All-SEC receiver Da’Rick Rogers’ career at Tennessee is likely finished, coach Derek Dooley said this morning.
Rogers, a junior from Calhoun, Ga., was suspended for an undisclosed violation of team rules and Dooley said “our expectation is” Rogers won’t return to the program.
Dooley said he informed Rogers of the suspension on Wednesday and told the rest of the team before practice today.
“There’s not one player on the team that we’re not prepared to go play without,” Dooley said.
Rogers led the SEC with 67 receptions and 1,040 receiving yards last year. He was a consensus first-team preseason All-SEC selection and was expected to be an important part of the Vols’ passing attack.
Without offering details on Rogers’ suspension, Dooley said “recent events” led to his decision.
Dooley said the behavior of “18- to 22-year-olds” is his “No. 1 professional hazard” in coaching. Rogers has given him more headaches than most.
Shortly after signing with Tennessee as a five-star prospect, Rogers was arrested after a fight at a Knoxville bar in 2010.
This year, Rogers received a two-week ban from offseason activities and then missed some of spring practice amid rumors that he planned to transfer.
But he made it to August and had a solid camp, according to coaches.
Senior tight end Mychal Rivera said he planned to reach out to Rogers through a text message. But most teammates were cautious in what they said to reporters.
“We’ve got a mature group,” said quarterback Tyler Bray. “We’ll be fine.”
Running back Rajion Neal said he planned to “stay out of the Internet, blogs and things like that” in the coming days.
Tennessee opens the season Aug. 31 against North Carolina State at the Georgia Dome.