, , , , ,

Last night, three members of the Tennessee Vols football team were arrested on three counts of armed robbery each.  Nu’Keese Richardson, Janzen Jackson and Mike Edwards allegedly were involved in threatening three men at a Pilot gas station just off campus with a pellet gun in an attempt to rob them.  The three were eventually caught and arrested along with a female University of Tennessee student who was also in possession of marijuana.  Ironically, the event took place at a gas station owned by a former Tennessee player and a huge Tennessee booster.

Now, the facts of this case are still coming in, but Coach Lane Kiffin still must deal with the mess.  The arrests came at a very bad time for Kiffin who boasted in a press conference yesterday afternoon that

“We’ve had zero arrests in 11 months here.”

Unfortunately, that fact changed a few hours later.  Today, the story has garnered much national attention, and everyone is waiting to see what Lane Kiffin will do to his players.

Even though Kiffin is a new coach, all three players are freshmen, and they were signed by him.  In fact, some football fans might remember the drama that Nu’Keese Richardson’s recruitment caused.  He was the recruit that decommited from Florida in order to sign with the Vols.  He was the signee who Lane Kiffin falsely claimed Urban Meyer cheated to try to get and “still didn’t get him.”  What a mess.

All three players have seen the field this year.  Nu’Keese Richardson has been a punt returner and wide receiver, and Janzen Jackson has served as a starting safety (who has even been compared to Eric Berry).  Mike Edwards has recorded 5 tackles this season.  There are some reports that Jackson may not have initially been with the other two players when they first approached the three men.  Hopefully, all of the facts about the incident will be in soon.

The bottom line is, if all three players were indeed involved with this incident, then they should be kicked off the team immediately.  Despite only being in Knoxville for a short period of time, two have already been involved in other issues.  Jackson was suspended for last week’s game against Memphis after failing a drug test.  Richardson had to be disciplined after skipping practice last week.

Kiffin recently boasted that he had “street cred” following his inclusion in the lyrics of a Lil Wayne rap song.  (You guys can look those lyrics up.)  Bottom line is, Kiffin must stop “finger pointing” at other programs and fix his own now.  You cannot embrace being supported by a rapper who also raps about incidents like the one your players were involved in last night.

Mike Edwards managed to be caught on camera last night being put into a police car wearing a Tennessee Vols t’shirt that read: “Impossible is nothing.”  I agree with his shirt.  Last night, I would have thought it impossible that such talented guys could screw up their lives in this manner.  I would have thought it impossible for talented football players who were possibly NFL-bound and future millionaires to throw it away in a FAILED robbery (the people they threatened had no money). But, nothing is impossible.