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Quote: Another UT player disciplined, this time by dismissal Fulmer kicks redshirt lineman Henderson off team
By CHRIS LOW
KNOXVILLE – On the heels of Tennessee senior linebacker Marvin Mitchell's being indefinitely suspended from the team, Coach Phillip Fulmer has permanently dismissed redshirt freshman defensive lineman Raymond Henderson.
Fulmer said he initially told Henderson that he was off the team during a fiery team meeting on Monday night. Mitchell was arrested and charged for disorderly conduct earlier that morning.
Part of Fulmer’s ire was also directed at Henderson during that meeting for what Fulmer called an “inappropriate” encounter Henderson had at a restaurant with a woman and her adolescent daughter.
Fulmer declined to discuss the specifics of the incident, but said Henderson was not arrested.
“I’m not putting up with any more of these type things, and I’ve made that as clear to the players as I possibly can,” Fulmer said.
Several players said they have never seen Fulmer as irate as he was during Monday night’s meeting and said he was even throwing water bottles during his tirade.
“The sad thing is that it’s just a few guys embarrassing us,” Fulmer said. “But we’re not going to tolerate any of it.”
Fulmer said Mitchell’s potential return to the team would hinge on his meeting certain requirements and conditions. Mitchell, who exited the spring as the Vols’ starting middle linebacker, may also face suspension from games if he’s allowed to return.
“If he doesn’t do what he’s supposed to, then he won’t be with us,” Fulmer said. “He’s got to make better decisions than he did the other night.”
The Vols had gone nearly a year without any off-the-field issues until the two recent incidents with Mitchell and Henderson.
A highly rated defensive end prospect from Oak Creek, Wis., Henderson was redshirted last season. He wasn’t mentioned much this spring by the coaches when discussing the defensive line rotation and finished the spring at tackle.
The Gophers landed a big-time talent in Raymond Henderson, who recently was dismissed from Tennessee. Chip Scoggins, Star TribuneLast update: June 27, 2006 – 7:53 PM
The Gophers football team has landed a former blue-chip high school prospect who was dismissed from Tennessee's football team in May.
Defensive lineman Raymond Henderson has transferred to Minnesota and will enroll in summer school classes July 10. Henderson, who was one of the nation's top-ranked defensive ends at Oak Creek (Wis.) High, must sit out this coming season as a transfer and will be eligible to play in 2007. He was a redshirt freshman at Tennessee this past season, leaving him with three years of eligibility.
Henderson was kicked off Tennessee's team by Coach Phillip Fulmer this spring after he reportedly made an inappropriate comment to a woman at a restaurant. Gophers director of football operations Tim Allen said the school investigated the incident and Henderson's background extensively before admitting him to school.
"We explored every avenue," Allen said.
Gophers coach Glen Mason and Fulmer are friends and discussed Henderson's situation after he was dismissed. Allen said Henderson also signed a release allowing Tennessee officials to send his disciplinary records to Minnesota.
Henderson was not arrested after the incident, according to the Nashville Tennessean newspaper. Fulmer, who came under fire nationally after his program had a series of off-the-field incidents last year, told the paper that Henderson made an "inappropriate" comment to the woman but declined to give specifics. Fulmer also told the paper that it wasn't the first time Henderson had been in trouble, although no details were provided.
Henderson's high school coach, Joe Koch, told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in May that he received numerous calls from schools after Henderson left Tennessee.
"The other schools said [the incident] was very, very minor," Koch told the paper. "He never got in any trouble [at Oak Creek]."
Gophers athletic director Joel Maturi said the football staff consulted him before seeking to have Henderson admitted.
"With anybody that's being admitted, whether that's a freshman or a transfer student, it has to be a good fit for the University of Minnesota," Maturi said. "We're convinced this young man is."
The Gophers recruited Henderson (6-5, 270 pounds) in high school but were unable to sign him. He was Wisconsin's second-best prospect and the nation's eighth-best strongside defensive end as a senior, according to Rivals.com. He had offers from LSU, Nebraska, Notre Dame, UCLA and Iowa, among others.
• Former running back Gary Russell still is not enrolled in summer school, and several school officials said they don't anticipate he will return