Jabo Lee's coach upset with Tennessee

Jabo Lee

Jabo Lee

When Tennessee parted ways with signee Jabo Lee last week, the South Carolina running back told a local newspaper “everything was good.’’

Lee also said via Twitter, “all respect to Tennessee.’’

His high school coach isn’t quite as conciliatory about the way things worked out.

Jackie Hayes, coach at Dillon High School in Dillon, S.C., said Monday he was “upset” at the way UT handled Lee.

“I think they just left him out to dry,’’ Hayes said.

Lee flipped his commitment from East Carolina to Tennessee right before signing day in February, responding to a late push spearheaded by running backs coach Jay Graham.

Shortly after signing day, Graham left for Florida State and was replaced by Robert Gillespie.

Lee, a three-star prospect, lacked the standardized test score to qualify. Through the spring and into summer, the assumption was that he would not be admitted to school. He is not listed in UT’s 2013 media guide.

In June, however, Lee made the test score on his last try, Hayes said.

Then, last week, Lee revealed he would be attending a four-year school, but it wouldn’t be UT.

That school will be Temple, Hayes said.

Dillon assistant coach Kelvin Roller was upset enough to contact the News Sentinel on Monday. Roller said the Vols were casting Lee aside because they had recruited other prospects for the class of 2014.

Hayes agreed.

“I don’t think this is a good way of doing business,’’ Hayes said. “They told him the whole time all he had to do is make the test score.

“Last Wednesday they called him and said he can’t get through admissions. He graduated from high school in December. They’ve had his transcript since January. Looks like they’d know whether he could get through admissions.’’

UT released Lee from his Letter of Intent, which means he can be put on scholarship at Temple.

Coach Butch Jones and a Tennessee spokesman both declined to comment about Lee’s situation.

Hayes said that in May, Lee was on UT’s campus and it was discovered he had a torn anterior cruciate ligament that would require surgery and, thus, a redshirt season. It’s not clear if the ACL dated to Lee’s knee injury in the opening game of his senior season or had occurred since then.

“I think what happened,’’ Hayes said, “is they got some (higher rated) recruits for 2014.’’

Hayes said the only person he had heard from at UT was an administrator in the football office.

“Don’t you think it would be better,’’ Hayes said, “if the head coach or running backs coach called me up and said, ‘We’ve got a problem here?’ ”

Hayes did appreciate UT helping Lee find a new school.

“To give credit where it’s due, somebody at Tennessee knew somebody up there and called Temple,’’ Hayes said. “Jabo’s (originally) from up in New Jersey so maybe it’s a good fit.’’

Hayes, however, questioned whether any of his prospects would be a good fit at UT. The Vols have already offered Dillon’s Class of 2016 quarterback, Avery McCall, according to Hayes and several recruiting services.

“There wouldn’t be no use for (Tennessee recruiters) to come back to Dillon,’’ Hayes said.

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Comments » 74

Volz4life writes:

Also, they forgot to mention that they did not disclose Lee had a torn ACL (another one). Among other issues. With our current academic troubles already, probably would be a good idea to take a chance on him anyway. IMO. Wish him luck though

Volz4life writes:

Whoops, yeah it did.. Not sure how I missed that part

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Well, Jabo is smallish in size and would be a good receiver out of the spread option (scat back) attack, but, he's no bruiser or Einstein either.

pingkr62 writes:

I'm sure none of us know the whole story, and probably never will. G.B.O.!!!

volndawgville writes:

The parting comments by Lee's HS coach are another instance of what's wrong in the world of recruiting. Sometimes coaches and 'handlers' wedge their way in to hold too much influence by acting as a gatekeeper in the recruiting process.

keepitreal4vols writes:

Ok Dillon coach, deny your future players the opportunity to play D1 football because of your own selfish reasons. UT found Jabo a 4 year home, more than you did for him.

PeeDee writes:

I wonder if Coach Hayes would allow East Carolina back in on his players. After all, Mr. Lee ditched them at the alter for UT.

Ironcity writes:

Guys I get what the coach is saying. It does stink but it is what it is. The kid is damaged goods right now and UT cannot afford that at this critical juncture. Add to it the grade issues and our need to score really high and a tough decision have to be made. The kid is going to get a wonderful education and Temple is a program that is on the rise so I wish the kid well. I do understand where the coach is coming from and for the most part agree with his thoughts but at the end of the day UT did the kid a big favor and protected the program. Thats what a good administrator does.

govols26 writes:

Wow apparently Hayes views himself pretty highly in the grand scheme of things. Too bad he said UT shouldn't come recruit there because he surely wouldn't want his students and their families to make their own decisions on what's best for themselves. Lee wouldn't have gotten much playing time here since he would be out this season so they found him a place where he can excel- dude needs to get over it. I think Jabo is showing more maturity than his coach.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor just like saying Jabo. Witch Doctor say other than that Witch Doctor never got to know you so..Goodbye and Good luck Jabo..
Bones never lie.

volcycle writes:

Is there a story here?

Recap....university recruits player, player doesn't readily qualify, university recruits others players as insurance of said player not making it, player finally makes the grade, too late to ditch other players recruited.....yes, there is a story,

If you're a high school athlete, don't fart around with your grades. They really are important!!!

jbocap writes:

This Coach Hayes is quoted that he "thinks"...that's not the same as actually knowing. He was contacted by UT, but not the head coach...really? Sounds like Coach Hayes is crying over spilled milk and not getting his ego fed.

He hasn't spoken to the coaches and does NOT have the facts, but he will talk to reporters, who now a days, dont care to report facts.

Nuff said on Jabo Lee, lets move on!

OwensboroVol writes:

in response to Volz4life:

Also, they forgot to mention that they did not disclose Lee had a torn ACL (another one). Among other issues. With our current academic troubles already, probably would be a good idea to take a chance on him anyway. IMO. Wish him luck though

I wonder how long his HS Coaches knew about the ACL and didn't bother picking the phone up and saying "We've got a problem here"? If The Tennessee Coaches had known about the ACL how hard do you think they would have recruited Jabo? Obviously, East Carolina was unaware of it also.

bigsteve92 writes:

It A Business. You Can't SIt AroundAnd Maybe Wait And See IfThey Qualify. Schools Dont Go Blasting Young Men For Changing Their Minds The Last Minute Or On Signing Day. You Dont TelL Jobs Lets Wait And See If I Passed My Third Drug Test. If ThE Coach Is That Mad About It Maybe He Should Make Sure In The Future He Hrlp His Player Do Better In School AnD The Test By Focusing On Grades More As Wellalso Prep Sessions. When I Was In Hs Going Into The Recruiying Process My Coaches Help In Getting People Help For Studying For Act. It Happens Sometimes You Dont Meet The Time Frame To Get That oppertunith

VolzsFan writes:

The beginning of the end.

Snapshot writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

The beginning of the end.

Of what, you?

claiborneh writes:

Coach High School Harry Hayes believes he decides who which prospective schools can talk to the players. What an over zealous moron.

CroKev writes:

Jaba the Hut and now Jabo the Owl.

Anyways, I think all of this could have been cleared up with a 10-minute phone call from the RB Coach rather than an administrator. If they were just straight up and told the coach what he already knew - torn ACL, Hurd, Paulk, et al. are coming in, we've contacted Temple on your behalf and agree to release Jabo from his LOI, etc., we probably wouldn't be reading this article. It's still not too late to do just that so that no future bridges are burned.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

It seems to me that if the kid had done better and worked harder as a student then the problem would only have been his health... UT could probably not have held up his entranced based on that.

This is good for future recruits to know. Get your high cschool diploma first before even worrying about anything else. I've seen a lot of situations where kids think things will be handed to them on a silver patter. Some of those weren't even 1 or 2 star recruits. A 3 star kid should have known his options early rather than too late.

Again I don't know about Jabo. He might actually have been trying as a student. High school coaches for the most part(no stats here) don't really have time to "care" a lot about a kid's grades till he's ready to MAYBE graduate. At least it seems so. Hayes seems a caring coach but caring a little earlier may have helped Jabo? It's a fair question anyhow.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to volcycle:

Is there a story here?

Recap....university recruits player, player doesn't readily qualify, university recruits others players as insurance of said player not making it, player finally makes the grade, too late to ditch other players recruited.....yes, there is a story,

If you're a high school athlete, don't fart around with your grades. They really are important!!!

Hmmm My above post in a winded manner agreed with this. I like yours. Short and to the point.

fearthehound writes:

Something happens like this every year with every program. Some very marginal student/player is recruited for insurance purposes, he gets recruited over, and has to move on. He found a good home. Send the coach a fruit basket--he'll get over it.

Tennfan4075 writes:

“There wouldn’t be no use for (Tennessee recruiters) to come back to Dillon,’’ Hayes said.
What's wrong with this statement? This could be one of the reasons the guy had trouble passing the entrance requirements.

vol_fan8 writes:

reading between the lines, he made the minimum scores for entry but not the 27 needed for out of state students. thus UT would have had to burn a waiver to get him in, and with the ACL and all, it wasn't worth the risk to try to get the waiver for him.

whatthe84 writes:

It looks like Jones has taken the lead from Saban and unloaded a potential problem with academics and torn ACL. I just don't see how after he was signed and now has qualified he was dumped, unless he did not qualify in time for the upcoming season. Anyway we can leave the criticism of Saban and gray shirts by the wayside. This is a dog eat dog game in the SEC and only the strong survive.

Henley-Street-Bridge writes:

Recruiting is like a beauty contest; you can't just be good looking, you have to pass the talent competition and be able to answer questions about the future of country's economy. A 3 star with marginal grades or ability to pass at UT plus an ACL undisclosed before, makes it very unpretty, untalented and not too smart.

SummittsCourt writes:

He never was going to see the field anyway. This is what is best for Jabo in the long run.

At best he would have been red shirted this year and with the RB's coming in next season he would have transferred anyway.

cltvol writes:

Hayes sounds like an agent. Guess all the HS coaches sorta have to play that role.

Ben Bernake is from Dillon. in the non-football useless trivia department.

VOLS_SEC_RULES writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Guys I get what the coach is saying. It does stink but it is what it is. The kid is damaged goods right now and UT cannot afford that at this critical juncture. Add to it the grade issues and our need to score really high and a tough decision have to be made. The kid is going to get a wonderful education and Temple is a program that is on the rise so I wish the kid well. I do understand where the coach is coming from and for the most part agree with his thoughts but at the end of the day UT did the kid a big favor and protected the program. Thats what a good administrator does.

Well said.

Salpointe writes:

“There wouldn’t be no use for (Tennessee recruiters) to come back to Dillon,’’ Hayes said."

The guy speaks like this and we want to give credibility to his words! Lets all get serious, now!

SevenT writes:

Tennessee chews another recruit and spits him out like a cheap piece of meat.

Where is the NCAA in all this?

usafvol writes:

in response to SevenT:

Tennessee chews another recruit and spits him out like a cheap piece of meat.

Where is the NCAA in all this?

Are you stupid or what? You post some of the dumbest things i've ever read. Can't figure out if you're about 15 or if you're an adult who's just a little slow..

laraccoon writes:

in response to Salpointe:

“There wouldn’t be no use for (Tennessee recruiters) to come back to Dillon,’’ Hayes said."

The guy speaks like this and we want to give credibility to his words! Lets all get serious, now!

yea i think that was a poor choice of words , Jones seems to be such a genuinely good person and very carefully Speaks , acts , replies with so much thought i cant believe he would leave dude hanging . There has to be more to this story and Jones seems to keep information private when it involves a young person but when it involves recruiting i gotta believe one of these news outlets will report what really happened .

tennrich1 writes:

Man high school coaches are you that naive??? This is big time SEC football...hard to believe you guys dont understand how this thing works...oh, and that ACL is HUGE what with already was working against him...this is an absolute non article....teams over sign every year...what do you think happens to the overage that isnt needed???

tennrich1 writes:

in response to usafvol:

Are you stupid or what? You post some of the dumbest things i've ever read. Can't figure out if you're about 15 or if you're an adult who's just a little slow..

Quick question for you usafvol...why would you respond to this guy??? Its an obvious set up response...and not a very good one at that...this guy is an ametuer troller....dont waste my time and yours responding to this stuff...ok...I can move on...

PHAT_VOL writes:

Good Luck Jabo!

tennrich1 writes:

in response to pingkr62:

I'm sure none of us know the whole story, and probably never will. G.B.O.!!!

Nor do we need to know everything...

CrankE writes:

“I don’t think this is a good way of doing business," Hayes said.

Presumably then, Hayes would not welcome Alabama to recruit at Dillon. After all, they have become comfortable with the whole "greyshirting" thing of forcing someone to take a "medical" (wink) redshirt and sit a year for the good of the program. Or LSU who oversigned and then had to push out a kid who really wanted to be a Tiger in favor of a more talented player at his position who committed late to LSU. I'm sure that other programs at various times have had to say no to a recruit for one reason or another and do so in a way that didn't sit well.

Recruiting is a big sausage factory. It is what t is.

Best of luck to Jabo.

ArmyDad writes:

Perhaps the coach needs to sit in on a few English classes at his school.

And I question a high school that graduates a student early who can't even make an 18 on the ACT until his third attempt.

BigBadVol writes:

Hayes along with his assistant need a ego check.

PHAT_VOL writes:

I think we know why Jay Graham left so abruptly. Coach Jones is smart not to open this can of worms. I wish Jay and Jabo the best.

Colliervol writes:

in response to volcycle:

Is there a story here?

Recap....university recruits player, player doesn't readily qualify, university recruits others players as insurance of said player not making it, player finally makes the grade, too late to ditch other players recruited.....yes, there is a story,

If you're a high school athlete, don't fart around with your grades. They really are important!!!

That pretty much sums it up. It's a business. Next subject.

Coach_K writes:

With our current gpa concerns, I'm not sure the scales of talent and risk were in his favor. Two torn ligaments in h.s. don't bode well either. I wish him nothing but the best. I am pleased to see yet another instance where the teacher and student reverse roles. Way to handle your self with class young man, perhaps your coach can use this as an opportunity to learn from you. I have a sneaking suspicion that you will be just fine Jabo, perseverance, humility, and a strong will to do what's right will take you far beyond football.

kdaff51 writes:

If I were a student athlete I would make sure Jabo Lee understood that he didn't make the decision as to who or whom I discussed my future plans with. I doubt very seriously if he can even prevent a recuriter from visiting the school as long as the recruiter is follow school policy.

therightstuff writes:

in response to Salpointe:

“There wouldn’t be no use for (Tennessee recruiters) to come back to Dillon,’’ Hayes said."

The guy speaks like this and we want to give credibility to his words! Lets all get serious, now!

I thought the same as I read Hayes comment. Appears to me that Coach Hayes could have spent some time trying to help Jabo Lee with the academic side of his life.....guess every coach can not be Coach Carter and look beyond the field or court.

dvols writes:

Jabo has a chance to get a fine education and play football no thanks to his high school coach...

I am quite sure that he may not be coaching in Dillon with many comments from his "gamecock/Clemson" nugget

VolsUpsetYetAnother writes:

I am extremely disappointed in my HS coach. I always wanted to play for TN but ended up playing at a smaller school in KY. I was also an average athlete. Thanks for nothing coach! I could have at least had a worthless article written about me and you could have been perceived as an idiot.

VOLinTX writes:

I'm surprised that the coach and Democratic S.C. State representative would use bad grammar. It appears he did not have time to mentor his players. It does give an insight to his ego.

Ayres_Hall writes:

in response to volcycle:

Is there a story here?

Recap....university recruits player, player doesn't readily qualify, university recruits others players as insurance of said player not making it, player finally makes the grade, too late to ditch other players recruited.....yes, there is a story,

If you're a high school athlete, don't fart around with your grades. They really are important!!!

Hmmm. Not revealing an ACL tear is a big deal. Trust works both way, coach.

Sounds like Jaybo is a good kid who will do the necessary things to make good. Not so much for his old high shcool coach.

Good luck Jaybo.

MetroplexMojo writes:

in response to ArmyDad:

Perhaps the coach needs to sit in on a few English classes at his school.

And I question a high school that graduates a student early who can't even make an 18 on the ACT until his third attempt.

If I knew my test scores were preventing me from being eligible (or were just a tad too low from getting an academic scholarship), I would have taken it more than three times.

kdaff51 writes:

in response to kdaff51:

If I were a student athlete I would make sure Jabo Lee understood that he didn't make the decision as to who or whom I discussed my future plans with. I doubt very seriously if he can even prevent a recuriter from visiting the school as long as the recruiter is follow school policy.

I meant the coach at Dillon. First rule of posting. "make sure your completely awake before firing off a post"!

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