Source: Trae Golden's departure 'based on academics' and 'repeated plagiarism'

Tennessee guard Trae Golden (11) reacts after teammate forward Kenny Hall (20) made a basket during the second half against Kentucky at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. Tennessee won 88-58 over Kentucky. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee guard Trae Golden (11) reacts after teammate forward Kenny Hall (20) made a basket during the second half against Kentucky at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. Tennessee won 88-58 over Kentucky. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tennessee men’s basketball issued a Tuesday release announcing starting point guard Trae Golden has decided to transfer for his senior season.

That decision, the News Sentinel later learned, was not Golden’s to make.

A UT athletic department source with knowledge of the situation told the News Sentinel that Golden’s departure is “based on academics” and a result of “repeated plagiarism.”

The source said Golden was not going to be permitted to continue at the university past this semester and would not have been allowed to attend summer school to repair his academic standing.

Following a Tuesday morning flurry of rumors regarding Golden’s potential transfer, Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin confirmed the news in a two-word text message to the News Sentinel.

“He’s transferring,” Martin wrote.

Moments later, the university made things official with a press release announcing the Powder Springs, Ga., native was moving on.

“We want nothing but the best for Trae,” Martin said in the release. “Everyone associated with our program wants to see him be successful, and we wish him well.”

No further explanation for Golden’s decision was included in the press release.

Various reports emerged throughout the day citing academics as a potential cause.

Golden started 58 of his 96 career games over three years with the Vols, averaging 9.7 points, 3.6 assists and 2.4 rebounds. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Golden was the Vols’ second-leading scorer last season at 12.1 points per game and led UT with 13.7 points per game as a sophomore.

“I had a great three years here at Tennessee, but I plan to play my senior year somewhere else this fall,” Golden said in the release. “I really appreciate the staff and all the great support from Vol fans. I’m definitely going to miss my teammates. I want them to have nothing but success in the future.”

Golden’s exit comes in the wake of former UT signee Travon Landry, a point guard from Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, being released from a National Letter of Intent at Martin’s request.

Tennessee’s depth at the point guard position is now the No. 1 issue facing the Vols. Incoming freshman guard Darius Thompson played some point for Blackman High School in Murfreesboro, but is still learning the position.

Other UT players with experience at point guard in Martin’s motion offense include Jordan McRae, Armani Moore and walk-on Brandon Lopez.

Tennessee sits one scholarship under the NCAA limit of 13, should Martin choose to add a freshman or transfer to his 2013-14 class.

An uneven junior campaign saw Golden fall out of Martin’s starting lineup 13 games into the season. He averaged 30.8 minutes per game during the first 10 games of the year. That number dropped to 20.0 minutes per contest in UT’s next nine outings as he went from starter to reserve.

After missing two games with a hamstring injury in early February, a rejuvenated Golden returned to the lineup and reclaimed his starting role after one game. He averaged 35.8 minutes per game in the season’s last 12 games, including a 56-minute, 32-point showing in a quadruple-overtime victory at Texas A&M.

Golden averaged 13.8 points on 41.9 percent shooting and 3.8 assists in his final 12 games as a Vol.

Immediately following news of Golden’s transfer Tuesday, former UT player Tobias Harris, Golden’s friend and current member of the Orlando Magic, took to Twitter voicing his displeasure, writing, “it ain’t his decision,” and “he is not trying to transfer, he wants to stay.”

Former Vol and fellow transfer Yemi Makanjuola, who was granted his release to leave UT on April 20, tweeted, “This whole thing is the craziest.”

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn.

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Comments » 101

bfowler1161#262198 writes:

So to all the Martin bashers, what is he supposed to do? Tell him to copy smarter people?

I will say I am not happy with the results of the past two years. CM has not recruited a PG and we have not had one since Maze. Now we need a true freshman, a walk-on, or JM to be the awesome PG we need. With the line up next year we will do okay, put struggle against teams able to pressure the point effectively.

eVOLved writes:

Good for the instructors and professors! I hope you're reading this Dr. Linda Bensel-Meyers! She was my favorite professor, and if you don't think she advocated for the student athletes, then you likely don't know how exploitative it would be for everyone to turn a blind eye. I like the fact that our student athletes are earning their degrees--that they mean something.

Don't call me a troll--all Vol here. Also, I learned a lot from Dr. LBM when she headed the composition department.

xanga writes:

if true then Martin had to know Golden wouldn't be back and could have kept Landry. Just makes Martin look that much worse.

ROADFOREMAN_KNOWS_ALL writes:

Oh dear. Don't tell me there's cheating going on amongst the Student-Athlete corps. I am shocked and saddened.

vol98champ writes:

As Paul Harvey said many times, "now you know the rest of the story." Many of our problems are caused by Vol "fans". KNS is also part of the problem. Please detractors, get on board or jump ship and ruin some other program.

LSG410EC83 writes:

in response to xanga:

if true then Martin had to know Golden wouldn't be back and could have kept Landry. Just makes Martin look that much worse.

If it is sunny, you want rain. If it is hot, you want it cold. Doesn't matter what Martin does for some of you, it is danged if he does, and danged if he doesn't. Once again, a lot of people spewing off at the keyboard before knowing all the facts. Sounds to me like it just happened. Seen it happen 30 years ago. Think someone is doing fine and then bam, thrown out for cheating. No warning, nothing. So, Martin very well did not know one thing about it. But, it does not matter to you and others. It is Martins fault according to some.

tnvolfan98 writes:

in response to xanga:

if true then Martin had to know Golden wouldn't be back and could have kept Landry. Just makes Martin look that much worse.

Truly doesn't sound like Landry was going to be a good signee. Averaging 2 points and 2 assists a game for a highly ranked high school team doesn't speak volumes. Don't get me wrong, I wish all the best to Travon Landy at New Mexico. I just don't think he was the quality of player we were hoping to sign.

TNdependent writes:

in response to eVOLved:

Good for the instructors and professors! I hope you're reading this Dr. Linda Bensel-Meyers! She was my favorite professor, and if you don't think she advocated for the student athletes, then you likely don't know how exploitative it would be for everyone to turn a blind eye. I like the fact that our student athletes are earning their degrees--that they mean something.

Don't call me a troll--all Vol here. Also, I learned a lot from Dr. LBM when she headed the composition department.

Exactly! If they're going to take up space and use resources that another student could be using, they should at least be required to do the work! If you have never had to try to teach an arrogant star athlete,I can tell you from experience that they are a huge pain in the ...neck, as well as a disruptive influence on the whole class.

Orangemax1 writes:

Who cares what Tobias Harris said.......he really isn't a Vol is he?

jt45 writes:

Repeated, as in the University has known about this for awhile, therefore why all of a sudden does the lid get blown off this story. I bet there are some other things behind this story that are NOT being reported. Coach Martin is not behind this but I would be willing to bet there is a squealer out there somewhere that wanted Trae gone. (insert Sarcasm) Im soooo shocked that an athlete would do such a thing :) Gee I wonder if this happens anywhere else ? Im not buying into this story at all.

FeelVol writes:

in response to vol98champ:

As Paul Harvey said many times, "now you know the rest of the story." Many of our problems are caused by Vol "fans". KNS is also part of the problem. Please detractors, get on board or jump ship and ruin some other program.

Exactly!!!Go Vols.

VOLsince68 writes:

It's a moot point now. He's gone and we need a PG.

Also, Landry was not going to cut it here anyway.

GO VOLS!!!

FanNotSheep writes:

It is sad but true that many athletes have no business in an academic setting. I have no idea what Trae Golden was capable of in the classroom, but I'm not shocked that some players resort to cheating to stay eligible for a sport in which they're truly talented. Not everyone is cut out to be a scholar. Some people try and fail, others fail without ever trying. Big schools like UT have resources to help athletes be successful but the tutors can't think for them.

I wish Golden the best. Maybe he can earn a living in Europe, and while this is an embarrassing time for him, true UT fans won't turn their back on him. He gave us many good moments on the court. Hopefully he will finish school somewhere. But whether he ever graduates from college or not, we should all wish him success off the court.

ROADFOREMAN_KNOWS_ALL writes:

in response to TNdependent:

Exactly! If they're going to take up space and use resources that another student could be using, they should at least be required to do the work! If you have never had to try to teach an arrogant star athlete,I can tell you from experience that they are a huge pain in the ...neck, as well as a disruptive influence on the whole class.

UT's men's basketball program graduates only 55% of its participants. Ole Trae's academic chances were a coin-flip and best.

Women's basketball graduates 100%. Clearly, there is correlation between academic and athletic success. Wondering if there is causation.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Here's a tip..Don't cheat!!

8inarow writes:

I guess the question is, how long has this been going on, and was he ineligible during the season?

Sounds like this has been going on for some time.

maciste54 writes:

I think it's George Bush's fault !

FanNotSheep writes:

in response to 8inarow:

I guess the question is, how long has this been going on, and was he ineligible during the season?

Sounds like this has been going on for some time.

And if it was, the Vols would have to give up … ???

Unlike when Kentucky's coach was helping star players become eligible to get into school, Tennessee has accomplished nothing in basketball lately, other than beating Kentucky by 100 points or whatever it was.

Go ahead strip us of our back-to-back NIT appearances if you must. Vol fans have been through far worse. We can take it.

Show-me-your-TDs writes:

You win some, you lose some... just another day in the ghetto....

xanga writes:

in response to LSG410EC83:

If it is sunny, you want rain. If it is hot, you want it cold. Doesn't matter what Martin does for some of you, it is danged if he does, and danged if he doesn't. Once again, a lot of people spewing off at the keyboard before knowing all the facts. Sounds to me like it just happened. Seen it happen 30 years ago. Think someone is doing fine and then bam, thrown out for cheating. No warning, nothing. So, Martin very well did not know one thing about it. But, it does not matter to you and others. It is Martins fault according to some.

martin knew long before he released Landry he averaged 2 points a game this year yet he waited till the end to let him go when Landry's options were low. but with golden gone the next day there's no way he didn't know golden was going to be with us. with that said martin knew before the fact he didn't want landry and it makes him look even dumber now that there's a free scholarship. martin isn't the god hes made out to be.

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

in response to 8inarow:

I guess the question is, how long has this been going on, and was he ineligible during the season?

Sounds like this has been going on for some time.

Calipari hopes so. He wants to erase that 30 point beatdown.

1vavolfan writes:

in response to Orangemax1:

Who cares what Tobias Harris said.......he really isn't a Vol is he?

Actually Tobias is great for the program and a true Vol. It shows you can go to UT one year and go to the pros. A good selling point to recruits. Needless to say UT doesn't have to worry about that anymore.

voloffaith writes:

in response to xanga:

martin knew long before he released Landry he averaged 2 points a game this year yet he waited till the end to let him go when Landry's options were low. but with golden gone the next day there's no way he didn't know golden was going to be with us. with that said martin knew before the fact he didn't want landry and it makes him look even dumber now that there's a free scholarship. martin isn't the god hes made out to be.

All speculation with no fact...mere conjecture on your part Mr. Prosecutor. He was waiting on Stokes and McRae to decide. Golden was going to class and probably as any kid would do is tell coach it's ok. Academics Coach Martin(he has never claimed to be a god)might have known, but plagiarism I doubt that. Go back to Xanga land in New York and get over this wall to wall negativity.

wycoller writes:

Someone help me with this: Golden plagiarizes repeatedly and later loses his scholarship. Joe Biden plagiarizes repeatedly and is later elected vice president of the United States. This world is something else.

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

Enter Antonio Barton!

vol1994 writes:

in response to xanga:

martin knew long before he released Landry he averaged 2 points a game this year yet he waited till the end to let him go when Landry's options were low. but with golden gone the next day there's no way he didn't know golden was going to be with us. with that said martin knew before the fact he didn't want landry and it makes him look even dumber now that there's a free scholarship. martin isn't the god hes made out to be.

Are you serious xanga? You are aware that students had recent exams and final term papers to submit recently. Professors now have software programs that help them "catch" plagiarism offenders. I am not on campus but the smart money is Golden cheated recently. Moreover, the University has policies in place that supercede college athletics. Plus, Martin can NOT violate a student's privacy which is why this is the first we have heard about this.

Teresa writes:

in response to LSG410EC83:

If it is sunny, you want rain. If it is hot, you want it cold. Doesn't matter what Martin does for some of you, it is danged if he does, and danged if he doesn't. Once again, a lot of people spewing off at the keyboard before knowing all the facts. Sounds to me like it just happened. Seen it happen 30 years ago. Think someone is doing fine and then bam, thrown out for cheating. No warning, nothing. So, Martin very well did not know one thing about it. But, it does not matter to you and others. It is Martins fault according to some.

Cuonzo is owed an apology but won't get it from the haters.

He may not have known because students are taking finals and turning in work for the end of the semester. This is out of coach's hands and I'm sure he hates it worse than anyone besides Trae.

thevoice writes:

in response to sly_stone99#434111:

Enter Antonio Barton!

Is that the Memphis kid? I heard Pastner was letting someone transfer to UT.

movinonup writes:

In a wierd sorta way, this makes me feel better. I am glad to know there is a viable reason.

Having said that, Thanks Trae for 3 good years and best of luck in the future.

thevoice writes:

Our new starting Point Guard: walk-on Brandon Lopez.

tovolny writes:

Martin is telling his players to get their act together. Coach Martin is running the show...if you don't like it, you can go. As the article is written, seems like more than a second chance was in place. I like Golden, and I don't believe he has actually played to his potential yet. A very sad situation here.
Maybe one of these days some luck will come our way.

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

in response to thevoice:

Our new starting Point Guard: walk-on Brandon Lopez.

Ahh... no. Nothing against Lopez, but he will not be the starter.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to Orangemax1:

Who cares what Tobias Harris said.......he really isn't a Vol is he?

One and done's don't count in my book...

lstbodeanvol writes:

in response to Johnny_Aint_No_Del_Shofner:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Jeffy aint NO RICHMOND FLOWERS SURE DIDNT COPY ANY THING FROM HIS BROTHER....(FOOTBALL SKILLS)

brod writes:

so many people are blowing this out of proportion. it is one player, and doesn't call for any kind of judgement on martin or the program. the vols will be fine, just need some scoring from the incoming freshman.

laraccoon writes:

in response to xanga:

if true then Martin had to know Golden wouldn't be back and could have kept Landry. Just makes Martin look that much worse.

Geez Toddy , how many names you got ?

alfrizzle097 writes:

cntrl c then cntrl v. Stupidest thing you could possibly do. Basically just hoping your instructor doesn't notice your "voice" is
less that of a 20 year old basketball player and more that of a 50 year historian who has dedicated his life to studying the history of Italian cuisine in Northern Africa.

etu_vol_fan writes:

Landry was a marginal guard at best and why waste a scholly on a player that was not going to contribute. I hope the freshman can come in and give some solid minutes.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

A lot of posters are unjustly jumping on Martin. If you can prove that Martin told Golden to cheat, prove it and I will jump on your bandwagon. If you don't like the way he is doing things then don't come to the games. My guess is that a large percentage of negative posts are from people who never attend the games anyway.

oldster writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Here's a tip..Don't cheat!!

Cheating in class reveals a flaw in a person's character that will show up in other aspects of his/her life at the most inconvenient times. Just like I would not have kept ANY of the 8 football players that beat up one guy in that bar fight before Dooley's first season, I would not keep anyone who is caught cheating in class. Bad character is bad character. It does not have a place on a winning team (despite what "The Longest Yard" suggests.

claiborneh writes:

The whole "true Vol" vs I suppose "untrue" Vol is bunch of simpleton nonsense. Someone posts the ole "TrueVol" accusation in just about every thread. It is so trite and old.This is one of dozens of forums for convector, opinion, debate, and speculation. That's what sports talk is about, otherwise it is BORING. Tobias Harris was the kid's friend, so his opinion is valid. As are armchair quarterbacks, fans, rivals, critics, supporters, soccer moms, whoever else you want to throw in, and yes,
Trolls! What is this site, TrueVolOnly.com??? If you can't post negativity or criticism, even the overly critical, then why don't we name this site PostYourVolPraiseHere.com?

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to claiborneh:

The whole "true Vol" vs I suppose "untrue" Vol is bunch of simpleton nonsense. Someone posts the ole "TrueVol" accusation in just about every thread. It is so trite and old.This is one of dozens of forums for convector, opinion, debate, and speculation. That's what sports talk is about, otherwise it is BORING. Tobias Harris was the kid's friend, so his opinion is valid. As are armchair quarterbacks, fans, rivals, critics, supporters, soccer moms, whoever else you want to throw in, and yes,
Trolls! What is this site, TrueVolOnly.com??? If you can't post negativity or criticism, even the overly critical, then why don't we name this site PostYourVolPraiseHere.com?

Amen brother. YES Amen Preach it.

OH wait!!!? You're that troll guy aren't you?

JuanDoe00 writes:

in response to maciste54:

I think it's George Bush's fault !

Get a life.

JuanDoe00 writes:

in response to wycoller:

Someone help me with this: Golden plagiarizes repeatedly and later loses his scholarship. Joe Biden plagiarizes repeatedly and is later elected vice president of the United States. This world is something else.

Ya, he should've just wrote the answers on his hand, then you'd love him/her.

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

in response to Johnny_Aint_No_Del_Shofner:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Who dropped a nickle in your slot, Jeffy?

tturley#297658 writes:

Too bad for Trae and UTBB, he was going to be a big part of this year's team, which will be the best since Chism and Co made the elite-8. How do you replace a Sr. PG that played 30+ mins/game? Maybe there's a JC out there that could step in?

ReeseHallRelic writes:

in response to Johnny_Aint_No_Del_Shofner:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're slipping, Jeffy. When you were younger and not quite so stupid, you would have figured out a way to blame not only Dave Hart, but Derek Dooley, too.

By the way: you're a moron.

Snapshot writes:

in response to Johnny_Aint_No_Del_Shofner:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Do you not realize how pathetic and petty you sound? Give up the conspiracy theories, benchwarmer.

The legendary former Vol Richmond would not be very proud of you.

By the way, you left "delusional" and "sycophant" out of your little rant!

Henley-Street-Bridge writes:

Plagiarism is pure and simple two things; lack of smarts or imagination and laziness or dishonesty.

Which of these traits most sound like Golden?

claiborneh writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

Amen brother. YES Amen Preach it.

OH wait!!!? You're that troll guy aren't you?

No doubt. Every worthwhile site needs some :)

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