IF TRUE, this is one of the most stunningly stupid things I've ever heard of. You can understand how a third-string player could be drawn into shoplifting or whatever. But Nu'Keese Richardson, Janzen Jackson, and Mike Edwards are pretty promising players, and they're taking part in ARMED ROBBERY? (HT: Rocky Top Talk)
UT athletic director Mike Hamilton released a statement this morning about the episode.
"At this time we are currently evaluating the circumstances surrounding an incident involving Mike Edwards, Janzen Jackson and Nu'Keese Richardson," Hamilton said. "Any decisions or comments regarding their status will not be made until the evaluations are complete."
Implications are obviously broad and more significant than even the run-of-the-mill arrest. This will be the first big test of Lane Kiffin's disciplinary chops and includes one of his highest-profile recruits. And we all know there is nothing more important to Lane Kiffin than recruiting.
Then, of course, there are the young men involved in the incident. At some point, if this is indeed true, we have to ask ourselves why they would chance throwing everything away -- or why, perhaps, they felt like nothing was on the line.
UPDATE FOR CONTEXT 10:20 a.m.: So much for all that. Low:
As recently as Wednesday, during the SEC coaches teleconference, Kiffin had praised his team for not having any off-the-field problems during his tenure and had repeated several times this year that the Vols had been free of any such incidents.
Again, this is a big test for Kiffin.
UPDATE FOR HUMOR 10:45 a.m.: Sometimes it's better to laugh than to cry, as Holly illustrates in her post at EDSBS:
Let's all take a few deep breaths, and-
IF PHIL FULMER WAS STILL HERE THEY'D'VE USED A LOT MORE THAN A PELLET GUN THIS PROGRAM'S GONE SOFT I TELL YOU WHAT.
The Senator takes a different route:
This should blow Junior's street cred through the roof.
But life usually provides the best punchline:
At least one of them wore a black University of Tennessee t-shirt with an orange Adidas logo and the phrase "impossible is nothing."
Man -- if they'd been wearing Nike, they'd have been in real trouble.
UPDATE FOR CONTEXT 11:10 a.m.: I guess the story "Jackson learns from mistake" is no longer operative?
Jackson said missing playing time had an impact.
"It was a problem that had lingered in the past so we had already got past it," he said. "We just had to hit this bump in the road."
Jackson said he appreciated that UT's coaching staff was willing to forgive him of his recent transgression.
"I appreciate that a lot," he said. "You don't want to have your coach mad at you for any reason. You don't want that to linger. It's always about looking forward with these guys. That's a good thing."
Something tells me they'll have a harder time "looking forward" on this one.