March 2012 Archives

Skinns Victorious in North Carolina

Former Tennessee star David Skinns won his fifth career NGA Pro Golf Tour title Saturday when he captured the Cutter Creek Golf Classic on the second playoff hole.

Skinns, who won the 2005 SEC individual championship during a stellar Vols career, began the final round with a two-stroke lead but needed to birdie the 18th hole to force a playoff against Chas Narramore. Skinns then birdied No. 18 twice in succession to claim his first NGA win since last year at the River Islands Classic outside Knoxville.

"No win comes easy, but this one was a battle today," said Skinns, who earned $22,000. "I saw Chas set that number, and I knew I had to play well coming down the stretch. I did that and snuck through in the playoff."

Skinns entered the week sixth on this year's money list after finishing 12th and third in his first two starts of 2012.

Another former Vol, David Holmes, had his best career NGA Tour finish with a tie for 20th. The Knoxville native and 2007-10 Vols golfer carded a final-round 70 to improve 20 places on the leaderboard.

For the complete story, click here.

Happy Birthday - March 31: Josh Allman, Isaac Mobley

On March 31, we wish Happy Birthday to senior baseball pitcher Josh Allman and sophomore football lineman Isaac Mobley.

Josh Allman  Isaac Mobley

Saturday's Tennessee Football Briefing (3/31)

The Vols hit the field for their fourth spring practice on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. Here are the latest stories on Derek Dooley's squad.

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Switch to 3-4 defense earns good reviews
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: UT Vols' offensive line determined
- Inside Tennessee: Can Vols move the chains?
- Inside Tennessee: Finding pieces to puzzle

Happy Birthday - March 30: Morgan Fowler

On March 30, we wish Happy Birthday to junior utility player Morgan Fowler of the softball team. 

Morgan Fowler

R.A. Dickey's Book on Sale

Former Tennessee pitcher and current New York Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey's memoir, entitled "Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball," is officially on sale starting today. 

An English literature major at UT, Dickey is the most recent inductee into the Tennessee Baseball Hall of Fame, being honored in January. In his book, he details a difficult childhood and describes his long journey in Major League Baseball. 

Excerpts from his book can be found in the New York Daily News

The book can be purchased at any major book retailer, including

Friday's Tennessee Football Briefing (3/30)

The Vols went through their third practice this spring on Thursday. Check out VOL REPORT: Vols Focused On Vols as well as this video report from Bob Kesling of the Vol Network.

Here are some stories from the media:

- Chattanooga Times Free Press: UT defenders taking notes
- Inside Tennessee: Brewer back, in the box

Thursday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/29)

Check out this story on Vols head coach Cuonzo Martin from the Purdue Exponent: Tennessee head coach draws from experience at Purdue

Sports Page PDF

ON TOUR: Hubble Goes for Back-to-Back $15k Titles

Former Vol Adam Hubble and doubles partner Adam Feeney will play for their second ITF Futures title in as many weeks Friday on the Australian pro circuit.

Hubble and Feeney, seeded third, knocked off top-seeded Brydan Klein and Jose Statham 6-1, 6-2 in the semifinals of the Bundaberg International, a $15,000 Futures event. They face second-seeded James Lemke and Dane Propoggia in the final. 

They won the Ipswich Futures last week.

Win or lose the title match, Hubble has built up enough points over the last two weeks to return to the top 400 in the ATP doubles rankings. He was ranked as high as No. 146 in August 2010 before injuries limited most of his 2011 schedule. He is currently No. 479.

Thursday's Tennessee Football Briefing (3/29)

The Vols return to the field for their third practice of Spring this morning. Check out SPRING CENTRAL for the latest from the gridiron.

Check out a time lapse video from Neyland Stadium: 

Here are the latest stories on Derek Dooley's squad and some other media stories on the Vols: 

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Sal Sunseri picking up Vols' spring tempo

ON TOUR: Williams Named Practice Partner for Davis Cup Tie

Former Vol Rhyne Williams will be traveling with the U.S. Davis Cup team to France next week, Colette Lewis of reported Tuesday.

Williams, former Texas A&M standout Austin Krajicek and 19-year-old Denis Kudla will serve as practice partners as the American squad faces France on the clay courts of Monaco in the World Group quarterfinals April 6-8. 

The four-man U.S. team is similar to the one that defeated Switzerland on the road in the first round of Davis Cup: world No. 8 Mardy Fish, No. 10 John Isner and the top-ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan. Ryan Harrison had played the tie against the Swiss because Bob Bryan was awaiting the birth of his daughter.

The French team includes No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 14 Gael Monfils, No. 33 Julien Benneteau and No. 5 Michael Llodra.

Williams has already put together an impressive start to 2012. He became the first Vol since Chris Woodruff in 2001 to reach the main draw of an ATP Masters 1000 event when he qualified for the BNP Paribas Open earlier this month in Indian Wells, Calif. He is currently ranked No. 368, a career best.

Hubble Rolls on in Doubles: Still on the road to regain his top-150 doubles ranking, former Vol Adam Hubble has been making strides toward that goal the last two weeks on the Australian Futures circuit. 

Hubble and Adam Feeney won the tournament last week at the Ipswich Futures and are already in the semifinals of the Bundaberg International, a $15,000 Futures event. They beat John Millman and Ben Wagland 6-2, 5-7, [10-6] in Wednesday's quarterfinals.

Neyland's 38 Team Maxims

Almost every true Tennessee fan can recite General Neyland's Seven Game Maxims by heart, but did you know that his original list had 38 maxims in total? 

Inspired by, and in some cases borrowed from the 1921 book published by his coach at West Point, Charles D. Daly, entitled American Football, How To Play It, Neyland collected a list of 38 maxims that he felt best described how to achieve success in the game of football. 

Below is the complete list of Neyland's 38 Team Maxims, as compiled in Andy Kozar's book, Football as a War Game -- The Annotated Journals of General R.R. Neyland

1. Thou shalt charge a block.
2. Thou shalt charge a fight.
3. A good interferer never looks back.
4. One good interferer is worth 3 ball carrying stars.
5. A team that won't be beat can't be beat.
6. The team that makes the fewest mistakes win.
7. Never stop till the referee's whistle blows.
8. Press the kicking game.
9. Make and play for the breaks. One comes your way, score.
10. If the game or a break goes against you, don't lie down, put on more steam.
11. Don't save yourself. Go the limit. There are good men on the sidelines when you are exhausted. 
12. Football is a battle. Go out to fight and keep it up all afternoon.
13. A man's value to his team varies inversely as his distance from the ball.
14. If the line goes forward, the team wins; if it comes backward, the team loses.
15. Never lose the ball on downs.
16. You can't fight like a man with less than 100% loyalty and college spirit.
17. You can't do yourself justice without getting and staying in condition. 
18. At least 3 men make every tackle, "Gang Tacklers." 
19. Let none escape!
20. 1st rush equals 6 yds.
21. Eleven men in every play.
22. Use your head. 75 percent of football is above the neck.
23. One increasing purpose.
24. A quitter never wins & a winner never quits. 
25. Keep everlastingly on the job.
26. Be the first to line up.
27. Never stop fighting.
28. No good blocker and tackler was ever kept off a football team.
29. Use your eyes, your hands, your legs, and your head.
30. Be aggressive, you can't win the game on your side of the scrimmage line.
31. If the game is going against you, keep your head up, set your jaw, and dig in. This is what tests the stuff you are made of.
32. Hate & abhor the scrimmage line; it is a restraining mark.
33. "Turf" their defense! Get them down!
34. A winning team quickens its play as it nears the goal line!
35. Get the jump on your teammates on the charge.
36. Follow the ball!
37. Play your own position well first.
38. Line -- charge with the ball!

Foster Moves Onto Round 2 Of Madden '13 Cover Vote Tourney


Former Tennessee and current Houston Texans running back Arian Foster has moved onto the second round of the Madden '13 Cover Vote Tournament, defeating the New York Jets' Tim Tebow by a count of 54 to 46 percent.

The third-seeded Foster is now up against six-seed Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson in the second round. Fans can vote for Foster from now until next Wednesday (April 4) at the above link.

The third-seeded Foster was one of the original 32 selected for the tournament, which ends April 25.

Produced annually by EA Sports, the cover athlete of the popular Madden '13 video game will be determined by fan vote for the second consecutive year.

Happy Birthday - March 28: March, McRae, Neal

Three Vols celebrate their birthdays on March 28: track & field/cross country runner Scott March, basketball guard Jordan McRae and football tailback Rajion Neal.

Scott March  Jordan McRae  Rajion Neal

Wednesday's Tennessee Football Briefing (3/28)

Day 2 of the Vols Spring Practice is in the books, check out: VOL REPORT: A Chance To Be 'Special' and this video package from Tuesday's action:

Here are the stories from the media:

- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Senior UT tackle Dallas Thomas works at guard
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Linebacker AJ Johnson likes Vols' defense
- Inside Tennessee: Back in the backfield
- Inside Tennessee: Making moves

Vol Calls Tonight At Texas Roadhouse At 8 p.m.

A special Tuesday night "Vol Calls" will feature comments from Lady Vols Assistant Basketball Coach Holly Warlick and senior Glory Johnson following Tennessee's NCAA Elite Eight loss to No. 1 Baylor Monday night. Bob Kesling will also have interviews with Head Football Coach Derek Dooley,  quarterback Tyler Bray, wide receiver Justin Hunter and offensive lineman Tiny Richardson. "Vol Calls" originates live from the Texas Roadhouse at Turkey Creek in West Knoxville. 

New soccer coach Brian Pensky will be a live guest at the Texas Roadhouse. 

The show can be heard across the state on the Vol Radio Network and online at Fans may ask questions by calling 1-800-688-8657 or Verizon customers may dial #TENN. Fans may also submit questions through the Vol Network-IMG Facebook page.


Lady Vols Ranked 19th In Newest ITA Polls


The Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team is ranked 19th in the newest ITA National College Tennis Rankings, the governing body released Tuesday.

Ironically, UT matched its lowest ranking of the season, dropping to the same slot the Lady Vols did after losing their first two matches in which they played with an incomplete lineup in January.

UT is coming off three losses in which it was forced to play shorthanded due to injuries, a similar situation to what took place in late January.

Despite the drop, Tennessee still owns six Top 25 wins, three of which were against opponents ranked in the Top 12.

The Lady Vols are one of just five teams nationally (Baylor, Florida, USC & Stanford) to have three players ranked in the Top 50.

Brynn Boren, who recorded her 50th career win Sunday vs. Arkansas, leads the Lady Vols slotted at 28th.

Natalie Pluskota remained steady at 29 for the second consecutive poll. Pluskota hasn't played since the previous release (March 13).

Kata Szekely marks the third Lady Vol in the Top 50, coming in at No. 49.

Tennessee also has three ranked tandems, with Pluskota a part of two of them.

Pluskota and Caitlyn Williams moved up three spots to No. 12, UT's highest-ranked duo.

Pluskota also moved up three spots with Szekely to the No. 18 spot. The duo won all three of its matches last week.

Brynn Boren and Sarah Toti round out Tennessee's ranked pairings at No. 21.

The Lady Vols are the only team with three duos ranked in the Top 21.

Happy Birthday - March 27: Justin Coleman, Alicia Manning

On March 27, we wish Happy Birthday to rising sophomore defensive back Justin Coleman and senior women's basketball Alicia Manning.

Justin Coleman  Alicia Manning

Tuesday's Tennessee Football Briefing (3/27)

The football team returned to the practice field on Monday morning and went through its first spring session. Check out the VOL REPORT: Spring Practice Underway as well as this video report from Bob Kesling.

Here are the stories on the first day from the media:

- Inside Tennessee: Ahead of schedule
- Inside Tennessee: Familiar path
- Inside Tennessee: Beaming 'backer

Monday's Tennessee Football Briefing (3/26)

The Vols hold their first Spring football practice this morning. Be sure to check back for Coach Dooley's comments and a Vol Report early this afternoon.

On Sunday, Dooley held his Pre-Spring Press Conference, watch the video here:

Here are stories from the media as the Vols gear up for Spring ball:

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Everybody take a name tag, please
- Knoxville News Sentinel: Dooley sets the table for spring practice
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Vols coach Derek Dooley focused on future at UT
- Inside Tennessee: Dooley's disciples

Wingardh Ready for Challenge Tour

Former Tennessee golfer Robin Wingardh (2008-11) is preparing a return to the European Challenge Tour in May after playing in eight events last year.

The 2011 Vols captain turned pro after last year's NCAA Championship in Oklahoma and made his very first cut at the Scottish Hydro Challenge in late June. Wingardh went on to make three more cuts in eight tournament appearances, finishing with nearly $5,000 in earnings.

This past winter, Wingardh played six times in the NGA Tour's Winter Series in Florida. After missing the cut in his first tournament, the Swede had five straight top-20s, including a tie for second at Shingle Creek Golf Club in Orlando. Wingardh finished with $12,972 in earnings.

Already playing on this year's European Challenge Tour are former Vols Chris Paisley (2006-09) and Charlie Ford (2005-08). Paisley placed 22nd and 30th in the first two tournaments and stands 27th on the money list with approximately $4,500 in earnings. Ford missed the first cut but finished 44th at the event in Colombia two weeks ago and is 63rd on the money list in the early going.

The Challenge Tour resumes this week in Kenya.

Three more recent Vols are competing on the NGA Tour Pro Series, formerly the Hooters Tour.

David Skinns (2002-05) has finished third and 12th during his quick start to 2012 and earned $12,467. Skinns is sixth on this year's money list after placing 17th last year, when he won the Knoxville area's River Islands Golf Club Classic and earned more than $50,000.

David Holmes (2007-10) and Cameron Lawrence (2008-10) also are competing on the NGA Tour. Holmes has made two cuts in three tries and finished inside the top 30 both times to amass $2,743 in earnings. Lawrence has made one cut in two tries and earned $1,000.

Philip Pettitt (2005-08) has the week off after missing the cut by two strokes at the Nationwide Tour's Chitimacha Louisiana Open. The Nationwide Tour's next stop is April 5-8 at the Soboba Golf Classic in San Jacinto, Calif.

Happy Birthday - March 26: Ali Hall, Wes Washpun

On March 26, we wish Happy Birthday to rising senior defender Ali Hall of the soccer team and rising sophomore Wes Washpun of the basketball team. 

Ali Hall  Wes Washpun

Happy Birthday - March 25: Mo Couch, Ben Scheffer

On March 25, we wish Happy Birthday to football's Maurice Couch and swimming's Ben Scheffer.

Maurice Couch  Ben Scheffer

Sunday's Tennessee Football Briefing (3/25)

Be sure to watch football coach Derek Dooley's pre-Spring press conference on Sunday at 2 p.m. Dooley will give an overview of the program as the Vols get ready for their first practice on Monday at 9 a.m.

Here are some stories from the media as spring football camp gets underway:

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Spring camp a time to repair for Vols
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: UT Vols' offense to focus on running issues
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Five questions for UT Vols' spring drills
- Inside Tennessee: Spring Breakdown: Safeties

Sunday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/25)

With Cuonzo Martin's first season as Vols head coach in the books, take a look back at a month-by-month account from the Knoxville News Sentinel: Cuonzo Martin reflects on first year at UT.

Also, Volquest has this season review story: Vols look to keep building

Saturday Baseball Briefing (3/24)

Tennessee ended No. 2 Kentucky's season-opening 22-game winning streak on Friday night, riding the hot arm of Zack Godley who fired eight strong innings. The junior righthander held the SEC's top-hitting team to just one run on three hits while striking out four as the Vols handed the nation's last undefeated team its first loss of the season, 4-1. Watch highlights of last night's contest below:

Read up on the media coverage of UT's win below as well: 

Knoxville News Sentinel: Zack Godley, Vols hand Kentucky first loss of season Vols hand Kentucky its first loss, 4-1 Vols grab series opening win over unbeaten Kentucky Vols tame Cats, end streak, 4-1

Donte' Stallworth Officially Signs With Patriots

Former Vols star Donte' Stallworth has returned to the New England Patriots, signing a contract on Friday. Stallworth spent the 2007 season with the Patriots when they went 18-0 before losing the Super Bowl to the New York Giants. He had 46 catches during the regular season. Stallworth had 17 receptions with Cleveland in 2008, two with Baltimore in 2010 and 22 with Washington last year.  

Happy Birthday - March 24: Raven Chavanne, Ramzee Fondren

On March 24, we wish Happy Birthday to junior softball star Raven Chavanne and senior distance runner Ramzee Fondren.

Raven Chavanne  Ramzee Fondren

Saturday's Tennessee Football Briefing (3/24)

Head Coach Derek Dooley will meet with the media on Sunday at 2 p.m., for his pre-Spring press conference. Then, the Vols spring practices start on Monday morning at 9 a.m. Check out a few stories leading into the start of Spring ball. 

Vols in Spring Training Roundup

Spring Training is in full swing for all 30 Major League clubs and former Vols can be found sprinkled throughout a number of rosters. Below is a statistical breakdown of the performance of the nine former UT players that have played in a big league spring training game so far, as well as videos from both Luke Hochevar and Chase Headley discussing the upcoming season.

TODD HELTON - Colorado Rockies
.333 (7-for-21), 0 HR, 2 RBIs, 4 R, 4 2B (9 games)

LUKE HOCHEVAR - Kansas City Royals
2-1, 2.25 ERA 3 GS, 8.0 IP, 10 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 7 K

R.A. DICKEY - New York Mets
1-1, 4.05 ERA, 4 G, 3 GS, 13.1 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 4 BB, 9 K, .191 Opp. BA

J.P. ARENCIBIA - Toronto Blue Jays
.242 (8-for-33), 4 HR, 9 RBIs, 5 R, 1 2B, 1 SB (11 games)

CHASE HEADLEY - San Diego Padres
.304 (7-for-23), 2 HR, 4 RBIs, 5 R, 1 2B (8 games)

JULIO BORBON - Texas Rangers
.345 (10-for-29), 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 5 R, 1 2B, 3 SB (15 games)

KENTRAIL DAVIS - Milwaukee Brewers
.250 (2-for-8), 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 R (5 games)

DEUNTE HEATH - Chicago White Sox
0-0, 2.25 ERA, 3 G, 1 SV, 4.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, .143 Opp. BA

YAN GOMES - Toronto Blue Jays
.474 (9-for-14), 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 4 R, 4 2B (11 games)

.000 (0-for-1) (1 game)

Happy Birthday - March 23: Alison Clarke, Jordan Williams

On March 23, we wish Happy Birthday to rising soccer sophomore defender Alison Clarke and rising football sophomore defensive lineman Jordan Williams.

Alison Clarke  Jordan Williams

Friday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/23)

GoVols247 has a feature on freshmen Jarnell Stokes, who just finished his first college season with the Vols. He has high hopes for the future with Tennessee. Check out: Excuse-free Stokes focusing forward.

Inside Tennessee also has a look ahead to the 2012-13 season in this story: Looking ahead.

Lady Vol S&D Earns Four Points in Capital One Cup

As a result of its seventh-place finish at the 2012 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships, the Lady Vol Swimming & diving squad earned Tennessee four points in the 2011-12 Capital One Cup.

At the national championships held last week, the Big Orange registered the second-best placing in program history, tying with Auburn for seventh after accumulating 260.5 points. Nine Lady Vol competitor achieved All-America status, combining for 31 A-A certificates in 16 events.

The S&D squad is the first team to achieve points for Tennessee is the cup standings. The women's basketball team can add to the total when postseason play is completed.

Complete Capital One Cup Standings can be viewed here.

ON TOUR: Sandgren, Smith Win to Start Tournaments

Former Vols Tennys Sandgren and John-Patrick Smith won to start tournaments Wednesday in California and Canada respectively. 

Fresh off his title run last week at the Calabasas Futures, Sandgren defeated Vladimir Obradovic of Serbia 7-6 (5), 6-2 to move into the second round of the Costa Mesa Futures, also a $15,000 event. On Thursday, he faces American qualifier Chris Wettengel, who upset second-seeded Carsten Ball of Australia 7-5, 6-2. 

Last time Sandgren won one singles title, he ended up winning in back-to-back weeks, taking the singles titles in Godfrey and Decatur, Ill.

In Canada, Smith is on the hunt for his fourth doubles title of 2012 at the Rimouski Challenger, a $35,000 plus hospitality event. He and fellow Australian Collin Ebelthite defeated Americans Maciek Sykut and Denis Zivkovic 6-1, 6-1 to advance to today's quarterfinals.

Because Smith was in the semifinals of last week's tournament, he was unable to travel to Rimouski in time for singles qualifying. 

Happy Birthday - March 22: Martin, Summerhill, Woolridge

A trio of Vols birthdays on March 22. Happy Birthday to senior football defensive lineman  Ben Martin, sophomore football tailback Deanthonie Summerhill and senior basketball forward  Renaldo Woolridge

Ben Martin  Deanthonie Summerhill  Renaldo Woolridge

Thursday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/22)

The Chattanooga Times Free Press has a nice story recapping Cuonzo Martin's first season as head coach of the Vols: UT basketball impressed in Cuonzo Martin's first season.

Help Vote Arian Foster On Madden '13 Cover!

Former Tennessee running back Arian Foster is one of 32 NFL players eligible to be selected for the cover of the Madden NFL '13 video game. Produced annually by EA Sports, the cover athlete will be determined by fan vote for the second consecutive year.

From now until March 28, fans can vote for No. 3 seed Arian Foster to move past former Florida Gator and the newest member of the New York Jets, Tim Tebow, onto the second round at the above link. 

Hosted by, the five-round tournament lasts until April 25.

Follow Ups Stories on Peyton Manning Signing With Denver

John Elway flashed that mile-wide grin and turned the microphone over to his new quarterback, Peyton Manning.

Talk about a powerful pair.

Introducing Manning as the newest Denver Bronco on Tuesday, the two Super Bowl winners each talked about hoisting another Lombardi Trophy, this time together. And soon.

"I realize I don't have 14 years left, by any means," Manning said. "This isn't something where I'm just building a foundation to do something in two years or three years. This is a now situation. We're going to do whatever we can to win right now. That's all I'm thinking about right now."

Check out some more stories from the media on Manning's introduction as the newest Denver Bronco.

- Comfort level

Wednesday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/21)

The Vols basketball team finished its 2011-12 season on Monday night in the NIT Second Round. The future looks bright for Cuonzo Martin's squad. Check out a few stories looking ahead to next season. 

- GoVols247: Maymon proves mettle

Also, there were a few stories on Jeronne Maymon's Knee Surgery, which took place on Tuesday.

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Jeronne Maymon has knee surgery

Peyton Manning, Broncos OK $96 Million Deal


In a packed team meeting room inside of Denver's training facility, Peyton Manning stood next to John Elway and team owner Pat Bowlen and held up brand new orange No. 18 Broncos jersey, officially kicking off his introduction as the next quarterback of the Denver Broncos.

"I'm very excited to begin the next chapter of my playing career with the Denver Broncos," Manning said during a Tuesday news conference. "This truly is a special football environment, and I'm glad to be a part of it.

" ... I'm thrilled to be here. I'm looking forward to meeting my new teammates, and doing whatever I can to help this franchise win another Super Bowl."

Here are some national media stories:

- Broncos welcome Manning

- Doesn't happen without Elway

- Back in orange: Manning 'thrilled' to begin next chapter in Denver

- What to expect from Manning in 2012

- CBS Passing the torch

- Shot at another title drew Manning to Broncos

- Manning's mental edge gives Broncos a boost

- Denver Post: Peyton Manning introduced

- Denver Post: Peyton Manning will wear No. 18 with Broncos

- Denver Post: Peyton Manning's deal with Broncos: 5 years, $96 million

Happy Birthday - March 20: Bullard, Gooch, Walker

A trio of Vols birthdays on March 20. Happy Birthday to football junior lineman Alex Bullard and senior lineman Darin Gooch and senior baseball catcher Wes Walker.

Alex Bullard  Darin Gooch  Wes Walker

Donte' Stallworth Agrees To Join Patriots

The New England Patriots are stocking up on wide receivers who have experience in their complex offensive system.

A person with knowledge of the negotiations said Monday that wide receiver Donte Stallworth has agreed to a one-year contract to return to the Patriots. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter.

Stallworth spent one season with the Patriots in 2007 when they went 18-0 before losing the Super Bowl to the New York Giants. He had 46 catches during the regular season. 

Here are some more media stories on Stallworth's deal:

- Boston Herald: Pats keep plugging holes

Jason Allen Signs With Bengals

The Bengals have signed free agent cornerback Jason Allen from Houston. A former Vols star, Allen played in all 18 games for the Texans and their first-round playoff victory over Cincinnati, getting four interceptions overall last season. He was a Dolphins first-round pick in 2006 and joined the Texans last season.

Here are some stories from the media: 

- Allen moves in as Bengals Wild Card

Tuesday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/20)

ON TOUR: Sandgren Captures Third Pro Title


Former Vol Tennys Sandgren captured his third USTA Pro Circuit Futures title with a straight-set win over Daniel Kosakowski on Monday, completing the rain-delayed $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit Futures event at the Calabasas Tennis and Swim Center.
Sandgren earned 27 valuable ranking points and a $1,950 check by virtue of his 6-3, 7-5 victory over the No. 5 seeded former UCLA Bruin Kosakowski at the USTA Men's Pro Tennis Championship of Calabasas.
The victory was a long time coming for the 2011 NCAA singles semifinalist. In July and August, Sandgren won two $10,000-level Pro Circuit events in Illinois, but he entered the Calabasas tournament having reached one semifinal since then. 

"I haven't had too many good tournaments; it's been kind of a tough year for me so far," said Sandrgen, who turned pro last summer after two years at Tennessee. "I'm just now starting to build my confidence back and feeling good about my game right now."
Sandgren needed three sets to advance -- and nearly four hours -- in his quarterfinal match, and he fought off two match points in his three-set semifinal upset of top-seeded Andre Begemann. Kosakowski had to win two matches Sunday after a full day of rain washed out the tournament on Saturday.
Up 3-0 and then 4-2 serving in the second set, Sandgren got a little bit tight and enabled Kosakowski to break back and make for a very competitive last four games. Sandgren committed his only double fault in the seventh game trying to hold and go up 5-2. 

"It's hard to go an entire match without double faulting, but I definitely picked the wrong time to throw it in there, that's for sure," he said. "But I'm still up a set and on serve and it's late in the match so I just knew I had to lock it down and I did."
With the 27 added tour points, Sandgren will break into the top 450 in the ATP rankings for the first time in his career. 

"I'm really excited about the points," Sandgren said. "It's what I'd hoped to accomplish at these tournaments in California. To get all those points in the first week is great, and I hope to build on that this week."

There was no rest for the weary for Sandgren or Kosakowski. After his win, Sandgren traveled the hour's drive to the next tournament destination: the $15,000 Futures event in Costa Mesa, Calif. He starts doubles on Tuesday.

When Sandgren won his first title in Godfrey, Ill., he backed that performance up with a singles trophy in Decatur, Ill., the very next week. While extremely difficult, Sandgren won't rule out the possibility of repeating the repeat. But he's not looking too far ahead, either.

"Anything's possible, that's for sure," Sandgren said. "It's a really tough field again this week, obviously. Lots of good players. I just have to take one match at a time and see what happens."

In the next month, Sandgren plans on competing in the Challenger in Talahassee, Fla., and the pair of $15,000 Futures stops in Oklahoma City, Okla., and Little Rock, Ark. 

(Championship match information and some quotes provided by Steve Pratt.)

ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (3/19/12)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of March 19, 2012. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.

Rhyne Williams

Singles: 368 (+59)

Doubles: 398 (+70)

Note: Cracked the top 400 for the first time in his career thanks to qualifying for the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., becoming the first Vol since Chris Woodruff in 2001 to reach the main draw of an ATP Masters 1000 event ... Points also added in doubles for winning title in Texas with Tennys Sandgren ... Plans on competing in the US Men's Clay Court Championships.

John-Patrick Smith

Singles: 399 (+15)

Doubles: 246 (+33)

Note: Points added from reaching the semifinals in singles and winning the doubles draw at the Gatineau Futures in Canada ... Reached the semifinals again last week at the Sherbrooke Futures ... Unable to reach site in time for singles qualifying but is seeded fourth in doubles with Colin Ebelthite in the Rimouski Challenger.

Tennys Sandgren

Singles: 527 (+7)

Doubles: 454 (+75)

Note: Points added for reaching the quarterfinals of the Harlingen Futures in Texas and also winning the doubles title with Rhyne Williams ... Playing in the finals today at the Calabasas Futures, looking for his third career professional singles title and first at the $15,000 level ... Scheduled to play in the Costa Mesa Futures this week in California.

Adam Hubble

Singles: N/A

Doubles: 479 (+3)

Note: Off last week ... qualified for singles at the Ipswich Futures in Australia and is seeded third with fellow Australian Adam Feeney.

Ben Rogers

Singles: N/A

Doubles: 533 (+4)

Note: Off this week.

ON TOUR: Sandgren in Final at Calabasas Futures

Former Vol Tennys Sandgren will play for his third professional singles title Monday morning at the Calabasas Futures in California.

Sandgren knocked off top-seeded Andre Begemann of Germany 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 in the semifinal Sunday. Begemann registered for the tournament ranked No. 266, giving Sandgren his first career top-300 victory.

Sandgren faces another collegiate player in the title match: former UCLA Bruin Dan Kosakowski, the fifth seeded. Kosakowski played one season at UCLA before starting his professional career last summer.

The former Vol's first two titles came in back-to-back weeks in July and August when he won the Godfrey Futures and the Decatur Futures in Illinois. This would be his first title at the $15,000 level.

Monday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/19)

Six days after advancing to the NIT Second Round, Tennessee returns to the court tonight as the Vols battle in-state foe MTSU. Get all your info in: NIT CENTRAL: Vols vs. MTSU.

Here are the latest stories from the media:

- Chattanooga Times Free Press: MTSU next foe for Vols
- Inside Tennessee: Missing Maymon
- Daily News Journal: MTSU, UT square off tonight

Peyton Manning: A VOL for LIFE! Will He Stay or Go?

  It wasn't all that long ago that I found myself buying the Manning family a nice Italian dinner in the French Quarter in New Orleans on Sports Illustrated's dime.  It was during that period of time when we all wondered if he would leave Tennessee early for the NFL or if he would stay on one more year.  SI wanted to know too, and they asked for un-precidented access to Peyton during the weeks that the VOLS prepared to play against Florida in 1996.
  I had been a major pain to Peyton and his family as SI was trying to do a massive picture story on Peyton's lineage as Archie's boy, a true QB son of the SEC, and an almost certain future success in "The League."  
  They sent me to shoot Eli playing a high school baseball game at Isidore Newman in New Orleans.  They sent me to Mississippi to shoot the "Mayor of Oxford," Cooper Manning, who's own injury kept him from certain stardom in the NFL.  They sent me to New Orleans to shoot Peyton's trophies and press clippings on one trip, and back again to shoot him playing golf with his Dad, and yet again to shoot Peyton and Eli playing catch in the front yard of their Garden District home.  One last time they sent me there to shoot the family eating pancakes together with father and sons splitting up and sharing various parts of the Times-Picayune's sports pages as they ate.  Olivia even made me a short stack too; they were really good.
  Everyone wonders about where Peyton will go now, to which city and which team.  We are all selfish and want him back here in the Volunteer state where his very presence will help us in recruiting and make him more available to his thousands of Big Orange fans, many of whom already own plenty of Titans gear.
  In a way, it doesn't matter where he goes.  He will always call attention to his alma mater, he will always be filled with class and grace like his parents, and he will ever be known as a Volunteer.  His generosity will always be noted as he continues to give back to the institution where he already gave and received so much.  Each time I see him return to our campus, he patiently signs autographs, encourages the vertically-challenged to stay in school, and can barely take a step before someone else approaches him in awe.  And he just keeps signing away.

20111015_FB_LSU_MANNING, P_WR_3.jpg

  It brings me back to that dinner when no one knew what he would do about leaving UT early.  I remember pondering this as I sat across the table from Peyton and his mother.  He was looking over the menu with a frown and said simply, "Mom, what do I like here?"  I thought then what I think now about where Peyton will go.  He will circle the wagons with his brothers, his Mom and Dad, and he will look deeply inside of himself and make a great decision.  And even if that turns out to be to a city other than our Capitol, we will all simply buy new jerseys and continue to brag that his greatness began like so many before him... "by running through the 'T'" in our own Neyland Stadium.  

Sunday's Tennessee Football Briefing (3/18)

Here are a few stories on the football team from the media including a great feature on former Vols All-American Eric Berry, who was back on campus for Pro Timing Day on Friday. 

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Love affair between Eric Berry and Vols still going strong
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Ex-Vols see positive signs

Sunday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/18)

The men's basketball team will take on MTSU in the NIT Second Round on Monday night at 7 p.m. Get all your info in NIT CENTRAL: Vols vs. MTSU.

Here are the latest stories from the media:

- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Maymon a maybe for Vols vs. MTSU
- Daily News Journal: NIT offers another shot for MTSU
- Inside Tennessee: Little brother?

Former Vols Star Scott Wells Signs With St. Louis Rams

Former Vols star center and 2012 NFL Pro Bowler Scott Wells has signed with the St. Louis Rams after playing his entire pro career with the Green Bay Packers. Check out these news stories on Wells and his new deal of four years for $24 million.

- St. Louis Times Dispatch: Rams snag a Pro Bowl center

Rams snag a Pro Bowl center

Saturday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/17)

Check out the Vol Hoops Report: March 16 with video interviews from many of the Vols players as UT prepares for Monday's match-up with MTSU. 

Here are the latest stories from the media on the basketball team. 

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Vols ready with or without Jeronne Maymon

Saturday's Tennessee Football Briefing (3/17)

ON TOUR: Smith Avenges Loss; Sandgren Returns to a Semifinal

It took them both three sets, but John-Patrick Smith and Tennys Sandgren both advanced to the semifinals of their respective $15,000 Futures tournaments Friday.

Smith avenged a third-set tiebreak loss to Vincent Millot a week ago in appropriate fashion, defeating second-seeded Frenchman 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3) in the quarterfinals of the Sherbrooke Futures in Quebec. 

Smith plays third-seeded Stefan Seifert of Germany in the semifinals today. Seifert won the Canadian tournament last week in Gatineau while Smith is aiming to reach his fourth professional final.

In the Calabasas Futures in California, Sandgren rallied after losing a first-set tiebreaker to beat Zimbabwe's Takayani Garanganga 6-7 (2), 7-5, 6-4 to move on to his first ITF Futures semifinal since September in Canada.

Sandgren faces top-seeded Andre Begemann of Germany in the semifinals. Begemann entered the tournament ranked No. 266, and Sandren is still looking for his first top-300 win.

With eight ATP points already accumulated in the tournament, Sandgren will be close to cracking the top 500 for the first time in his career. Both Smith and Rhyne Williams will break into the top 400 when their pending points are added, Williams next week and Smith the week after.

ON TOUR: Smith, Sandgren Reach Quarterfinals

Though separated by 3,000 miles, two former Vols had on thing in common Thursday: they both won to advance to the quarterfinals in their respective $15,000 ITF Futures events.

John-Patrick Smith defeated Jaan-Frederik Brunken of Germany 6-3, 7-5 in the second round of the Sherbrooke Futures in Canada. Smith, the seventh seed, is set for a rematch against Vincent Millot of France. Smith lost in last week's semifinals to Millot 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4).

In the Calabasas Futures in California, Sandgren reached the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-3 win against Vladimir Obradovic of Serbia. He plays Zimbabwe native Takanyi Garanganga next.

Sandgren also played in the doubles semifinals where he and Di Wu lost to second-seeded Nima Roshan and Artem Sitak 4-6, 7-5 [10-8].

Friday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/16)

The Vols take on MTSU in NIT Second Round on Monday night at 7 p.m. Get your $10 tickets by clicking here: BUY TICKETS.

Here are the latest stories about the hoops team: 

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Resetting the NIT after first round
- Knoxville News Sentinel: Are Vols susceptible to high ball screen?
- The Tennessean: MTSU, UT will tip off Monday
- Inside Tennessee: 'Eye-opener'

Vols To Host Pro Timing Day On Friday

The University of Tennessee football program will hold its annual Pro Timing Day on Friday, March 16. Stay turned for and @Vol_Football on Twitter for complete coverage of the event. 

This event is closed to the public. 

More on Meachem Signing With Chargers

The San Diego Chargers formally introduced former Vols star Robert Meachem at a press conference on Wednesday. Check out Video of the Robert Meachem Press Conference along with a feature from Turner sees Meachem as potential No. 1.

Here is other media coverage: 

Happy Birthday - March 15: Track's Aslynn Halvorson

On March 15, we wish Happy Birthday to sophomore thrower Aslynn Halvorson of the track & field team. 

Aslynn Halvorson

Thursday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/15)

Early Thursday morning, the NIT unveiled the game dates and times for the second round of the postseason tournament. The Vols and MTSU will play Monday at 7 p.m.

Here are the latest stories on the hoop team.

- Knoxville News Sentinel: UT to play MTSU on Monday at 7 p.m.
- Knoxville News Sentinel: Are Vols susceptible to high ball screen?
- Inside Tennessee: Makin' like Maymon

ON TOUR: Vols Advance in California, Canada

Tennys Sandgren won a pair of matches in California while John-Patrick Smith won his match to start the second leg of his Canadian circuit Tuesday.

Sandgren breezed past fourth-seeded Gregory Ouellette 6-0, 6-3 in the opening round of the Calabasas Futures, a $15,000 event. He will face either Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic or Vladimir Obradovic of Serbia in the next round Thursday.

In doubles, Sandgren and Di Wu defeated Daniel Kosakowski and Dennis Novikov 5-7, 6-4, [10-7].

Smith, who is not playing doubles this week, advanced in the first round of the $15,000 Sherbrooke Futures in Canada, beating wild card George Jecminek 6-1 in the third set. He faces Jaan-Frederik Brunken of Germany in the round of 16.

Happy Birthday - March 14: Baseball's Jason Manis

On March 14, we wish Happy Birthday to baseball's freshman catcher Jason Manis.

Jason Manis

Robert Meachem Signs With San Diego Chargers

Former Vols star wide receiver Robert Meachem has reportedly signed with the San Diego Chargers making the jump from the New Orleans Saints. Meachem's deal is worth a reported $25.9 million over four years.   Here are some stories on the Bolts' addition.

- Pro Football Weekly: Chargers add WR Meachem

Wednesday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/14)

The Vols opened NIT play with a solid 65-51 Win on Tuesday night. Check out Postgame Videos: Vols 65, Savannah State 51 including these highlights:

Also, here are the stories from the media:

- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Freshman trio leads Vols in NIT opener
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Vols beat Savannah State 65-51
- Inside Tennessee: Vols tame Tigers, 65-51
- Maryville Daily Times: Rest the best against rest of the best
- Tennessee Journalist: Richardson 'gets what he asked for'
- UT Daily Beacon: Vols win, advance in NIT

Boren Rises To 25th As Lady Vols Fall In ITA Rankings

March 13 ITA Rankings

After splitting its two matches in consecutive weekends, the Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team fell three spots to 11th in the latest Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings, released Tuesday.

Sophomore Brynn Boren achieved her highest ranking of the season at No. 25, rising 10 spots after winning six matches in her last seven.

Also ranked in singles for Tennessee are senior Natalie Pluskota (29th) and junior Kata Szekely (37th). Pluskota dropped one spot, while Szekely has been ranked 37th since Feb. 16.

In doubles, Boren and freshman Sarah Toti make up Tennessee's highest-ranked duo for the second time this season at 12th.

Pluskota is ranked with both Szekely and freshman Caitlyn Williams. The Pluskota/Williams combination fell six spots to 15th, while Pluskota and Szekely are ranked 21st.

Tennessee is one of just two schools (UCLA) to have to tandems ranked in the Top 15.

Brynn Boren - 25
Natalie Pluskota - 29
Kata Szekely - 37

Brynn Boren/Sarah Toti - 12
Natalie Pluskota Caitlyn Williams - 15
Pluskota/Kata Szekely - 21

Smith Selected by Orange County Breakers in WTT Draft

Former Vol John Patrick Smith was selected by the Orange County Breakers in the second round of the World TeamTennis roster draft Tuesday. 

Smith was the first rookie men's player taken in the four-round draft, the three men's players taken before him being longtime WorldTeam Tennis veterans. 

World TeamTennis is an eight-team tennis league in the United States that pits professional tennis players in co-ed team competition. The season only lasts the month of July when many professional players are stateside playing in the US Open summer series. WTT features some of the best players in the world both past and present. John McEnroe, Serena and Venus Williams, Mike and Bob Bryan, Mardy Fish and John Isner are among the marquee players this year. 

This season's Breakers team includes Lindsay Davenport (franchise player), Anna-lena Groenefeld (1st round), Smith (2nd round) and Travis Parrott (3rd round). The team was 4-10 last season, finishing sixth in the league.  

The Breakers season begins July 9 at home against the Washington Kastles.

How was this photograph made?

 Last night I faced a challenge.  I had to make a photograph of about 70 people in a room made for 10 and make it look good.  The assignment was to shoot the Lady Vols watching the NCAA Selection Show on ESPN at Pat's home.  Trying to show all the players and coaches with the staff in one frame would have been impossible without the use of a fisheye lens

  It was shot with a Rokinon/Samyang lens made in Korea.  These lenses are manual focus and offer great capabilities with shooting video on DSLR's.  they ahve perfectly smooth focusing ability unlike their AF counterparts.  I bought this one used on for like $220.  It came from a Marine serving in the war and was shipped form a military Zip Code from overseas.  I don't use it much but when you have to see everything, this is often the only thing that will work.


Ramon Foster Tendered Contract By Steelers

Former Vols star Ramon Foster was tendered a contract by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Read more about it in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Wallace offered highest tender or below: 

The Steelers placed a first-round tender on Pro Bowl receiver Mike Wallace, protecting themselves in case he receives an offer from another NFL team.

But they left themselves potentially vulnerable on the offensive line by placing the original, or lowest possible, tender on starting guards Doug Legursky and Ramon Foster -- players who would command no compensation if they signed with another team.

By tendering Wallace the highest offer, the Steelers will pay him $2.7 million in 2012 and have the option to match any offer he might receive as a restricted free agent. It also means they would receive a No. 1 draft pick in return if Wallace signed an offer sheet with another team and the Steelers declined to match the offer.

The Steelers have said they want to sign Wallace to a contract that would keep him with the team for a long time and already have had discussions with his agent, Buss Cook.

The situation is not the same for Legursky and Foster, who ended the season as the starters at left and right guard, respectively, on the depth chart.

They were two of five restricted free agents -- cornerback Keenan Lewis, safety Ryan Mundy and tight end David Johnson were the others -- who received the original tender Monday from the Steelers. All five will receive $1.26 million in '12 if they sign the tender.

Because they were undrafted free agents, Legursky and Foster become something of a bargain because they would not require a draft pick in return if another team signed them. With the release of veteran guard Chris Kemoeatu, that would create an even bigger depth problem at that position.

Happy Birthday - March 13: Molly Hannis

On March 13, we wish Happy Birthday to freshman swimmer Molly Hannis.

Molly Hannis

Tuesday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/13)

The college basketball postseason gets underway tonight with Tennessee taking on MEAC regular-season champion Savannah State in the first round of the NIT. Check out: NIT CENTRAL: Vols vs. Savannah State.

Here are the latest stories from the media on the match-up and the Vols hoop team:

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Vols happy to be back home for NIT
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Tennessee Vols 'want to compete'
- Savannah Morning News: SSU gets ready quickly for Tennessee

Vol Calls Tonight At Texas Roadhouse At 8 p.m.

Former Vol basketball player Tony White, "The Wiz" who still holds the school record for points scored in game with 51 in 1987 will be an on-site guest on Vol Calls tonight. White, a two-time SEC scoring champion, was also the UT team that finished third in the 1985 NIT at Madison Square Garden. 

Head men's basketball coach Cuonzo Martin and Lady Vols assistant coach Dean Lockwood  will also be on the show tonight.

Come over to the Turkey Creek Texas Roadhouse tonight at 8 p.m. or listen live on the Vol Network or online: LISTEN LIVE.


ON TOUR: The Week Ahead (3/12/12)

No ATP rankings were released today as the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells continues into the second week. Here is a look at where the touring Vols are playing the next few days:

John-Patrick Smith

Singles: 412 

Doubles: 279

This Week:  Playing at the $15,000 Sherbrooke Futures in Canada

Last Week: Won his sixth doubles title since July, winning the Gatineau Futures in Canada. He and Devin Britton dropped only one set on their way to 27 ATP points ... Smith is 12-1 in doubles this year ... Reached semifinals of the singles draw, losing in a third-set tiebreaker to Vincent Millot.

Rhyne Williams

Singles: 427 

Doubles: 468

This Week: Playing qualifying at the $125,000 Dallas 2 Challenger, starting today

Last Week: Became the first Vol in 11 years to reach the singles main draw of an ATP Masters level event when he beat two top-125 opponents to qualify for Indian Wells ...  He beat No. 109 Marsel Ilhan and No. 123 Jurgen Zopp to qualify ... He lost to No. 87 Frederico Gil 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-4 in the opening round.

Tennys Sandgren

Singles: 534 

Doubles: 529 

This Week: Playing at the $15,000 Calabasas Futures in California

Last Week: Off

Adam Hubble

Singles: N/A

Doubles: 482

This Week: Off ... Will return to action the following week at the $15,000 Futures in Ipswich, Australia.

Last Week: Off

Former Vols Make European Challenge Cut

Former Tennessee golfers Chris Paisley and Charlie Ford both made the cut at this weekend's European Challenge Tour event in Colombia.

Paisley finished in a tie for 30th place after shooting 77-71-69-73--290 to earn more than $1,900. Ford placed 44th on the strength of his 74-73-73-73--293 scorecard, earning nearly $1,300.

Paisley is playing his first fulltime season on the Challenge Tour -- equivalent to the U.S. PGA's Nationwide Tour -- after a successful 2011 campaign on the Alps Tour. The Vols team captain in 2009 won three times on the Alps circuit in only eight starts to claim more than $37,000 in winnings. He also competed in 10 Challenge Tour events, making seven cuts and finishing 68th with money winnings of nearly $33,000.

So far this year, Paisley has made the cut in both Challenge Tour events and sits in 27th place on the 2012 money list with nearly $4,433 in earnings. He finished 22nd at the season-opening event in India.

Ford is in his third season on the Challenge Tour, with occasional appearances on the European PGA Tour. The 2005-08 Tennessee letterman has $109,138 in career earnings on the Challenge Tour, with an additional $11,320 from the main European Tour.

Ford missed the cut at the India tournament and is tied for 63rd place in the early going of the 2012 money list.

A former teammate of Ford's, Philip Pettitt, missed the cut at this week's Nationwide Tour event in Chile. Pettitt shot 75-68 to fall two strokes shy of the cut line. He is tied for 80th on the early money list with $4,111.

Next Up: Nationwide Tour, Chitimacha Louisiana Open, Broussard, La., March 22-25; Challenge Tour, The Barclays Kenya Open, Nairobi, Kenya, March 29-April 1.

Happy Birthday - March 12: Julia Petree

On March 12, Happy Birthday to freshman runner Julia Petree.

Julia Petree

Monday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/12)

Tennessee makes its 31st all-time postseason appearance as the Vols Host Savannah State in the NIT on Tuesday at 8 p.m. The game will air on ESPNU and the Vol Network. 

Here are the latest stories on the postseason berth:

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Vols to host Savannah State in NIT
- Knoxville News Sentinel: Vols head to quieter side of March Madness
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Disappointed UT Vols turn focus to NIT
- Inside Tennessee: 'Ready to roll'


                 ISTANBUL, Turkey -- A day after Justin Gatlin struck gold in the 60m dash, another former Vol tasted victory at the IAAF Indoor Track & Field Championships.   It was Aries Merritt's turn to be world champion on Sunday, as he triumphed in the men's 60-meter hurdles at Atakoy Athletics Arena.

                 Merritt navigated the obstacles in 7.44 seconds to upset 2004 Olympic gold medalist Xiang Liu of China. Liu took the silver at 7.49.

                 Two Tennessee products claimed bronze medals in their events. Former Lady Vol Tianna Madison raced to third-place honors in the women's 60m dash in 7.09 seconds. Another UT woman, Erica Moore, collected bronze in the women's 800 meters in a personal-best 1:59.97.

                 Former Lady Vol Jackie Areson ran in the 3000-meter final, checking in 11th with a season best of 9:12.50.

 Results Link:


Sunday Baseball Briefing (3/11)

Tennessee dropped an 8-6 decision in 10 innings to ULM on Saturday to even the weekend series. Highlights from that game are below. The Vols will send freshman Robbie Kidd to the mound for his first collegiate start as they go for the series victory at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Media coverage of yesterday's game is below as well:

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Drew Steckenrider can't save Vols, 8-6
- TNJN: Vols drop tough one in extra innings

Sunday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/11)

The basketball team will learn its postseason fate tonight. The NCAA Selection Show takes place at 6 p.m., on CBS, while the NIT Selection Show airs at 9 p.m. on ESPNU.

Here are the latest stories from the media related to the Vols.

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Vols should view NIT as opportunity
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Wiedmer: NCAA bids won't seem overly fair
- CBS Up-tempo pace helping Vols

ON TOUR: Smith Wins Third Title of 2012

Former Vol John-Patrick Smith captured his third doubles title of the year, winning in three sets with former Ole Miss Rebel Devin Britton on Saturday at the Gatineau Futures.

Smith and Britton rallied after dropping the first set to beat second-seeded Andrei Daescu and Florin Mergea 5-7, 6-3, [10-5] in the title match in Quebec. 

With the Futures title, Smith is off to a 12-1 start in doubles to 2012 and has already bagged three trophies. He won back-to-back $50,000 Challenger tournaments with John Peers. The former SEC Athlete of the Year is now up to No. 279 in the world doubles rankings, and his win this week should propel him near the top 250.

Smith did lose one three-setter on Saturday. He fell to top-seeded Vincent Millot 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4) in the semifinals. He should enter the top 400 in singles.

Smith and Britton will team up again next week for the Sherbrooke Futures, another $15,000 event. 

Gatlin Wins World Indoor Championship In 60m Dash

 Former Tennessee standout and 2004 U.S. Olympic 100m dash gold medalist Justin Gatlin highlighted another positive day for Big Orange products at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, winning a world title in the 60-meter dash on Saturday.

 Gatlin, a 12-time All-American and a six-time NCAA champion from 2001-02 for the Volunteers, sped to victory in a season-best 6.46 seconds to match the time he ran to strike gold at the 2003 World Indoor Championships.  He finished well ahead of the 6.54 clocking today of silver medalist Nesta Carter of Jamaica.

 "I felt great," Gatlin told USA Track & Field. "My first title in 2003 I ran the exact same time, so I think that I'm back. Everyone needs to stay tuned, because the USA is going to show you something.

 "I knew I had to do what I had to do. I'm just thankful. I wanted to make sure I got out of the blocks, and once I put my head up all I saw was yellow and green. I just wanted to do anything that I could. I'm going to go home and take a breather and start working on the next 40 (meters)."

 Former Vol Aries Merritt (2004-06) moved on to the semifinals in the 60m hurdles, navigating the obstacles in 7.66 to win heat four.

 "It was very easy," Merritt said. "I just wanted to stay relaxed. I'm happy to get through.

 "It was an easy round. I want to come here (Sunday) and execute my race. If I execute my race I am confident that I can get a medal."

                 Former Lady Vol Tianna Madison (2004-05) also advanced to the semifinals, doing so in the women's 60m dash.  Her 7.24 readout was good for second in heat eight of the prelims.

                 In addition to semis and potentially finals for Madison and Merritt on Sunday, former Lady Vols Jackie Areson (2007-2011) and Erica Moore (2010) face finals in the 3000 meters and 800 meters, respectively.

Results Link:





ON TOUR: Smith Marches on in Singles, Doubles

Former Vol John-Patrick Smith continued his fast start on his three-week Canadian tour Friday, advancing another round in the Gatineau Futures, a $15,000 level event.

Smith knocked off fourth-seeded Fritz Wolmarans of Germany 6-4, 6-4 to advance to the semifinals. He now faces top-seeded Vincent Millot of France, who is ranked No. 253 in the world. Smith entered the week No. 412.

In doubles, Smith and 2009 NCAA singles champion Devin Britton will play for the doubles trophy. They rallied from two breaks down in the first set to beat Richard Becker and Stefan Seifert 7-6 (2), 6-2. The collegiate pair face second-seeded Andrei Daescu, a homer Oklahoma Sooner, and Florin Morgea. 

Smith is off to a fast start in doubles this year with an 11-1 record and a pair of $50,000 Challenger titles. His only loss was in the Australian Open to eventual champions Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek.

Saturday Baseball Briefing

Behind the strength of a stellar effort on the mound by Zack Godley and a mammoth home run off the bat of Ethan Bennett, Tennessee opened its weekend series against ULM with a 4-0 victory. Check out video highlights of the contest below:

Here are links to media coverage of the victory as well:
- Knoxville News Sentinel: Zack Godley, Ethan Bennett building a mutual trust, 4-0
- InsideTennessee: Arms lead Vols to 4-0 victory
- Volquest: Divine pitching, Bennett blast key UT win
- The Daily Times: Vols get Godley show against Monroe

Former Vol Turk McBride Agrees To New Deal With Saints

Former Vols defensive lineman Turk McBride agreed to a one-year contract with the New Orleans Saints on Friday. McBride signed with the Saints prior to the 2011 season and was expected to contribute from his end position in the 4-3. But an lingering ankle injury kept him out for half of the season.

He finished with 10 tackles and two sacks. All but one of his tackles came in the first six games of the season.

Here are some stories on the signing:

- New Orleans Saints make some moves, get some salary cap space

- WWL: Saints, DE McBride agree to terms on one-year deal

Saints, DE McBride agree to terms on one-year deal

Happy Birthday - March 10: Tennis' Edward Jones

On March 10, we wish Happy Birthday to junior tennis player Edward Jones.

Edward Jones

Saturday's Tennessee Football Briefing (3/10)

The Josh Conklin Named Vols Safeties Coach on Friday to complete their coaching staff. Check out these stories on his hiring.

- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Josh Conklin fills out UT staff
- Charleston Post Courier: Citadel's Conklin takes job at Tennessee

Saturday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/10)

Tennessee has seven former student-athletes competing at the 2012 World Indoor Track & Field Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, and five of them were in action Friday at Atakoy Athletics Arena.

Former Vol Justin Gatlin advanced from the prelims to the semifinals in the men's 60m dash. He did so with a time of 6.64 that won heat seven.

In the women's 3000 meters, ex-Lady Vol Jackie Areson moved out of the qualifying round to the final.  Her season-best 9:12.62 readout left her fourth in section one and eighth-fastest of the qualifiers for Sunday's final.

It was a mixed bag in the women's 800m prelims.  Erica Moore finished second in section three in 2:00.24 to advance to a Sunday final as the second-fastest qualifier.  Phoebe Wright, on the other hand, led her race through 400 meters but could not hold on, settling for fifth place in section one in 2:03.11.

The only non-American Tennessee product in action on day one was Patricia Hall.  The Jamaican sprinter advanced out the first round of the women's 400 meters with a 52.99 readout but saw her road come to an end in that event when she checked in third in heat three of the semifinals at 53.21. 

Aries Merritt (men's 60m hurdles) and Tianna Madison (women's 60m dash) will compete for the first time on Saturday, representing the United States in first-round races.  Gatlin has a semifinal race and potentially a final as well on Saturday.

World Indoor Championships Results Link:




Lady Vols Rank Third In Average Attendance

The Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team is ranked third in average attendance nationally and first in the SEC, the ITA announced Friday.

The governing body released attendance figures for the first time this season, tracking all matches prior to March.

With 210 fans per contest, Tennessee has its highest March rating since the ITA began releasing the figures in 2008. The next closes SEC team on the list is Alabama at eighth with 152 fans per match.

The numbers don't include Tennessee's season-high of 435 fans that showed up when the Lady Vols took on Florida last Friday (March 2).

Through February, UT's attendance for its home date against Notre Dame (338) ranked fourth nationally among single matches.

Tennessee finished seventh last season nationally with an average attendance of 140.

1. Texas A&M - 273
2. Tulsa - 240
3. TENNESSEE - 210
4. TCU - 207
5. Duke - 198
6. Michigan - 191
7. Baylor - 170
8. Alabama - 152
9. Colorado State - 133
10. Washington State - 112

Happy Birthday - March 9: Marlon Walls

Happy Birthday to rising junior defensive lineman Marlon Walls.
Marlon Walls

ON TOUR: Williams' Run Ends at Indian Wells

Former Vol Rhyne Williams' first appearance in an ATP level event ended Thursday evening in painfully close fashion.

Williams was broken on his last service game to lose a two-and-a-half hour march 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-4 to world No. 87 Frederico Gil in the opening round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.

Despite the loss, it was still a career weekend for Williams and the Tennessee program. The Knoxville native became the first Vol since Chris Woodruff in 2001 to appear in the singles main draw of an ATP event.

By winning two matches against top 125 opponents earlier this week, Williams earned 16 tour points and will appear in the top 400 for the first time in his career. He is currently ranked a career-best No. 427.

In Canada: Former Vol John-Patrick Smith kept rolling in Canada on Thursday, winning easily in singles and doubles to stay alive at the Gatineau Futures. 

After opening the tournament with a long three-set win Wednesday, he beat former Texas A&M standout Jeff Dadamo 6-2, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals. Smith, the seventh seed, faces fourth-seeded Fritz Wolmarans of South Africa on Friday. Wolmarans is ranked No. 347. 

While the current tennis Vols play Ole Miss on Friday, Smith and a former Rebel marched on the doubles semifinals. Smith and 2009 NCAA champion Devin Britton moved past Constantin Belot and Vincent Millot 6-4, 6-1. They face unseeded Richard Becker and Stefan Seifert next. Individually, Smith and Britton are both on 10-match winning streaks.

Friday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/9)

The Vols found out on Thursday night they will be playing Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament. Check out the Vol Hoops Report: March 8 as well as SEC Diaries Day 2 here:

News from the media includes: 

- Knoxville News Sentinel: All defense, all the time for Vols at SEC tournament

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Vols still 'have a lot to prove' 

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Day One notes at the SEC Tourney

- Chattanooga Times Free Press: UT Vols begin SEC tourney with NCAA vision

- CBS Vols' bracketology update

- CBS Martin concerned with tournament history

- CBS Vols familiar with win-or-go home mentality

- GoVols247:  Brotherly (tough) love helps McRae

- Inside Tennessee: Never a doubt

- Rebounding carries Ole Miss past Auburn

- Vols view themselves as second-seeded underdogs

- Volquest: Vols prep for New Orleans

- Volquest: On the bounce with Bradshaw

- WBIR: Vols ready for a run in the SEC tournament

- WVLT: Vols practice in New Orleans, gear up for Friday's game

Szekely's Long Road Leads To Success In Knoxville


By: Sean Cartell (@SEC_Sean)
SEC Digital Network

Kata Szekely has come a long way over the past three years.

The 5-foot-6 junior on the Tennessee women's tennis team has done that both literally and figuratively.

Entering Friday's match-up with Ole Miss in Oxford, Szekely has posted a 16-5 singles record on the year, including eight victories against ranked opponents this season. She also achieved the highest singles ranking of her collegiate career on Feb. 16, checking in at No. 37 nationally. 

Click the link above to continue reading about Szekely's journey!

Happy Birthday - March 8: Kasha McDougald

Happy Birthday on March 8 to women's track freshman Kasha McDougald.

Kasha McDougald

Media Coverage On Manning's Release From Tennessee Perspective

Thursday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/8)

The Vols are in New Orleans for the SEC Tournament. Get all your info on the event here: SEC Tournament Central: New Orleans.

Also, if you haven't seen Mic'd Up: Zo vs. Vandy, it is a must watch for any UT fan. 

Here are the most recent stories from the media:

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Vols have excused absence from opening day
- Inside Tennessee: Coach of the Year?
- Charlotte Observer: SEC Tournament at a Glance

Thursday Baseball Briefing

Tennessee improved to 9-3 on the season with a 9-7 triumph over Ball State on Wednesday night. Sophomore Nick Williams came on to hold off a ninth-inning rally by the Cardinals to claim his third save of the season. Check out the video highlights below: He is the media coverage of the game as well:

Knoxville News Sentinel - Nick Williams, Vols 'dig deep,' hold off Ball State
Volquest - Diamond Vols hold on for 9-7 win
InsideTennessee - Vols smash 12 hits, down Ball State, 9-7
TNJN - Steckenrider's bat, arm power Vols past Ball State

ON TOUR: Williams Reaches Main Draw at Indian Wells

With a three-set victory in the desert Wednesday evening, Rhyne Williams became the first Vol in more than a decade to reach the singles main draw of an ATP Tour event. 

And what a major tournament to make a career debut.

Williams, a last-minute wild card, beat world No. 123 Jurgen Zopp of Estonia 7-6 (1), 1-6, 6-1 in the final round of qualifying to advance to the main draw of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif. 

The former Vol held his nerve late in the match, saving four break points in the final set to earn his third career win against a top-150 opponent and the second in as many nights. He beat No. 109 Marsel Ilhan on Tuesday.

He will play world No. 86 and lucky loser Frederico Gil of Portugal in the opening round of the main draw. A win would give Williams a meeting with former Georgia Bulldog and world No. 11 John Isner. 

The PNB Paribas Open is an ATP Masters Series event and one of the largest annual events in the United States with all top 10 players in the world rankings scheduled to compete. The champion wins $1 million in prize money.

The last Tennessee player to reach the main draw of an ATP World Tour event was also a Knoxville native: Chris Woodruff. The Vols current associate head coach played the 2001 U.S. Open before retiring less than a year later. 

In Canada: John-Patrick Smith advanced to the second round of the Gatineau Futures in Canada, rallying to beat fellow Aussie Mark Verryth 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2. He faces former Texas A&M standout Jeff Dadamo next.

Smith and 2009 NCAA singles champion Devin Britton play in the doubles quarterfinals Wednesday as well.

Knoxville Among Top Markets Watching College Hoops

According to ESPN, Knoxville ranks among the top markets in the nation when it comes to watching college basketball. Knoxville had a yearly rating of 1.8 according to ESPN's Nielsen ratings. 

For the year on ESPN, Louisville (4.5), Greensboro-High Point (3.5), Kansas City (2.8), Columbus (2.7) and Raleigh-Durham (2.7) were the top five of 55 metered markets. They were followed by Charlotte (2.3), Cincinnati (2.1), Dayton (2.0), Indianapolis (1.8) and Knoxville (1.8).

ESPN Men's College Basketball Posts Its Most-Watched Season

Manning Parts Ways With Colts

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay announced Wednesday that his team will release Peyton Manning, making the four-time MVP perhaps the most-coveted free agent in NFL history -- if he's healthy enough to play in 2012.

Both men paused frequently, fighting tears and their voices shaking, when they appeared together at a news conference at the Colts' team complex to announce the end of Manning's 14-year tenure in Indianapolis.

"This has not been easy for Jim," Manning said, "and this has certainly not been easy for me."

"It truly is an honor to have played in Indianapolis," Manning said, choking back tears.

Irsay said Manning's No. 18 "will never be worn again" by a member of the Colts.

"It'll always be Colt," Manning said. "That'll never change."

Manning will officially become a free agent once the Colts submit his release to the NFL, the league processes it and places his name on the waiver wire. That could happen as soon as Wednesday afternoon, as the league typically distributes that list at about 4 ET each weekday. Free agency begins Tuesday, but Manning can sign with another NFL team immediately after the Colts formally release him.

The Colts had a deadline of Thursday to pay Manning a $28 million bonus and exercise the four remaining years on the five-year, $90 million contract he signed before last season.

Both men said money wasn't a factor in Manning's exit from the team.

- ESPN: Sources: Colts, Manning to part

ON TOUR: Williams Advances to Second Round of Indian Wells Qualies

Former Vol Rhyne Williams won the highest ranked match of his professional career Tuesday evening to advance to the final round of qualifying at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif. 

Williams was off the court in less than 80 minutes with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over world No. 109 Marsel Ilhan of Turkey. 

The former Vol and Knoxville native faces No. 123 Jurgen Zopp of Estonia in today's match, with the winner advancing to the main draw. The qualifier also receives 16 ATP tour points, which would bump Williams into the top 400 for the first time. 

Williams and Zopp are the third match on court 6.

Happy Birthday - March 7: Chris Bodary

On March 7, we wish Happy Birthday to runner Chris Bodary.


Wednesday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/7)

The Vols head to New Orleans on Wednesday evening as they prep for the SEC Tournament as the No. 2 seed. Check out the Vol Hoops Report: March 6 as well as Maymon, Stokes Earn SEC Honors

See what Martin had to see at Tuesday's practice session.

Here are stories from the media:

- Knoxville News Sentinel: The road to March Madness 
- Knoxville News Sentinel: For SEC tournament, out with the old
- Knoxville News Sentinel: Jeronne Maymon makes SEC 2nd team
- Knoxville News Sentinel: Renaldo Woolridge graced UT, one of a kind
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Vols' Jeronne Maymon second-team All-SEC
- Inside Tennessee: Tough enough
- Jackson Clarion Ledger: Lookin' for an invite

Here is the latest NCAA Tournament info from

ON TOUR: Smith Wins to Start Canada Circuit

Former Vol John-Patrick Smith got off to a winning start Tuesday to begin his three-week tour in Canada. 

Smith and 2009 NCAA singles champion Devin Britton, the top seeds in doubles, cruised into the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Nathaniel Gorham and Maximilian Wilde in the first round of the Gatineau Futures.

Smith begins singles play Wednesday, where he is the seventh seed. He is set to play Mark Verryth, ranked No. 625.

Tennis Falls To Eighth In ITA Poll

After going 1-1 this past weekend to open SEC play, the Lady Vols fell from fifth to eighth in Tuesday's Campbell/ITA College Tennis Team Rankings.

A week ago, Tennessee (10-4) earned its first top-five rating since a program-best second placing in May 2001.

Last Friday, Tennessee suffered a 7-0 setback to No. 15 Florida - which vaulted up to second in the latest poll. The Lady Vols rebounded with a 4-3 win over then-No. 22 South Carolina on Sunday.

Three of Tennessee's four losses have come to teams that are currently ranked in the Top Six (Florida-2, USC-4 & Virginia-6).

The Lady Vols return to action this weekend, touring the state of Mississippi. Friday, UT will face No. 25 Ole Miss at 4 p.m. and Sunday, the Lady Vols are slated for a 2 p.m. first-serve at Mississippi State.

Kent Williams On Sports 180 Radio Interview On Sports Animal

Tennessee assistant basketball coach Kent Williams was on Sports 180 on the Sports Animal on Tuesday with Josh Ward & Will West. Williams talked about Tennessee's win over Vanderbilt on Saturday, UT's progress this season and the Vols' preparation for the SEC tournament. Listen below.

Foster Officially Signs Long-Term Deal With Texans

The Houston Texans have signed All-Pro RB Arian Foster to a long-term contract, it was announced today. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. 

Since becoming a full-time starter in 2010, Foster has led the NFL in rushing yards per game (97.9), rushing touchdowns (26), scrimmage yards (4,061), scrimmage yards per game (140.0) and touchdowns from scrimmage (30). He also leads all NFL running backs in that time with 42.1 yards per game receiving and 10 receptions of 25 yards or longer, including a pair of 78-yard touchdown receptions in 2011.

Foster's rise from an undrafted college free agent out of Tennessee in 2009 to an All-Pro running back and two-time Pro Bowler is well-documented. He began his rookie season on the Texans' practice squad, was signed to the active roster on Nov. 17, 2009, and made his first career start in the 2009 season finale against New England.

ON TOUR: Williams Heads to Indian Wells, Smith Begins Canada Tour

Starting today, former Vol Rhyne Williams will play in one of the most prestigious events of his young career.

Williams was granted one of five wild cards into qualifying at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif. He faces ATP world No. 109 Marsel Ilhan of Turkey in the opening round Tuesday evening. 

With two wins, Williams would advance to the main draw, which features the top 10 players in the world. The Knoxville native is currently ranked No. 427, a career best.

Indian Wells is one of the oldest ATP Masters series events in the open era, and Williams will be making his first appearance in the qualifying draw. He has played in an ATP Masters event twice before, accepting wild cards into the Cincinnati Masters qualifying in 2008 and 2011. He also played in the US Open qualifying last year.

Williams' highest ranked win of his career so far is a 6-4, 6-4 win against then-No. 124 Rik De Voest of South Africa in the first round of 2011 US Open qualifying. He also has a victory over former US Open semifinalist Robby Ginepri.

In Canada: In a vastly different climate, Vols four-time All-American John-Patrick Smith will be competing in a vastly different tournament this week.

Smith is seeded seventh in singles at the Gatineau Futures, a $15,000 event. He faces fellow Aussie Mark Verryth in the opening round. The highest ranked player in the tournament is No. 253 Vincent Millot of France; Smith is currently No. 412. 

In doubles, Smith is playing for the first time with Devin Britton, the 2009 NCAA singles champion from Mississippi. They are the tournament's top seeds and play unranked Nathaniel Gorham and Maximilian Wilde in the first round today. Smith is 8-1 in doubles this year, having won back-to-back $50,000 Challengers in Australia with John Peers.

SEC Releases Spring Football Information

SEC spring football is almost here. Get spring football dates for every team in the SEC, and find out when this year's SEC Football Media Days happen: 2012 SEC Football Information

The Vols will open spring football on March 26 and hold their annual Orange & White game on April 21. 

Also, coach Derek Dooley will take part in the SEC Coaches Media Teleconference on April 24 at 10:40 a.m.

Finally, the days and times have been set for SEC Media Days. The Vols will be part of the last session on July 19 from 8:30-11:20 a.m., along with Alabama.

2012 SEC Football Media Days
Tuesday-Thursday, July 17-19
Wynfrey Hotel, Hoover, Ala.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Luncheon - 11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
1st session (approx. 1 - 3:30 p.m.) - South Carolina, Texas A&M
2nd session (approx. 3:20 - 6 p.m.) -- Missouri, Vanderbilt

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
1st session (approx. 8:30 - 11:20 a.m.) - Florida, Mississippi State
2nd session (approx. 10:50 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.) - Arkansas, Kentucky
Luncheon - 1 - 2:30 p.m.
3rd session (approx. 2:30 - 5 p.m.) - Auburn, LSU

Thursday, July 19, 2012
1st session (approx. 8:30 - 11:20 a.m.) - Alabama, Tennessee
2nd session (approx. 10:50 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.) - Ole Miss, Georgia

Happy Birthday - March 6: Brittany Jones & Jeronne Maymon

On March 6, we wish Happy Birthday to senior sprinter Brittany Jones of the track & field team as well as junior forward Jeronne Maymon of the basketball team.

Brittany Jones  Jeronne Maymon

Tobias Harris Draws First Two NBA Starts For Bucks

Former Vols star Tobias Harris drew his first two NBA starts in the Milwaukee Bucks last two games. On Monday night, his Bucks handed the Philadelphia 76ers a 97-93 defeat. Harris scored five points and grabbed four rebounds in 14:46 of playing time. 

Here are two stories from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that mention Harris' starting.

Harris starts again at small forward

Harris also started on Saturday as the Bucks lost at Orlando, 114-98. Harris had four points and two rebounds in that game, his first-career NBA start.

For the season, Harris is averaging 5.5 points and 2.4 rebounds in 12.0 minutes of action with Milwaukee. He has played in 24 games with two starts. 

Tuesday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/6)

Heading into the SEC Tournament as the No. 2 Seed, Vols Coach Martin held his weekly media luncheon on Monday. Check out what coach had to say here:

Here are the latest media stories on the Vols:

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Trae Golden has touch from line
- Knoxville News Sentinel: Jarnell Stokes wins SEC Player of the Week
- Knoxville News Sentinel: Kenny Hall won't play in SEC tournament
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Jarnell Stokes factor huge for Tennessee Vols
- Inside Tennessee: The Dance

Pettitt Ties for 25th in Panama; Paisley, Ford Back in Action

Former Tennessee golfer Philip Pettitt earned his first paycheck of 2012 with a tie for 25th place over the weekend at the Nationwide Tour's Panama Claro Championship in Panama City.

Pettitt was in the top 10 through two rounds after opening 69-69, but then finished 72-73. He earned $4,111 and rests in a tie for 58th place on the tour's early money list.

The Panama tournament was the second of three Nationwide events taking place in South and Central America to start the season. Pettitt missed the cut at the opening tournament in Colombia, and this week he's headed to Santiago for the Chile Classic Presented by Pacific Rubiales.

The Nationwide Tour's first USA stop is the Chitimacha Louisiana Open in Broussard, La., near Lafayette, on March 22-25. This year's Knoxville News Sentinel Open Presented by Pilot is Aug. 23-26 at Fox Den Country Club.

Pettitt earned his place on the Nationwide Tour through the PGA Final Stage Qualifying Tournament in December.

In 2011, Pettitt placed third on the NGA Pro Golf Tour money list in his third full season on that tour. He won twice and made the cut in all 17 of his tournament appearances, finishing with winnings of $112,121.50.

He then won his Second Stage Qualifying Tournament in Brooksville, Fla., by five strokes to advance to the Q-School finals, where he tied for 72nd place and earned Nationwide status.

The Murfreesboro native helped the Vols to a pair of NCAA Championship appearances during his 2004-08 collegiate career.

In 2009, Pettitt was NGA Pro Golf Tour Rookie of the Year.

Meanwhile, another pair of former Vols -- Chris Paisley and Charlie Ford -- resume play when the European Challenge Tour lands in the this hemisphere Thursday through Sunday at the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Classic in Barranquilla, Colombia.

Paisley tied for 22nd place in the tour's opener, the Gujarat Kensville Challenge in Ahmedabad, India, back in late January. Ford missed the cut in that event.

The European Challenge Tour is the European PGA equivalent of the Nationwide Tour.

Eric Berry On Vol Calls Tonight At 8 p.m.

Be sure to listen to Vol Calls tonight at 8 p.m., on the Vol Network as former UT star and current Kansas City Chiefs DB Eric Berry will be a guest on the show. He will be joined by men's head coach Cuonzo Martin and women's associate head coach Holly Warlick. Head out Texas Roadhouse in Turkey Creek to listen to the show.

Foster Agrees To $43.5 Million Deal With Texans

Former Vols star Arian Foster agreed to a new contract with the Houston Texans on Monday.   Foster's agent Mike McCartney said Monday that a deal was done, though Foster had not yet signed it. His new deal is worth up to $43.5 million, with $20.75 million guaranteed. He'll make $18 million in base salary next season, plus incentives. 

Foster was an undrafted free agent in 2009, and made $525,000 last season. He was the NFL's leading rusher in 2010 with 1,616 yards and ran for 1,224 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. He was due to become a restricted free agent next week, but McCartney said Foster was eager to work out a deal with the Texans. 

"This was a really tough time for Arian, because he took a major risk," McCartney said. "He really took to heart that the Texans basically said, 'Hey, we know you had a great year (in 2010), but we need to see it again.' Agent: Texans, Foster agree to deal

ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (3/5/12)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of March 5, 2012. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.

John-Patrick Smith

Singles: 412 (-4)

Doubles: 279 (-18)

Note: Playing the next three weeks in Canada, starting with a  $15,000 Futures tournament in Gatineau beginning Tuesday. All three tournaments are indoors.

Rhyne Williams

Singles: 427 (+24)

Doubles: 468 (+66)

Note: Points added for reaching the singles semifinals of the Brownsville Futures and winning the doubles title at the tournament with Tennys Sandgren, breaking the top 500 in doubles for the first time ... Last week, lost in the first round of singles but again won the doubles title with Sandgren at the Harlingen Futures in Texas ... Both tournaments were $15,000 Futures events.

Tennys Sandgren

Singles: 534 (+10)

Doubles: 529 (+96)

Note: Points added for reaching the quarterfinals of the Brownsville Futures last week in singles and winning the doubles title at the tournament with Rhyne Williams ... Last week, lost in the second round of the Harlingen Futures but again won the doubles title with Williams ... The two now have won four Futures titles together.

Adam Hubble

Singles: N/A

Doubles: 482 (-8)

Note: Off this week.

Ben Rogers

Singles: N/A

Doubles: 537 (-7)

Note: Lost in the doubles quarterfinals of the Harlingen Futures in Texas last week ... off this week.

Monday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/5)

The Vols Locked Up The No. 2 Seed in SEC Tourney on Sunday by virtue of Kentucky's win over Florida. The Vols will face the winner of Ole Miss-Auburn on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. CT. 

Tennessee is all over the scene when it comes to the "Bubble Watch" from the nation's experts

- Lunardi's bracketology update (Vols are first out)
- Bilas Index (Vols are in the field)
- Yahoo! Sports: Bracket watch

Here are some other media stories on Cuonzo Martin's squad:

- Inside Tennessee: Man on fire
- Volquest: The Martin Plan

ON TOUR: Williams, Sandgren Win Back-to-Back Titles

Former Vols Rhyne Williams and Tennys Sandgren won their second consecutive professional doubles title in Texas on Sunday afternoon.

Williams and Sandgren rallied to beat fourth-seeded Thomas Fabbiano of Italy and Di Wu of China 6-7 (6), 7-5, [10-6] to take the title at the Harlingen Futures in Texas. 

Last week, the second-seeded Vol duo won the doubles title in Brownsville. They've now won four doubles titles together, three since turning pro over the summer. Williams and Sandgren are now on a  career-best eight-match winning streak. 

On tour next week: One former Vol will be on the courts next week, and that's John-Patrick Smith, Tennessee's SEC Athlete of the Year who has returned to North America for the Canadian and USTA Pro Circuits. Starting Tuesday, he will play a three-week series in Canada, starting with a $15,000 Futures tournament.

Sunday Baseball Briefing

Tennessee picked up its first victory over a ranked team since 2010 with a 5-4 triumph over No. 16 Texas at Minute Maid Park as part of the Houston College Classic on Saturday. UT junior Zack Godley threw a career-high seven strong innings to pick up the win.

Check out the media coverage of the Vols' win over the Longhorns below:

Perfect Game - Volunteering for Duty

Vols Garner Attention From ESPN's Andy Katz & Joe Lunardi

Watch this video of ESPN's Andy Katz talking about how he is "driving the bus for Tennessee" as one of the 37 at-large teams to get into the NCAA Tournament.

Check out the latest Bracketology Update from Joe Lunardi as the Vols are listed among the "Next Four Out" according to ESPN's resident bracketologist. Here's a look at Lunardi's latest breakdown:

Last Four In 
South Florida 
Colorado State 

First Four Out 
NC State 

Next Four Out 
Saint Joseph's 


Take the "solid" at-large candidates (current Tournament Odds at 90% or better) and there are now 34 teams in the field. Add in the remaining automatic qualifiers and that's another 20 spots. All told there are 54 of the 68 spots accounted for, with 14 still up for grabs among current "Bubble" teams. 


8-Ohio State 7-Missouri 6-Duke 5-Michigan State* 
9-Marquette 10-Georgetown 11-Baylor 12-Michigan 
16-UNLV 15-Florida 14-Indiana 13-Wisconsin 
17-Louisville 18-Wichita State 19-Florida State 20-TEMPLE 
24-CREIGHTON 23-Notre Dame 22-Murray State 21-Vanderbilt 
25-Gonzaga 26-New Mexico 27- San Diego State* 28-MEMPHIS 
32-Purdue 31-Kansas State 30-Iowa State 29-SAINT MARY'S 
33-Alabama 34-Cincinnati 35-Virginia 36-Southern Miss 
40-Connecticut 39-Washington* 38-California 37-Saint Louis 
41-West Virginia 42-Seton Hall 43-Harvard* 44-LONG BEACH STATE 
48-Colorado State 47-Mississippi State 46-Brigham Young 45-Arizona 
49-South Florida 50-Northwestern 51-Xavier 52-IONA 
72-NC State 71-Oregon 70-VCU 69-Texas 
73-Miami (Fla.) 74-Saint Joseph's 75-Dayton 76-Tennessee 

Bold - automatic qualifier; * - current conference leader. 
ALL CAPS: Regular-season champion (NIT auto-bid if needed) 

Happy Birthday - March 4: Dalton Saberhagen

Happy Birthday to sophomore left-handed pitcher Dalton Saberhagen on March 4. 

Dalton Saberhagen

Saberhagen hosted this week's edition of This Week In Tennessee Baseball

Sunday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/4)

What a day for the Vols! Check out everything you need to know about the dramatic 68-61 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday with our coverage:

You can watch the highlights again:

Here's a look at coverage from the media:

- Chattanooga Times Free Press: UT doing what's needed
- Fox Sports Tennessee: Tennessee tops Vanderbilt for SEC bye
- Inside Tennessee: 'A beautiful thing'
- Volquest: The Martin Plan

Happy Birthday - March 3: Colton Norton

On March 3, we wish Happy Birthday to sophomore tennis player Colton Norton.
Colton Norton

Saturday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/3)

The Vols close out the regular-season with a chance to clinch the No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament as Vanderbilt comes to Thompson-Boling Arena for a 4 p.m., showdown on ESPN. Check GAMEDAY CENTRAL: Vols vs. Vandy for all your information on the game. Watch Coach Cuonzo Martin's pregame press session here:

Here are the stories from the media on the game:

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Final regular-season home game for 3 Vols
- Knoxville News Sentinel: UT basketball SEC finish scenario
- Knoxville News Sentinel: Old Man Cam's regular-season home game
- Inside Tennessee: 'Bittersweet' time for Tatum

Former Vol J.P. Arencibia Imitates ESPN's Tim Kurkjian

Check out this hysterical clip of former Vols baseball star J.P. Arencibia imitating ESPN Baseball Analyst Tim Kurkjian. Arencibia did a pitch-perfect imitation of Kurkjian on Baseball Tonight this week, while Kurkjian watched and Terry Francona egged him on.

Watch This: Tim Kurkjian Roasted By J.P. Arencibia On Baseball Tonight

ON TOUR: Williams, Sandgren Back in Doubles Final

For a second week in a row, former Vols Rhyne Williams and Tennys Sandgren are back in the doubles final of a Texas Futures event.

Williams and Sandgren will play for back-to-back trophies Saturday when they take on fourth-seeded Thomas Fabbiano and Di Wu in the title match of the Harlingen Futures, a $15,000 event.

The Vol duo reached the finals by beating Canadians Peter Polansky and Filip Peliwo in a third set super tiebreaker 6-4, 4-6, [10-5]. The Tennessee team is now on a seven-match winning streak, having won the tournament at Brownsville last week. 

In singles, Williams lost in the first round to former Knoxville Challenger foe Luka Gregorc. Sandgren reached the second round where he lost to top-seeded Polansky 6-3, 6-4.

Friday Baseball Briefing - Houston College Classic Edition

The Vols open their stay at the Houston College Classic today with a 3:30 p.m. showdown against Houston. Check out the pre-event media coverage below: (on right sidebar) - Q&A with Dave Serrano and Eric Sorenson

Happy Birthday - March 2: Swimmers Epperson, Prono

On March 2, we wish Happy Birthday to a pair of swimmers senior Jake Epperson and sophomore Renato Prono.

Jake Epperson  Renato Prono

Friday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/2)

The Vols are amped up as they head into their regular-season finale vs. rival Vanderbilt on Saturday afternoon before what will be a sold-out Thompson-Boling Arena. Check out Vol Hoops Report: March 1 including plenty of video interviews including Coach Cuonzo Martin.

Here are the most recent stories from the media:

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Jarnell Stokes stepped up against LSU

Exclusive Postgame Locker Room Speech From Coach Martin

Check out what Vols head coach Cuonzo Martin had to say to his team right after last night's comeback overtime win at LSU in the exclusive from inside the locker room. 

Thursday's Tennessee Football Briefing (3/1)

Tauren Poole and Malik Jackson had nice showings at the NFL Combine and they continue to garner media attention. 

Check out this story from the Chattanooga Times Free Press: Two ex-Vols happy after NFL combine

Listen back to an interview with Poole on Sports 180 on the Sports Animal: Tauren Poole talks Combine, Tennessee football.

Also from GoVols247, check out this story on Cordarrelle Patterson: Vols have high hopes for Patterson

Happy Birthday - March 1: Lauderdale, Oliver, Sterling

We kick off March with a trio of Tennessee student-athlete birthdays. Celebrating on March 1 are: senior rower Erika Lauderdale, rising junior wide receiver Naz Oliver and junior diver Brent Sterling.

Erika Lauderdale  Naz Oliver  Brent Sterling

Thursday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (3/1)

The Vols brought March in with a roar, rallying from 15 down to beat LSU in overtime, 74-69 on the Tigers' Senior Night. Check out highlights in our Postgame Videos.

Here are stories from the media:

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Tennessee defeats LSU 74-69 in overtime
- Knoxville News Sentinel: Vols bring finishing flurry to LSU
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Vols rally late to top LSU in OT
- Inside Tennessee: Road rage

News from Louisiana includes:

- The Advocate: UT tops LSU in overtime

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