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Tennessee suspends Da’Rick Rogers indefinitely, won’t play in 2012

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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(AP)

Add Tennessee receiver Da'Rick Rogers to a growing list of star players that won't be playing in the FBS this season.

Tennessee coach Derek Dooley announced Thursday that Rogers had been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules and that he didn't expect the junior, who led the SEC with 67 catches for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns last year, to suit up for the Vols this year.

Roger is not listed on Tennessee's depth chart, which was released Thursday for its Aug. 31 season opener against N.C. State at the Georgia Dome.

While Dooley did not give details about the suspension, he did note that it was because of "recent events." Just last week, Dooley had praised Rogers for his work during preseason camp. But things apparently took a turn for the worse quickly.

This isn't the first time Rogers has given the Vols' coach problems. Shortly after he signed his letter of intent in 2010, Rogers was arrested after a fight at a Knoxville Bar.

This past offseason, Rogers was slapped with a two-week ban from football activities and missed some of spring practice. Rumors were rampant in the summer that Rogers was contemplating transfer, but came to fall camp and seemed to be headed down a different path.

Dooley seemingly left Rogers' status with Tennessee open-ended. While he said he probably wouldn't play for the Vols this season, he didn't say he was dismissed from the program. Time will tell what Rogers intends to do with the rest of his career.

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(AP)

The story of star players getting into trouble and ultimately leaving their FBS teams has become all-too-familiar this offseason. Georgia's Isaiah Crowell, Florida State's Greg Reid, Arkansas State's Michael Dyer and LSU's Tyrann Mathieu all were booted from their respective teams this offseason. Crowell and Reid found new places to play while Dyer and Mathieu aren't playing at all in 2012.

While all of these players were spectacular on the field, they all had issues off of it. From legal run-ins to drug abuse, each one of these players cost more to keep than to let go. That's why, as surprising as it may seems, coaches have been willing to part ways with their top talent than to allow their mistakes to poison team chemistry.

In terms of Tennessee, losing Rogers is a big deal. Dooley is entering his crucial third season, and after an 11-14 record and a loss to Kentucky last year that kept the Vols from being bowl eligible, Dooley is walking a very thin line.

Cordarrelle Patterson, a junior college transfer, will replace Rogers on the depth, and Justin Hunter, who missed most of 2011 with a knee injury, is back. Hunter has the ability to reproduce Rogers' numbers

The second-best receiver on the team a year ago was tight end Mychal Rivera, who had 29 catches for 344 and a touchdown. After that was Hunter with 17 catches for 314 yards and two scores.

Also, Tennessee's running game didn't help matters. It ranked 116th nationally and last in the conference.

Quarterback Tyler Bray told govolsxtra.com that he wasn't worried about Rogers' suspension.

"We've got a mature group," Bray said. "We'll be fine."

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