B.J. Coleman Says All Options Open, Including I-AA Football

QB Believes His Goals Didn't Match Those Of UT Coaches

Saturday, April 25, 2009 - by Stan Crawley

It has been a three-day whirlwind for Chattanooga's B.J. Coleman.

On Saturday morning, Coleman was still returning phone calls from reporters who had tried to reach him on Thursday when he made the decision to leave the University of Tennessee football team.

"No, this isn't my cell phone I'm calling from,'' said Coleman, the former McCallie School star quarterback. "My cell phone is dead.''

The rising sophomore on Thursday said he was choosing to leave UT because he was frustrated and didn’t feel he would get a fair chance at becoming starting quarterback. He left spring practice still behind Jonathan Crompton in the quarterback race.

"My goal was to go through spring and make it a great competition,'' Coleman said. "I wanted to make it a tough decision for the coaches.

"I felt like I had a great spring and that I learned a lot. I felt like coming out of spring I had to have a direction.''

Coleman was recruited to UT by David Cutcliffe, now the head coach at Duke. He played for Ralph Potter at McCallie. Potter is now the head coach at Brentwood Academy.

"Coach Cutcliffe and coach Potter always taught me it was very important to have a leader going into summer workouts,'' Coleman said. "Jonathan is that now. He'll go into summer as the leader and he will move them forward. He'll do a great job.

"When I came to UT, Erik Ainge went into summer as the No. 1 quarterback. I remember how he controlled those summer workouts. I think that is very important.''

Coleman said it is simply time to "move forward.''

"I'm very thankful for the great opportunity I had at Tennessee and for the chance to be a Vol, to wear the orange,'' he said. "I just want to get on the field and play football, to be a leader, to be a quarterback and utilize the skills the Lord blessed me with.''

Coleman said his options are open, including playing for a I-AA (Football Championship Subdivison) team like UTC, his father's alma mater. He could play immediately at a I-AA school, but would have to sit a year if he transfers to a Football Bowl Subdivision School.

"I've made no decision on where I'll end up,'' Coleman said. "I do have some great options. I want to go somewhere where I'll fit in, although I couldn't have had better teammates than I did at Tennessee.

"We'll talk about all our options. Playing in I-AA would be a wonderful opportunity to play three years. There are a lot of great Division I-AA conferences, like the Southern Conference. It would be an honor to play in that league. I'll just pray about it, and the Lord will send me in the right direction.''

Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin gave a statement Friday on Coleman: “We wish B.J. the best of luck and wish he would have stayed. We think he definitely had improved during our short time with him.”

Said Coleman, "It was very important for me to go through spring practice,'' he said. "I felt I owed that to myself, to UT and to the fans.

"Spring was very productive and beneficial, but my goals didn't match up with the coaches. The most important thing for me was to be happy. It still feels bittersweet, but I'm happy with my decision to leave.''

(E-mail stan Crawley at wscrawley@earthlink.net)


FOOTBALL   FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26 Baylor at MBA CAK at Boyd-Buchanan Maryville at Bradley McMinn Central at Brainerd Tyner at Central Chattanooga Christian at Grace Christian McMinn Co. at Cleveland Cloudland at Copper Basin Howard at East Hamilton Hixson at East Ridge Middle Tennessee Christian at Grace ... (click for more)

Jesse Lowe 9th Different UCRA Winner in 2018 at I-75 Raceway's "Larry Kyle Memorial"

Last year's  United Championship Racing Alliance  Rookie of the Year;  Jesse Lowe of Crossville, likes the late season races, picking off another "Fall Classic" event much like last year, winning the $2,000 "Larry Kyle Memorial" at I-75 Raceway Saturday night at Sweetwater, Tn.   Lowe crossed the finish line 1:146 seconds ahead of runner-up track ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Investigating Shooting That Victim Says Happened A Week Ago

Chattanooga Police responded to a local hospital on Friday evening after a person arrived with a gunshot wound.   The injured man told police he was shot on Thursday, Oct. 11. He said he was shot while on the dance floor of a club somewhere along Brainerd Road.   If you have any information about the incident, call Chattanooga Police at 423-698-2525. You ... (click for more)

Charles Pipkens, Lajeromeney Brown Arrested In Series Of Violent Home Invasions In Which Robbers Posed As Police

Chattanooga Police have arrested Charles Dijon Pipkens and Lajeromeney Brown in connection with a series of violent home invasions in which the suspects told their victims they were Chattanooga Police officers.. Pipkens, 27, was charged in an Aug. 11 case and Brown, 40, in an incident on Sept. 19. Pipkens, of 434 N. Hickory St., is charged with two counts of aggravated kidnapping, ... (click for more)

Teach For America Raises Concerns

For the last several years, many groups, individuals and parties interested in preserving public education for our children have stood firm as a rampantly growing privatization movement has descended upon our local educational landscape.  We saw last year the Department of Education push a plan that would form a partnership zone which could potentially lead to schools in the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Inequality & The Left

The story is told about a liberal politician who was getting a room full of snowflakes all heated up over equity and equality, which is big with the political Left right now. One of his handlers finally got the chance and whispered in his ear, “Use ‘fairness’ instead! That’s what sells … “ Afterwards a newspaper column read, “The liberals love fairness because it cannot be measured. ... (click for more)