sykes and loses Randall Cobb to Kentucky. And some people want him as AD? Ha

Fulmer seemed to have a way of keeping alot of players with academic troubles on the team. Not to start the whole Fulmer debate again, but losing a player to Ky and recruiting a player that couldnt make it academically isnt some great indicator at how good a coach he was or how good an AD he would make. Dooley had his share of troubles already out of his recruits and a couple of players that were ineligible also. Actually 20% his first recruiting class didnt qualify. Its just part of recruiting. If coaches dont go after athletes that arent academically sound then they will miss out on some good players. Sometimes it gives the kid a great opportunity and they take advantage. Other times they dont have their priorities in order and they cant make it. But it is definately common for all coaches so its time to move on from the downing Fulmer. It really makes people sound bitter for a coach that did so much the university and its the 3rd season without him.

tmartin writes:

We're a little short of bodies to be worrying about academics at this point. Just find some classes/teachers that will pass them.

pingkr62 writes:

I know this is off the subject, but can someone enlighten me as to why Chuck Smith was asked to leave?

volhome writes:

Rae, as harsh as some of these comments have been remember there is one underlying theme. You are in a relatively unique position to be able to play collegiate football and have the university pay for your education. Kid themselves though they may, most college football players will not play at a professional level. Just like most high school players will not play at a collegiate level. This is your chance to step back and decide if you want to come out of college with a degree, or not. If you do, suck it up, take the abuse, and do it. Otherwise take the risk of falling on the heap of failed good high school athletes that couldn't make the cut.

Here we will pray that you focus on the former instead of the latter. You can do it. Just go prove it.

TheOpinion writes:

Remember Dustin Lindsey? Brandon Warren? Now this kid? The only good kid that came out of Alcoa went to Kentucky because Fulmer was too cocky. He did that to a lot of local players. He expected them to walk on unless they had other major school offers. When he realized Kentucky was really after Cobb is when he offered, which was really late in the recruiting process. Cobb said thanks but no thanks because you've wanted me to be a walk on to this point so I'm going where I've been wanted all along.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to LJS1984:

FINE WITH ME! Dooley is just weeding out many of the guys that Fulmer was counting on towards the end of his career (and more recently Kiffin). These are the types of problem players that Dooley is trying to avoid. Fulmer was counting on them towards the end of his career and many of them have shown that they have no accountability. Just another example of why we are so depleted accross the board.

The main reason we are so depleted is because of having 3 coaches in 3 years. They've had no stability which makes it tougher for the ones already struggling. I hope Dooley can win championships without taking chances on guys with academic issues, but he's already had his share so I think its just part of recruiting and Dooley wont be much different than most coaches if he wants to compete in the SEC. This will be the 3rd year without Fulmer so its time to move on and accept that this is Dooley's team now and these guys are his responsibility.

LJS1984 writes:

in response to pingkr62:

I know this is off the subject, but can someone enlighten me as to why Chuck Smith was asked to leave?

He didn't get along with Justin Wilcox. From what I understand it was either Chuck Smith was let go or Wilcox was going to leave for the same position at Texas. Rumor has it that Smith and Wilcox butted heads big time and almost came to blows during a meeting. Texas went after Wilcox hard and the only reason I understand he stayed at Tennessee was because Dooley parted ways with Chuck Smith.

redskin71 writes:

I do believe that some of the comments on this sight has racial overtones...If I were a black recruit.I would think twice before coming to Tennessee after reading what some of the so called fans are writing...just saying and GBO!!

LJS1984 writes:

in response to orangeman1:

The main reason we are so depleted is because of having 3 coaches in 3 years. They've had no stability which makes it tougher for the ones already struggling. I hope Dooley can win championships without taking chances on guys with academic issues, but he's already had his share so I think its just part of recruiting and Dooley wont be much different than most coaches if he wants to compete in the SEC. This will be the 3rd year without Fulmer so its time to move on and accept that this is Dooley's team now and these guys are his responsibility.

From what I've seen so far, Dooley has been able to channel enough talent from his depleted roster to be competitive. People get upset with the three star players he's recruiting, but a guy named Frank Beamer about 200 miles up the road never has top 25 recruiting classes and seems to do just fine. So you can recruit quality individuals and turn them into quality football players in my book if you know how to coach.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to LJS1984:

He didn't get along with Justin Wilcox. From what I understand it was either Chuck Smith was let go or Wilcox was going to leave for the same position at Texas. Rumor has it that Smith and Wilcox butted heads big time and almost came to blows during a meeting. Texas went after Wilcox hard and the only reason I understand he stayed at Tennessee was because Dooley parted ways with Chuck Smith.

Thanks!

redskin71 writes:

Folks, let's give Dooley a chance,he's a great coach and come from a great football family and not to mention he worked along side one of the SEC's most beloved. I believe he's got the ship moving in the right direction...steady as she goes coach Dooley...land..ho Volunteers.

VOLliven2it writes:

This is not about Dooley, Fulmer, Chuck Smith or Wilcox. It's about a guy who is not making it academically. That is important and will always be. It is also about our losing another body who might have played up and made a difference. Now we will never know that. So we move on and believe we will have a good team and a good season. All former coaches are now gone. On the contrary, this is not all yet Dooley's boys but it is his team.

wally writes:

I hope he's able to get it together and rejoin the team. I'd like him to be a VFL.

OrangePride writes:

One thing that I believe Dooley is really set on is signing players who he believes will be both athletic and academic winners. I believe we will have fewer and fewer of these stories as we move on. I hate to see any young man lose his opportunity due to academic issues, but it was shakey to begin with and looks like it hasn't improved. I think we will find replacements in the incoming class. They will have to learn fast! GO VOLS!

redskin71 writes:

in response to VOLliven2it:

This is not about Dooley, Fulmer, Chuck Smith or Wilcox. It's about a guy who is not making it academically. That is important and will always be. It is also about our losing another body who might have played up and made a difference. Now we will never know that. So we move on and believe we will have a good team and a good season. All former coaches are now gone. On the contrary, this is not all yet Dooley's boys but it is his team.

Right on my friend,I do believe the team will go on however it's growing more and more thin every week it seems, as a fan one can only hope, as a die hard fan one can only pray,I hope and I pray for our Vols,but lets also pray that Ray Sykes find his way in life whether it's football or other exploits. Go Vols

GreerVol22 writes:

in response to VolinVirginia:

Wow: I wish him the best, hoping that he finds his path in life, and that comment was the best you had?

That post says more about you than it does about me......

I doubt it.

BigVolFaninSC writes:

in response to redskin71:

Right on my friend,I do believe the team will go on however it's growing more and more thin every week it seems, as a fan one can only hope, as a die hard fan one can only pray,I hope and I pray for our Vols,but lets also pray that Ray Sykes find his way in life whether it's football or other exploits. Go Vols

The headline suggests that he might still have a chance to come back, so let's hope that whatever the problem is that he can work it out and get back in good standing!

orangeman1 writes:

in response to VOLliven2it:

This is not about Dooley, Fulmer, Chuck Smith or Wilcox. It's about a guy who is not making it academically. That is important and will always be. It is also about our losing another body who might have played up and made a difference. Now we will never know that. So we move on and believe we will have a good team and a good season. All former coaches are now gone. On the contrary, this is not all yet Dooley's boys but it is his team.

Just make sure you understand when I said these are Dooley's guys now. Dooley is the one in charge now and regardless of who recruited them, he is the one that sets the rules now. Maybe he is stricter on academics and thats why some players quit, but I still think Dooley will take chances on academically challenged players to compete. He has done so already, but there is nothing wrong with that if they have character to go along with it. I do hope he can get the arrests down and also attrition of players. Luckily these were 3rd string players, and maybe thats had a part in them not applying themselves. Maybe they couldnt deal with 2-3 different coaches styles and the instability, but whatever the reason I hope these guys move on to where the can do some good. Dooley will bring winning back if given time I believe, I just hope its real soon.

kthoma14 writes:

in response to GreerVol22:

go hug a tree or something. You can't fix stupid.

Your comments prove your point.

tovolny writes:

I detect lots of people writing stuff about things they know nothing about. Why bother?

VolinCalif writes:

in response to ncvol17:

c'mon kid get a clue b4 you fall through the worm hole of life.

No it isn't beyond you. Many players never got the basics when they first started to school and with good ath. skills they never had to correct that problem. You've been there and you know that you really have to develop study skills and that is very true at the college level. Even with all the tutors available it is still very hard to go back and bring a guy up from a third grade reading and spelling level. The sad part is that some of those guys have to get past their cockiness before they realize their true position. I'm not saying all players are in that position but there are many and not just at UT.

VolNExile writes:

Too many athletes get a free pass all the way through high school, and they never really learn to work. C'mon people, did you fall out of your mother knowing how to hustle and focus and work? I'll bet that somewhere along the way, someone got in your face and told you what it takes to succeed in life, and whipped your butt until you did it. What if that had never happened to you?

We don't know why Rae Sykes didn't make it. Maybe massive LD, maybe lack of discipline, maybe something else. He did make it through JUCO; it's not like he completely flaked out.

Take some of this energy and direct it to our local public school systems and AAU sports teams and local boosters. Get these kids ready to make it in college.

VolNExile writes:

in response to redskin71:

I do believe that some of the comments on this sight has racial overtones...If I were a black recruit.I would think twice before coming to Tennessee after reading what some of the so called fans are writing...just saying and GBO!!

No kidding, huh? lots of assumptions being posted.

VolinVirginia writes:

in response to GreerVol22:

I doubt it.

Wow: is that a surprise?

OwensboroVol writes:

This really bothers me. These young men need someone to sit them down and explain to them just how important their education is. No matter how talented you are, sooner or later, you are not going to be able to play the sport anby longer and will need a means to earn a living. I know the coaches pound this into their heads, but I think they need someone much closer to them to do so. I really hurt everytime I read of a athlete who has left the game and is having a very difficult time earning a living. Instead of worrying about Bruce's BBQ maybe the NCAA needs to be concentrating on things like this.

BobKesling_is_overpaid writes:

in response to redskin71:

I do believe that some of the comments on this sight has racial overtones...If I were a black recruit.I would think twice before coming to Tennessee after reading what some of the so called fans are writing...just saying and GBO!!

Your screen name offends injuns..I mean Indians...oops I mean native americans

gvegasvol writes:

in response to PHAT_VOL:

Naw Studin's fa Sukkas!!
Main

That's funny!

jdcdjc writes:

in response to AC_84:

8 games and only 3 tackles i dnt see much good coming from him.

Agree!! He won't be missed.

Go4Two writes:

in response to orangeman1:

Fulmer seemed to have a way of keeping alot of players with academic troubles on the team. Not to start the whole Fulmer debate again, but losing a player to Ky and recruiting a player that couldnt make it academically isnt some great indicator at how good a coach he was or how good an AD he would make. Dooley had his share of troubles already out of his recruits and a couple of players that were ineligible also. Actually 20% his first recruiting class didnt qualify. Its just part of recruiting. If coaches dont go after athletes that arent academically sound then they will miss out on some good players. Sometimes it gives the kid a great opportunity and they take advantage. Other times they dont have their priorities in order and they cant make it. But it is definately common for all coaches so its time to move on from the downing Fulmer. It really makes people sound bitter for a coach that did so much the university and its the 3rd season without him.

Great job blame Fulmer every program has these issues

utvolfan writes:

in response to tmartin:

We're a little short of bodies to be worrying about academics at this point. Just find some classes/teachers that will pass them.

Just a reminder: UT is an academic institution, not a pro franchise. The players are STUDENT-athletes. And NCAA now requires that students take (and pass) courses that count toward their degrees. They also have to be in sections that don't interfere with their fairly restrictive athletic schedule (and they get priority registration so they can get in those classes). They have LOTS of assistance available through the Thornton Center and other support services to help them meet their academic requirements while dealing with athletic responsibilities and personal life issues.

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