Bray, court reach agreement on boating case

University of Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray leaves Loudon County General Sessions after answering charges stemming from a July 4 personal watercraft incident Wednesday in Lenoir City. Bray agreed to either make three public appearances at schools where he will promote boater safety or make a public service television commercial. He also lost his boat-driving rights for a year, must take a boating training course and pay court costs. (J. MILES CARY/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by J. Miles Cary

University of Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray leaves Loudon County General Sessions after answering charges stemming from a July 4 personal watercraft incident Wednesday in Lenoir City. Bray agreed to either make three public appearances at schools where he will promote boater safety or make a public service television commercial. He also lost his boat-driving rights for a year, must take a boating training course and pay court costs. (J. MILES CARY/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tyler Bray

Photo by Linda Stelter,The Birmingham News

Tyler Bray

Dewayne Williams

Photo by J. Miles Cary

Dewayne Williams

LENOIR CITY — Tyler Bray's day in court lasted some two minutes Wednesday afternoon.

But the Tennessee quarterback exited with an agreement that will allow him to avoid prosecution and possible convictions for misdemeanor boating offenses.

Bray, 20, was nabbed on the 4th of July in the main channel of Tellico Lake.

He and a female companion were "hot-dogging," an officer said, riding a personal watercraft and "almost playing chicken" with another couple on another watercraft.

When the other couple's watercraft wiped out, Bray piloted his Yamaha watercraft too close to them, spraying them as they swam back to their watercraft, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Officer Dewayne Williams said. "He (Bray) was almost on top of them."

"It could have been very, very dangerous very quickly," said Williams, who said he watched the incident from about 100 feet away in his marked TWRA patrol boat.

"It happened directly in front of me," Williams said. "That's what I couldn't believe."

Boating regulations state watercraft are to stay 100 feet away from one another, he said.

"He (Bray) was putting their lives in danger," Williams said. He said the swimmers, who were never identified, mounted their watercraft and sped off as he detained Bray and his companion.

Before Bray's brief appearance in Loudon County General Sessions Court, the TWRA officer met with Loudon County District Attorney General Russell Johnson, who then conferred with Bray's retained attorney, Brian Nichols of Loudon, to hammer out an agreement.

The DA and Nichols quietly explained those terms to Loudon County General Sessions Court Judge Rex Dale at his courtroom bench while Bray listened.

Dressed all in black, Bray left that huddle, declined to answer questions, walked past journalists and cameras and quickly departed the Loudon County Justice Center.

According to the agreement, Bray:

Will have his boat-driving privileges suspended for a year, give boater safety talks to three area schools and pay court costs on the Class A misdemeanor charge of reckless operation of a watercraft.

Will attend two, three-hour boating certification classes — after football season — to obtain the required certification, and pay court costs.

If Bray complies with those guidelines, the citations against him will be dismissed when there is a status report on the cases Feb. 13, 2013.

TWRA officials are mulling an option in the agreement. The agency is willing to drop the safety talks if Bray can instead make a boater safety public service announcement. Johnson said officials would have to check if NCAA guidelines will permit such announcements.

Williams said the reckless boating charge is a Class A misdemeanor and could have carried up to a $2,500 fine and six months in jail.

No alcohol was involved in the incident, Williams said, and he described Bray as "polite and very cooperative."

The TWRA officer also said he didn't recognize Bray.

The registration of the watercraft Bray was piloting isn't on file with TWRA, Williams said, but the sticker on the watercraft showed it was registered.

Ownership is still to be determined, he said.

Nichols said he was retained to represent Bray, but he wouldn't say who hired him.

Williams said he "gives a lot of citations" for boating violations involving personal watercrafts.

Last month, Bray was linked to a vandalism investigation stemming from incidents at his apartment complex. Bray agreed to pay for damages to a vehicle that was pelted by beer bottles and golf balls.

A second individual who believed her car was damaged in retaliation for reporting the original vandalism declined to pursue the matter after the Landings Riverfront Apartments said it would cover her costs. Knoxville police said no charges would be pursued against Bray in either case.

Last week, Bray described the vandalism as a "real stupid decision" that represented a "step back" in his goal of being a team leader. Bray said that he had had to fulfill unspecified disciplinary measures by coach Derek Dooley before beginning practice.

Dooley was not scheduled to meet with reporters after practice Wednesday and has not commented on the citations Bray received July 4.

A native of Kingsburg, Calif., Bray passed for 1,983 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2011.

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Comments » 14

V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO writes:

Meanwhile, back at Haslam field, Bray continues to improve his passing prowess in preparation of an embarrassing dismantling of the NC State PuppyPack.

vol64 writes:

Never heard of this Brayby incident. The kid still has a lot of growing up to do. Checked my ical to see if i was in a time warp and it was April 1st.

grout writes:

I hope Bray passes for 3,500-4,000 yds and 30 TDs declares for the draft and leaves before he severly hurts or kills someone.

BigVolinCarolina writes:

Bray is running out of chances--perhaps not in reality, but at least in terms of perception.

We all know that if his name wasn't Tyler Bray that this wouldn't have made the news; however, he's got to start showing more discernment and realize that his every move is in the public eye. All for second chances, even third chances. But, he's not giving me a lot of confidence about his decision-making.

Dooley is in a tough spot on this particular situation.

VFL_Troll_Patrol writes:

I didn't hear of this little incident until now. I wish he would just get his act together! Stop this nonsense and play ball! Im very disappointed in Bray for his lack of maturity off the field but on the field he has made me proud. I will say this. If I had been out on the water on the 4th with friends, I too would have been a little reckless but not in a way of putting someone in danger. Plus i wouldn't have even thought about what the laws were in the water. I would have been caught up in the moment having fun. Thats what I think happened to Bray. Unlike me though, he is a starting QB for a team who needs him so In turn I have to say I hope he learns from all this. Its over with now. Move on and Lets just go out there and win for gods sake!!

*Im always watching*
*Shock the world*

Shock the world dubstep mix http://www.youtube.com/user/BudrayJef...

VFL_Troll_Patrol writes:

in response to VFL_Troll_Patrol:

I didn't hear of this little incident until now. I wish he would just get his act together! Stop this nonsense and play ball! Im very disappointed in Bray for his lack of maturity off the field but on the field he has made me proud. I will say this. If I had been out on the water on the 4th with friends, I too would have been a little reckless but not in a way of putting someone in danger. Plus i wouldn't have even thought about what the laws were in the water. I would have been caught up in the moment having fun. Thats what I think happened to Bray. Unlike me though, he is a starting QB for a team who needs him so In turn I have to say I hope he learns from all this. Its over with now. Move on and Lets just go out there and win for gods sake!!

*Im always watching*
*Shock the world*

Shock the world dubstep mix http://www.youtube.com/user/BudrayJef...

(FIX) "I too would have been a little reckless but not in a way of putting someone in danger."

Let me rephrase that:
I too would have been caught up in the moment having fun. Might have been a little reckless but only to myself. I would put anyone else in danger.

lablover56 writes:

Come on. If you spend any time at the lake you see this all the time. This has been way out of proportion!

VFL_Troll_Patrol writes:

in response to VFL_Troll_Patrol:

(FIX) "I too would have been a little reckless but not in a way of putting someone in danger."

Let me rephrase that:
I too would have been caught up in the moment having fun. Might have been a little reckless but only to myself. I would put anyone else in danger.

*Wouldn't* Put others in danger. ha, sorry. now Im starting to sound like some of the editors.

brauhuff#295403 (Inactive) writes:

I hope they can win enough games to keep Dooley around for another couple of years which I believe he deserves a third and fourth year but I sure would be looking for a top notch quarterback with some maturity if I were Derek Dooley

Odonata writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

H_I_McDonough (Inactive) writes:

OK Folks. The smart people have decided. Tyler Bray is NOT the braintrust of the Big Orange, but he's a good QB, just needs to grow up some. But as for jetski-gate, when I was 20 I was on a jetski with a hot chick spraying my friends. It's called "living life while you can!" Seriously, colege (UT '90)was the greatest time of my life!
I blame the Sentinel for weak and questionable judgment in publishing this pointless article long after the fact. I've often heard that these people have an agenda against UT Football? Well, it certainly seems they always come up with some kind of distraction this time of year. With or without merit. And then never apologizing when they're caught embellishing or even fabricating a story. I miss the Knox Journal.
ENOUGH. LETS TALK FOOTBALL!
22 days till the NCState game. Be aware, folks, this is a very good football team, who would love to knock off a big SEC name. (remember Clemson??) And you all know how well we play in the GA Dome. But hey, their QB only rides a canoe.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Wasn't there. Always skeptical with law enforcement citations. I am a believer that most are just to bring in money. That said I also am skeptical of any kid's discretionary actions when having fun. I guess I can't blame the court for the judgements or the officer for doing his job. But none of this has anything to do with whether Bray is a good person or not...Or whether he can lead a football team or not.

I hope Bray doesn't go out boating this year. It then would be a huge cause for concern. I also hope he doesn't practice his target throwing with beer bottles again as well?

I'm STILL very excited about Bray being back at the helm and the upcoming season. I suspect Worley is gonna be great as well. We can only hope all goes well and the media leaves them alone.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to BigVolinCarolina:

Bray is running out of chances--perhaps not in reality, but at least in terms of perception.

We all know that if his name wasn't Tyler Bray that this wouldn't have made the news; however, he's got to start showing more discernment and realize that his every move is in the public eye. All for second chances, even third chances. But, he's not giving me a lot of confidence about his decision-making.

Dooley is in a tough spot on this particular situation.

Bray's fine. Trolls aren't.

SouthPaVol writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

Wasn't there. Always skeptical with law enforcement citations. I am a believer that most are just to bring in money. That said I also am skeptical of any kid's discretionary actions when having fun. I guess I can't blame the court for the judgements or the officer for doing his job. But none of this has anything to do with whether Bray is a good person or not...Or whether he can lead a football team or not.

I hope Bray doesn't go out boating this year. It then would be a huge cause for concern. I also hope he doesn't practice his target throwing with beer bottles again as well?

I'm STILL very excited about Bray being back at the helm and the upcoming season. I suspect Worley is gonna be great as well. We can only hope all goes well and the media leaves them alone.

Worley is from mid-Carolinas and a model citizen. Haven't heard any poop on him, and doubt we will. Bray will have a stellar year with this premium crop of receivers, forgo his senior and declare for the draft. Worley will have two strong years, then comes either of two in our QB stable or the prime-time 2013 QB recruit coming in. Whether Dooley and Chaney win is TBD, but whether they can recruit talent is proven.

my left-handed comment: What troubled me was 1) who retained the lawyer, and 2) who owned the jet ski? Last thing we need are more NCAA investigations. Let's play football!

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