Tennessee Vols morning report: Kivon Bennett dismissed, UT Martin added to schedule

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: Tennessee Volunteers fans cheer during the first half of the game against the Indiana State Sycamores at Neyland Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: Tennessee Volunteers fans cheer during the first half of the game against the Indiana State Sycamores at Neyland Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

A football dismissal and new men’s basketball game leads our Tennessee Vols news for Wednesday, Dec. 2.

What was supposed to be a calm Tuesday turned into a cluster of breaking, unexpected news. One bit of it was clearly planned and in the works, but another portion was just further evidence of the wheels coming off the football program.

Our morning update on Rocky Top leads with both pieces of news. On the football side, it involves a player being dismissed after an arrest. Men’s basketball, meanwhile, has added a game to its 2020-2021 schedule.

We have more positive coverage for the program, though, including interviews with other football players and the continued aftermath of a big women’s basketball win. Meanwhile, three players in men’s and women’s basketball are on a key watch list, which we’ll address. Let’s start with the breaking news that took place.

Kivon Bennett dismissed from football program – Patrick Brown, GoVols247

Following an arrest Tuesday afternoon, Tennessee Vols football edge rusher Kivon Bennett was dismissed from the team. Bennett, a redshirt junior playing outside linebacker, led the team with seven and a half tackles for a loss and was tied for the lead in sacks with four and a half.

"According to the arrest report, Bennett was pulled over for speeding near campus on Tuesday morning and told the officer he had marijuana and a handgun in the car. Per the arrest report, the officer found around approximately 44.9 grams of marijuana, a black digital scale and 58 plastic baggies in addition to the Glock 17 9mm handgun."

Men’s basketball adds UT Martin to schedule – Dan Harralson, VolsWire.com

With its first four games canceled, the Tennessee Vols men’s basketball team has added a new matchup to its schedule. Rocky Top will host the UT Martin Skyhawks on Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. ET on SEC Network+, which will now be its season-opener.

"Tennessee and UT Martin have played each other four times with the Vols winning all contests. All meetings have taken place at Thompson-Boling Arena, and the programs last played Dec. 29, 2010."

Football players preview Florida – Austin Price, VolQuest.com

Senior edge rusher Deandre Johnson, senior wideout Josh Palmer and sophomore running back Eric Gray met with the media on Tuesday ahead of the Tennessee Vols football team’s Saturday matchup with the Florida Gators. Palmer talked about where the offense has improved. Here is a bit of what he said.

"“We’ve had a lot of time to really sit down with Coach (Jim) Chaney and have him explain to us the why’s: why we’re doing certain things and how we’re supposed to them. I think with a lot of this time off, we’ve been able to understand what he wants out of us.”"

Gray discussed team morale despite the struggles. This was his explanation.

"“You haven’t seen a lot of the opt-outs like you have at other schools and that just shows the mindset of our team. We are in it to win it; we are all in it together, everyone is in it together. We just want to go out here and flip the script, we want to get this train back on the tracks and keep going forward.”"

Johnson talked about playing Florida while being from Florida. Here is how he described it.

"“This is another great opportunity to go out there and play some really good guys. They’ve got a couple of guys at Florida that I played with in high school. It’s going to be good going against those guys again. We’re looking to compete. I’m ready.”"

Players, coaches recap Lady Vols win vs. ETSU – UTSports

A 67-50 win over the East Tennessee State University Buccaneers Tuesday night pushed the Tennessee women’s basketball team to 2-0 on the year. Kellie Harper, Rennia Davis, Jordan Horston, Bucs head coach Brittney Ezell and Bucs center Jakhyia Davis all spoke after the game. Here’s a bit of what harper said.

"“I’m glad we won the game. Obviously, for us, it was a little sloppy at times. Our execution needs to be better. I think the good thing is that we got to see a feisty team, a team that’s athletic on the perimeter. Hopefully, that will help us in our next few games. I’m disappointed in our execution on both ends of the court. We’ve got to get a lot better, but we’ve got time to do that, and I’m confident that we can.”"

Pons, Fulkerson, Davis on Wooden Award Watch ListWoodenAward.com

Two men’s Tennessee Vols basketball players and one Tennessee Lady Vols basketball player were all named to the Wooden Award Preseason Watch Lists. The award recognizes the best player in men’s and women’s college basketball each year. Seniors Yves Pons and John Fulkerson made it on the men’s side, and senior Rennia Davis made it on the women’s side.

"The John R. Wooden Award Preseason Committee begins the selection process in October of the year preceding the Wooden Award announcement. The committee evaluates players to determine the Women’s Preseason Top 30 and the Men’s Preseason Top 50."