Oct 19, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers linebacker A.J. Johnson (45) and linebacker Curt Maggitt (56) celebrate after defeating the South Carolina Gamecocks at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee won 23 to 21. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Today On Rocky Top: 4 Vols Get Community Service


From CBS Sports

Seven Tennessee football players have had their alcohol-related charges dropped or will have them dropped after a Thursday ruling, the Associated Press reported.

The seven Volunteers were cited after a February party at which two other current players were arrested. The citations were for either underage consumption for providing alcohol to minors.

Per the AP, linebackers Jakob Johnson and Jalen Reeves-Maybin each had charges of providing alcohol to underage people dropped, and defensive lineman Malik Brown’s underage consumption charge was dismissed after he paid court costs.

Linebacker Curt Maggitt, offensive lineman Dontavius Blair, cornerback Justin Coleman and defensive lineman Dimarya Mixon must all complete 16 hours of community service and their charges will be dropped as well. Maggitt was cited for providing alcohol to minors, with the other three all cited for underage consumption.

Defensive lineman Danny O’Brien, arrested on charges of criminal impersonation and resisting arrest as well as underage consumption, entered an agreement earlier this week which will see his charges dropped after 40 hours of community service.

“Everything is about choices, and these were 21, 19-year-old individuals that got caught up and made some poor choices, so we’ll deal with it appropriately inside,” Jones said at a luncheon this week, per WBIR TV. “I will handle that myself and work through our athletic department. But also, everything is a teaching opportunity, and our players understand (that).”

 

From the Times Free Press

Tennessee’s football offense recorded just its third 2,000-yard rushing season since 1999 last season, and though the man who gained most of those yards is done, coach Butch Jones and offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian are accustomed to replacing productive running backs.

Rajion Neal led the Volunteers with 1,124 yards in 2013 — the 11th-best single-season total in program history — and the Vols may lean on one veteran and some newcomers to replace that rushing yardage.

In Jones’ third and final season at Cincinnati in 2012, he had to replace Isaiah Pead, a second-round NFL draft who ran for 1,059 yards in 2010 and 1,259 yards in 2011. The Bearcats plugged in George Winn, and he ran for 1,334 yards in 2012.

 

From The Tennessean

Tennessee is paying a price for its lack of depth.

Today’s game between Tennessee (17-11, 8-7 SEC) and Vanderbilt (15-12, 7-8) matches two of the least productive benches in the Southeastern Conference. Tennessee ranks 12th out of 14 SEC teams in bench scoring in league competition. Vanderbilt is last in that category.

Vanderbilt’s bench problems are because the Commodores have only seven healthy scholarship players. Tennessee’s troubles are tougher to explain.

Tennessee’s bench averages 8 points per game in league competition and has reached double figures in just four of its 15 conference games. The only SEC teams whose benches are averaging fewer points per game in league play are Auburn (7.9) and Vanderbilt (5.3).

 

From the Times Free Press

Nearly three years ago to the day, Dale Ellis was back on the campus of the University of Tennessee, where he was a basketball star in the early 1980s, for the jersey retirement ceremony for Allan Houston, another of the Volunteers’ past stars.

Ellis was told then he was next in line to have his number raised to the Thompson-Boling Arena rafters.

“Pick a game, and we’ll get it done,” the former NBA All-Star recalled being told.

And done it will be.

Prior to Tennessee’s noon tipoff in a key game against Vanderbilt today, Ellis’s No. 14 will join Houston’s No. 20, Bernard King’s No. 53 and Ernie Grunfeld’s No. 22 as the Vols’ retired numbers.

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