Da’Rick Rogers suspended, Dooley still cleaning up from Kiffin (UPDATED II)

Da'Rick Rogers from Calhoun was SEC's best receiver last season. (Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)

Da'Rick Rogers was top SEC receiver in 2011. (Raleigh News-Observer)

(Second update with Derek Dooley saying he doesn’t expect Da’Rick Roger to play this season.)

Two years ago, when new Tennessee coach Derek Dooley made his debut at SEC media days, I made note of the first three subjects he was asked about: 1) His mother; 2) His father; 3) A bar fight that included several of his players. Suffice to say, he would welcome more questions about his mother and father again.

Dooley inherited a mess at Tennessee after the sudden departure of Lane Kiffin. That’s no secret. The fact that the guy’s job might be on the line this season is unfortunate because the image of the team and the character problems of too many players that he inherited takes a while to overcome.

The latest example: Da’Rick Rogers. The talented but often troubled wide receiver from Calhoun, who nearly signed with Georgia in 2010, was suspended indefinitely Thursday by Dooley. No reason was given, other than the standard, “violation of team rules.”

UPDATE: Dooley told the Knoxville News that “our expectation is” that Rogers won’t return to the program. Translation: Expect him to transfer.

But given that there has been no report of an arrest — or another bar fight — use your imagination.

The suspension appears open ended for now, but Rogers is not listed on Tennessee’s depth chart.

Tennessee probably wasn’t going to challenge for the SEC East title this season, anyway. But it has (or had) the potential to be decent and upset some teams. From a talent standpoint, Rogers’ loss would be significant. He led the SEC last season with 67 receptions, and was second with 1,040 receiving yards and nine touchdown catches.

But don’t blame Dooley for what’s going on in Knoxville. If we still don’t know how great of a coach he is, we can at least be certain Kiffin left him a rather large and malodorous bag.

(Many point out that Da’Rick Rogers was a Derek Dooley recruit in 2010. That is technically accurate. However, Rogers initially backed off his Georgia commitment to hear the recruiting pitches from then-Tennessee coaches Lane Kiffin and Ed Orgeron. It was Kiffin who offered Rogers and high school teammate Nash Nance the opportunity to go to Tennessee as a package deal, an offer that Dooley confirmed after he got the job. So, yes, Dooley shares some responsibility. I also wanted to added that rumors circulated that Rogers was interested in transferring to Georgia State in the spring, but that obviously never happened.)

In May, Dooley dismissed sophomore tight end Cameron Clear (yes, a Dooley recruit) following an arrest for felony theft charges. Last year he kicked off safety Janzen Jackson (a Kiffin recruit). Dooley said only that Jackson’s “personal issues” led to the suspension, but added, “I will always be there to help him as a person, but there comes a time when a player’s actions preclude him from the privilege of playing for [Tennessee].”

There have been multiple other suspensions. Sophomore safety Darren Myles Jr. was dismissed from the team and others were suspended for the aforementioned bar brawl, which took place not long after his hiring.

Rogers also was involved in that incident. He was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. But the charges ultimately were dropped and Dooley chose not to suspend him. That was one time when giving a kid a break backfired. Rogers was banned for two weeks this past spring for offseason activities for unspecified reasons.

Referencing Tennessee’s problems in 2010, Dooley said, “I wish I could snap my fingers, but it just doesn’t work that way. It takes time.”

Problem being that SEC coaches don’t get a lot of that, regardless of whose fault it is.

By Jeff Schultz

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349 comments Add your comment

Benjamin

August 23rd, 2012
12:11 pm

Almost a Dawg. Would’ve fit right in with us! :(

Phil Fulmer

August 23rd, 2012
12:11 pm

Da’Rick was a Dooley recruit. stop making excuses for him…he’s plenty capable of coming up with excuses on his own. GBO

Sam Robards, Dawg Fan

August 23rd, 2012
12:14 pm

Having been raised in a Tennessee household, you really have to feel bad for ‘em, but only to a certain extent.

They ousted Phil Fulmer in the worst way possible (UT’s fault), hired a mercenary coach who clearly had no intentions of sticking around (half UT and half Kiffin, there) and now have a good man coaching who could get the program on track but probably won’t get the chance (UT’s fault).

As for Da’Rick, he sounds like another guy who had talent but no character.

Funny how fast things change. Five years ago, Tennessee was one of the three big teams in the division (the other two being UGA and UF): now, UGA and Carolina are the two teams in control of the division.

SONNY IN SSI

August 23rd, 2012
12:14 pm

FIRST AND WHAT GOES AROUND , WELL YOU KNOW THE REST

Q

August 23rd, 2012
12:15 pm

Dead man walking.

Devildawg

August 23rd, 2012
12:15 pm

Darick was Dooleys recruit and not Kiffin.. Lane was long gone when Dooley was making deals (free scholie to a clipboard holder QB)to get Rogers.

Elwood

August 23rd, 2012
12:16 pm

Most folks think Dooley is an excellent coach but may not get the chance to prove it at UT. However, it is widely believed that he will get a shot at UGA if Coach Richt has a bad couple of years. The Dooley forces are still strong at UGA and would love to see a Dooley back at the helm. However, I think Richt is long term at UGA and it would be extremely surprising if he is let go.

Q

August 23rd, 2012
12:17 pm

Tennessee’s biggest problem are their unrealistic expectations from a dude brought in to clean up their mess.

SEC_Champion

August 23rd, 2012
12:17 pm

Man Im glad that bum picked the Vols at the last minute! How’s that working out for ya?

Big Dawg

August 23rd, 2012
12:17 pm

Karma is a funny thing…I’m glad he didn’t matriculate at UGA

Mike S.

August 23rd, 2012
12:18 pm

Yeah, Da’Rick was a Dooley recruit, Jeff. Kiffin was recruiting him, but Rogers liked UGA better. If I remember right, Dooley decided to also offer his QB buddy which Kiffin was apparently not willing to do. The QB was headed to Vandy. They both signed with Dooley and UT.

I heard Rogers had become a serious locker room distraction somehow. Either way, this should have been done a while ago. He should also be making Bray sit two games for his off the field incidents this year. I imagine Dooley was getting flak for being lax in discipline his first couple of years.

Part of the problem is a lot of Kiffin recruits transferred or backed out of commitments to UT.

Buckeye

August 23rd, 2012
12:19 pm

Da’Rick must be Da’Dumb.

SEC! SEC! SEC!

Topp Dogg

August 23rd, 2012
12:20 pm

Nothing sucks like the Big Orange.

sidslid

August 23rd, 2012
12:21 pm

Maybe Jim Mora has a point

Mike S.

August 23rd, 2012
12:21 pm

I remember when Da’Rick switched his commitment to UT. There were people on the boards who followed his high school team or had kids there. They thought he could cause problems, and it wasnt necessarily a bad thing that he switched.

Ghruten

August 23rd, 2012
12:23 pm

Thank goodness that guy flipped from UGA.

azdawg

August 23rd, 2012
12:24 pm

Another GHS product w/entitlement syndrome. He would have ended up same way if he was a UGA player. We’ll see if he indeed will be let go by TN. Very similar to the IC story at UGA. Lots of talent but of low moral character. You put yourself in a position to fail and sure ’nuff thats what will happen.

Bright Idea

August 23rd, 2012
12:26 pm

Elwood, You are totally out of touch. Adams, even after retirement, and Leebern will never allow Derek Dooley at UGA even if he were the best candidate, which he won’t be.

Mike S.

August 23rd, 2012
12:26 pm

As for UT, they need to give Dooley two years at least just to get some stability in the program if nothing else. I personally dont think he will bring the program to the level UT fans want, but he might get them back to playing 8 win football or so UT has to recruit very well out of state which is something Fulmer was very good at over the years.

Speaking of, its hard to feel sorry for UT after forcing out Fulmer. This is why I keep telling UGA fans to be careful what they ask for when talking about getting rid of Richt. More times than not, it doesnt pan out. UT would have been better off letting Fulmer retire of his own accord. Its not like he did anything to deserve it right?

1eyedJack

August 23rd, 2012
12:26 pm

If a lawyer can’t straighten these kids out how can you expect a guy like Richt to?

claytondawg

August 23rd, 2012
12:29 pm

Just like Crowell, good riddance to bad rubbish. It’s that simple to say.

Spike 80DF

August 23rd, 2012
12:32 pm

Don’t worry, TheRick will be reinstate in time for SEC play I’m sure…..

UGA Insider

August 23rd, 2012
12:35 pm

Rogers is just suspended. Not kicked off. Bets are he will be back for the UGA game or sooner.

Newnandawg

August 23rd, 2012
12:36 pm

Does the entire student body of these schools get tested for weed?

Jeff Schultz

August 23rd, 2012
12:36 pm

I inserted this above, for those saying that Rogers’ recruitment should be blamed on Derek Dooley, not Lane Kiffin: “(Many point out that Da’Rick Rogers was a Derek Dooley recruit in 2010. That is technically accurate. However, Rogers initially backed off his Georgia commitment to hear the recruiting pitches from then-Tennessee coaches Lane Kiffin and Ed Orgeron. It was Kiffin who offered Rogers and high school teammate Nash Nance the opportunity to go to Tennessee as a package deal, an offer that coach Dooley confirmed after he got the job. So, yes, Dooley shares some responsibility. I also wanted to added that rumors circulated that Rogers was interested in transferring to Georgia State in the spring, but that obviously never happened.)

danny

August 23rd, 2012
12:37 pm

Shocking that Jeff didn’t do research before defending one of his boys. Dooley is no different than any other coach when it comes to recruiting. Only difference is that he wears ugly pants and will be unemployed later this year

RunningDog

August 23rd, 2012
12:38 pm

While your overall point is good, it was Dooley who had continued to recruit Rogers and got him to sign with UT. As much as I don’t like Kiffen, Dooley has to take responsibility for the kids that he signed.

harold

August 23rd, 2012
12:39 pm

DOOLEY’S JOB IS ON THE LINE BECAUSE HE HAS YET TO BEAT A TEAM WITH A WINNING RECORD. HE ONLY HAS WINS OVER VANDY/KENTUCKY.

HE WAS A VERY DISAPPOINTING HIRE—-ONE THAT DEMEANED TENNESSEE FOOTBALL. HE IS A NICE ETHICAL GUY BUT “WAY OVER HIS HEAD”.

DOOLEY’S HIRING GOT HAMILTON FIRED. TENNESSEE HAS THE SECOND MOST SEC TITLES AND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS IN THE SEC BEHIND ALABAMA. TENNESSEE FANS “EXPECT TO WIN!”

TENNESSEE HAS “EVERYTHING” YOU NEED TO WIN. A GREAT COLLEGE TOWN. YOU PLAY IN FRONT OF A TENTH OF A MILLION PEOPLE A WEEK IN BIG BEAUTIFUL NEYLAND STADIUM—NEWLY RENOVATED TOO.

FORMER GREAT ATHLETES WENT THERE—PEYTON MANNING–ERIC BERRY etc.

DARICK IS THE THIRD BEST RECEIVER MANY THINK BEHIND PATTERSON AND JUSTIN HUNTER.

Jeff Schultz

August 23rd, 2012
12:42 pm

Danny — I knew the history. I just didn’t realize people would pin it more on Dooley than Kiffin so I inserted the explainer. And not sure what the “one of my boys” reference even means. … But I we do agree on the ugly pants reference.

Earl

August 23rd, 2012
12:42 pm

FULMER BACK-STABBED HIS WAY INTO THE HEAD COACHING JOB…HE WAS LUCKY WITH HIS COACHES AND GOOD PLAYERS…..BUT HE COULDN’T COACH WORTH A LICK! WAY OVERRATED!!!!

Jeff Schultz

August 23rd, 2012
12:43 pm

Harold: CAPS unlock.

Joe

August 23rd, 2012
12:44 pm

There is no way Dooley will ever coaach at UGa unless it is as an assistant. Rogers was a problem and showed it many times in HS and at TN. Glad he did not come to UGa

Jeff Schultz

August 23rd, 2012
12:44 pm

Dick Whiskey — one more reference to race and you’re banned. Zero tolerance.

dawggirl

August 23rd, 2012
12:44 pm

I hate it, but I kind of feel sorry for Tennessee. The East needs to be seen as more relevant, and the only way to do that is win games. They never should have fired Phil Fulmer. You reap what you sow.

Slaw Dawg

August 23rd, 2012
12:44 pm

Holy dude Batman. I say we thro the kitchen sink at Darick to get him to become a Dawg for life. We could use him this year to win some big games and move on to play in the national Champinship game if we can make it that far. I hope Mark Rich will offer whatever we need to to land Darick and get him to Athens because getting him from UT would be a big coop for Mark Rich expecually since we play UT in Athens this year and having Darick on our side will turn the tide and give us a better chance of wiing the game between the hegges. GO dogs. Sick’um boys!

masivatack

August 23rd, 2012
12:44 pm

I blame Richt…

Dawglasville

August 23rd, 2012
12:46 pm

Nance is the one who should be kicking himself. He could be two years away from a degree at Vandy had he not flipped for DaRick.

I hope Dooley gets a real shot. After the way they treated Fulmer I doubt they will. The smartest guy in the bunch was Cutcliff. He gets a great check doing a job he loves and there is very little pressure to deal with. Sounds pretty healthy to me.

Honey Badger

August 23rd, 2012
12:48 pm

Hey Da’Rick now we can hang out together and smoke a little since we don’t got to take no more pee quizzes to stay on ‘da team. Word.

Who Me? Yeah You!

August 23rd, 2012
12:50 pm

@ Slaw Dawg……please stop posting until you take an English class. You are an embarrassment to the Dog Nation.

| Tennessee Sports Radio

August 23rd, 2012
12:50 pm

[...] by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Sports Writer Jeff Schultz. It’s a great article and worth [...]

Old Dawg

August 23rd, 2012
12:51 pm

You can blame this on anyone you like. The bottom line is, Tennessee is without its leading receiver from last year for an indefinite period of time and Dooley’s job is on the line.

My next question is, what will Dooley’s reaction be the next time his QB, Tyler Bray, does something stupid.

I sure the folks at NC State are licking their chops right now!

dawgster

August 23rd, 2012
12:51 pm

Hearing some info out of Tenn that sources are saying Thst Rogers will not play this year…Also, as a dawg fan this is always disturbing to hear about, as these guys just don’t appreciate the god given talent they have…I’m not going to bash the Tenn coach or their program, we have definitely had our own problems…just sad to see a talent waste their opportunities…

Dawg Doo

August 23rd, 2012
12:51 pm

Tennessee has a proud history, but in the here and now, the lack of an in-state recruiting base makes it a tougher job. It’s much easier to convince homegrown talent to stay home than to convince out of state kids to leave home each year.

DostaDawg

August 23rd, 2012
12:51 pm

Anyone know where Nance is?

Z-MAN

August 23rd, 2012
12:52 pm

Too much emphesis on one player. Not enough weed in my opinion.

jw

August 23rd, 2012
12:52 pm

Why would you fire Dooley at Tennessee? What pedigree certified ball coach would want to come in and finish cleaning up that mess and waste two years of prized pedigreed wins? It’s going to take Tennessee one more full season of cleaning up the trash to right the ship. They will give Dooley a couple more years – the reason being simple. Let Dooley clean up the mess, take the hits personally and get things moving in the right direction. He is released/fired/bought out – THEN – bring in the big name coach to wear those orange pants. Dooley gets great on the job training during all this so he can move to Notre Dame and bring some long term stability to that program when it finally decides to move to the ACC or SEC.

chuck

August 23rd, 2012
12:53 pm

I was in Knoxville right after the bar incident. If that had happened in Athens, a dozen players would have been kicked off the team. Rogers should have done jail time for his actions. For whatever reason, the Athens and UGA police go out of their way to persecute the UGA players while most colleges especially those in smaller cities handle things internally.

dtanner

August 23rd, 2012
12:53 pm

honey badger, that’s a damn good one,LMFAO

gator

August 23rd, 2012
12:53 pm

“Funny how fast things change. Five years ago, Tennessee was one of the three big teams in the division (the other two being UGA and UF): now, UGA and Carolina are the two teams in control of the division.”

Even more funny is a UGA fan dismissing UF and claiming they control the east. We’ll see on Oct 27th.

Run Thru The T

August 23rd, 2012
12:55 pm

This one will hurt but we finally have some depth and talent at wide receiver. Rogers was very talented and the problem was that he knew it and was incapable of thinking more than 5 minutes ahead. The rumor is that he threw a weight at the S&C coach earlier this week and that was the final straw. Still, he is not the only talented guy on offense so we will recover and move on.