Tennessee freshman defensive lineman Omari Phillips has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules, coach Derek Dooley said Tuesday.
Phillips, who has not been seen in practice or games for at least several weeks, was previously said to be sitting out in order to focus on academics.
“He’s not with the team right now,” Dooley told GoVols247. “Omari’s sort of in a position in his life where things didn’t go his way, and he’s got to determine how to work his way out of it the right way, no matter where you are, and he’s not there yet.”
Phillips originally signed with Florida but was not admitted to the school. He signed with the Vols in July. The 6-foot-6, 325-pound defensive tackle from Venice, Fla., was ranked a four-star prospect by every major recruiting service.
He has played in only one game this season, and there were signs that he was displeased, especially Twitter.
He tweeted last week: “having regrets and knowing that your first decision was the best decision is probably the hardest thing to deal with #FLORIDA.”
He also tweeted that “every team in Florida” was playing freshmen and “shoutout to all the #truefreshman ballin on da field.”
When someone responded with a taunt about his weight, Phillips replied that he had dropped 42 pounds and was now under 300.
Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.