Tennessee running back Marlin Lane remains “suspended from all team activities,” coach Butch Jones said Wednesday, but he seemed optimistic that Lane would return.
Jones said Lane had “criteria” he needed to fulfill before he would be allowed to return, but that the junior from Daytona Beach, Fla., was “absolutely on the path” to meeting those criteria.
Jones spoke to reporters Wednesday on the SEC spring teleconference.
Lane, who rushed for 658 yards last year, missed the final five practices of the spring, including last Saturday’s Orange & White Game.
In his absence, backup running back Alden Hill rushed for more than 100 yards in the spring game.
“(Hill) quietly kept getting better bringing consistency every day,” Jones said on the conference call.
On league-wide issues, Jones said he had no opinion about the possibility of adding a ninth game to the SEC schedule.
“There are arguments for both,” he said. “I’ve been so consumed with our football program that I really haven’t thought much about it.”
Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him on Twitter.