May 12, 2010
Knoxville, TN: In a spring where the quiet hush of silence from the UT Football program is broken only with the gasps of players quitting the team, we add another name to the list. Although this couldn’t come to a shock to any Vol fan who has kept close eyes on the football program over the past 2 years, Aaron Douglas has left the program and been released from his scholarship at the University of Tennessee. In a recent article, the Douglas family seemed to place blame solely on the shoulders of newly hired coach Derek Dooley and the discovered diagnosis that Aaron is suffering from depression. It was only 18 months ago that Aaron Douglas and his family were in the media spotlight voicing their disappointment with the firing of coach Phillip Fulmer, the hiring of now USC head coach Lane Kiffin, and doing their best to make their decision paramount to those of the football program.
In defense of Aaron Douglas and other players, with the current turmoil involving the UT program, one can’t blame these students from attempting to seek a more stable situation. In today’s climate, however, it also begs the question of how we can really call these athletes “players”. “Players” would indicate or infer that your part of a team or program. How can a team or program, even with a new head coach, develop any kind of cohesiveness if the athletes aren’t truly part of the team but just trying to further their own individual goals?
While it would appear that Douglas simply wasn’t happy with following in his parent’s footsteps and the pressures that come along with it, like most people today, he apparently doesn’t want to take any responsibility for this decision and simply points fingers. This does a major injustice to coach Dooley who wasn’t responsible for firing Fulmer, wasn’t responsible for hiring Kiffin, nor was he responsible for Kiffin turning tail and riding his USC chariot out of Knoxville, and lastly he should be given the chance! The chance to redo this team into more than a collection of ME players. ME players are not doing our program any benefit, so I will always be happy to see these players weeded out in an effort to better the program.
On my last note, I’ll simply say…..Depression? Really? Welcome to the real world. Do we all really need a label cause we aren’t happy with our own decisions?