Normally, when a player asks to be released from his scholarship, coaches usually oblige even if they don’t want to be without said player, especially when there is a coaching change. New Tennessee coach Derek Dooley has allowed some players to leave Knoxville this season, but he won’t be giving the same treatment to Bryce Brown.
Brown was a five star RB out of Wichita, Kansas and was the cream of the crop of Lane Kiffin’s only recruiting class at Tennessee. He rushed for 460 yards and scored three touchdowns in his only season with the Vols.
Dooley’s criteria for releasing players are three-fold. The first is what the player’s personal investment in the program was. The second is what harm the player’s departure would cause the program. Third and finally is how the player handled the situation personally.
According to what I have heard, Brown didn’t really pass any of the criteria. I wouldn’t say Bryce gave a big personal investment to the program. I mean, he skipped all of Spring Practice this season looking for his release. Even if you no longer wish to play for a team, you should participate in team activities as long as you are officially still a member of the team.
Brown was expected to be the #1 running back this year in Knoxville, so his departure would obviously hurt the program.
Obviously, if reports are true that Brown didn’t even bother to talk to Dooley face-to-face then that shows that he didn’t handle the situation properly along with the fact that he didn’t participate in spring practice.
According to Dooley, he and Bryce met last Saturday, but he was not asked to release him from his scholarship.
Apparently commitments don't mean much nowadays
Now, Bryce’s father, Arthur and his son are asking the NCAA to help with the situation. Bryce Brown’s plan is to transfer to Kansas State if he is released from his scholarship. Even if he isn’t, that does not mean that he cannot still go to Kansas State, it just means that he can’t be given a scholarship.
I think one of the most telling parts of this issue is that Bryce isn’t the one doing the talking. His father seems to be the one reaching out to the media and letting everyone know what is going on. In my personal opinion, it seems that Bryce has some growing up to do and shouldn’t be having his father do his talking for him. He’s old enough know to handle situations on his own.
I really don’t understand why Bryce wants to leave Tennessee anyway. He committed to play for a scumbag coach in Lane Kiffin and now as soon as the Vols hire a coach with some integrity and class in Derek Dooley, he wants to skip out? I’m not sure what to make of that.
I can see how this situation is making him upset, but maybe if he was man enough to sit down face-to-face with Coach Dooley and ask for his release then he would be more willing to oblige to the request.
Or, maybe, just maybe, Brown should honor the commitment to Tennessee that he made last spring.
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