My pal Steve Spurrier had a very simple and quite explicit rule for his team through the years he was a very successful football coach. “If you ever hit a girl, regardless of any circumstance, don’t even bother coming by my office. Pack up your things and get out of this state. I’ll handle all the paper work, inform the university you are no longer fit to be a student, and I will call your folks to make sure they know you’ll never play on one of my teams again. No excuses. One and done. And, frankly, I never want to see you again.”
I thought of the Ol’ Ball Coach yesterday afternoon when I was told a Tennessee football player, junior linebacker Aaron Beasley, had just beat up a six-month old cat.
That’s right. He hung the cat by its tail, stuck its head in a commode, confined the cat inside the commode, kicked it enough to give the animal a concussion and kidney failure, as Beasley apparently attempted to prove to the world that he was a man and a ferocious Vol linebacker. Trust me, I know what the greatest coaches would do to such a punk so now the new guy, head coach Josh Heupel, gets his first litmus test. Beasley has been indefinitely suspended as the coaches seek additional information on the sadistic attack.
Earlier in the day it was learned Tennessee football player Brandon Davis did not shoot himself in a Knoxville bar in March, 2020. Police have affirmed a UT teammate is now the top suspect, although the police said the suspect denies it.. Davis was among a host of players who quit the Tennessee team after the program all but collapsed in the last season and coach Jeremy Pruitt was dismissed earlier this spring. Davis is attending a junior college and refused comment, other than to affirm he did not shoot himself.
It was also learned on Monday three of the four UT players that were involved in an assault and possibly a marijuana robbery are due in court next Monday. Martavius French, Isaac Washington and Aaron Willis are set to appear on drug-related misdemeanor charges following their March arrests stemming from a call to police about an assault and burglary at Stokely Hall on the Knoxville campus. French and Willis face misdemeanor charges of simple drug possession and drug paraphernalia. Washington faces a misdemeanor charge of simple drug possession. A fourth player, freshman quarterback Kaidon Salter, is 17 and a minor, so his charges were not included on the police report.
Knowledgeable sources say that the gifted quarterback, identified by the university, was charged with drug possession. Three of the players, Willis, Washington and Salter, are actually members of Tennessee’s 2021 recruiting class. Because they signed in December, they came to Knoxville early for the benefit of spring practice. They were enrolled for about six weeks before the Stokely incident and – because all four players are on indefinite suspension -- it is likely they will neither practice nor play in the Orange-White game on Saturday, April 24.
“There are high expectations, high standards to represent Tennessee football,” Heupel said. “At the same time, we will stay true to those kids and support them as they go through this. As we gain information, we will be able to share that.”