Apr 12, 2014; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers running back Justus Pickett (31) is tackled by defensive back Devaun Swafford (13) during the spring game at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Today On Rocky Top: SEC Network's Vols Video


From Rocky Top Talk

You already knew that Antonio Barton, Jordan McRae, and Jeronne Maymon had exhausted their eligibility, Quinton Chievous had announced his intention to transfer, and that Jarnell Stokes had declared for the NBA draft. But Wednesday morning, two more Vols announced their intention to leave, as Larry Austin and Jordan Cornish, both Tennessee signees for the 2014 recruiting class, asked to be released from their letters of intent.

As of the time of writing, Austin has been released by Donnie Tyndall, and it is expected that Cornish will be granted his release this afternoon (UPDATE: Cornish has been granted his release). This leaves the 2014 recruiting class with just two members, Philip Cofer and C.J. Turman (UPDATE: Turman has been released as well), and no guards. Cofer, a high three-star power forward from Georgia, is a Tennessee legacy and is expected to remain with the Vols. We have yet to hear from Turman, another three-star power forward from Georgia.

Before we examine how this affects Tennessee, we should take a moment to recognize Tyndall for making the right call. He could’ve chosen to hold them to their letters of intent, but doing so generally does nothing but anger the players and make a national scene. The coach that signed Austin and Cornish is on the other side of the country, and they have not yet enrolled in Knoxville, giving them no meaningful tie–beyond their signatures–to the school, and letting them walk is the right thing to do, even if it does put Tyndall behind the eight-ball in constructing a roster.


From the UT Daily Beacon

Senior Ellen Renfroe has proven she is among the nation’s elite pitchers, but with only two series’ remaining, the No.8 Tennessee Lady Volunteer softball team is still finding itself struggling with consistency from the rest of its young pitchers.

Renfroe has started 26 of Tennessee’s 45 games so far this year, and has compiled a dominant 23-5 record to go along with her 1.95 ERA. When Renfroe isn’t in the circle, though, the Lady Vols have struggled with getting outs.

Sophomore Erin Gabriel was a highly-touted recruit coming out of high school, but injury issues forced her to miss most of her freshman season, as well as fall practice. She has pitched in 19 games this year and achieved a 5-0 record, but has not quite been the same since her injury.

“We had counted on Erin Gabriel being the Erin Gabriel of old,” co-head coach Ralph Weekly said at Wednesday’s media availability. “She missed the whole fall because of surgery, and when you miss the fall in this game it really hurts you in the spring.”

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