Tennessee joins suspension bandwagon
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee receiver James Banks remains suspended and will miss the season's first three games -- including a huge SEC East clash against rival Florida -- because he was cited for underage drinking and defying police orders to turn down his radio, coach Phillip Fulmer said Tuesday.
Banks, a junior from Indianapolis and last year's leading receiver, was indefinitely suspended in March for violating unspecified team rules. Fulmer said at the time Banks could rejoin the team if he accomplished certain goals.
"In the last two months, he made excellent strides in fulfilling requirements set by me to get off the indefinite suspension he was on," Fulmer said in a statement. "However, now we have another issue that has embarrassed this team and the university."
Banks will miss games against UNLV, Florida and Louisiana Tech.
He can be reinstated for the Oct. 2 game against Auburn if he meets certain conditions set by Fulmer, including completing 25 hours of alcohol-related community service work and going to alcohol counseling sessions, Fulmer said.
Banks was cited July 16 after police were called at 3 a.m. to break up an unruly crowd of about 50 people at Rocky Top Markets on Cumberland Avenue near campus. Officers asked people to stop blaring music from their cars, but Banks continued to turn up the volume, police said.
Officers found a six-pack of beer in his car, five of which were unopened. Banks turns 21 on Aug. 14.
Banks also was suspended for the first half of last year's Peach Bowl.
Banks led the Volunteers in receiving last season with 42 catches for 621 yards. He was a backup quarterback as a freshman and earned a start in one game while Casey Clausen was injured.
Re: Tennessee joins suspension bandwagon
Couldn't happen to a finer institution.
Watch out Big Orange, you aren't the big fish in the small pond of the State of Tennessee this year. Memphis has a better football team than you.
Like it or lump it, the Tigers are better than the Vols.
Ain't life grand?