Oct. 5, 2009
BY DREW EDWARDS
"Brandon Warren's no longer with our team," Kiffin said. "He's been dismissed for conduct detrimental to our team. We wish him the best of luck. We'll give him full academic support to keep him going in school. That's the last I'm going to comment on it. Very unfortunate."
Warren had seven catches for 54 yards and two touchdowns through five games this season. He did not catch a pass in Saturday's 26-22 loss to Auburn, and ESPN reported an altercation between Warren and a UT assistant coach on the sideline during its broadcast of the game.
That's the second on-field display in as many weeks for a UT receiver. Junior Gerald Jones apologized to the team last week for becoming visibly upset on the field during the Vols' victory over Ohio.
Kiffin didn't discuss specific reasons for Warren's dismissal; however he did say that it was not solely related to what happened Saturday.
"I'm not going to into it any further out of respect to him and his family, but he's not been removed from this team because of that solely," Kiffin said. "With Gerald, Gerald had a good week of practice last week. Did have a small issue on the sidelines, something that he's learned from, something that he's expressed that he's apologetic for and he had a good week last week, had a good day today and he needs to continue to improve."
Kiffin said it's important that players learn to control their emotions during competition.
"There's a lot of great players that are so competitive that at times they get frustrated," he said. "That's understandable. But there's ways to control your emotions. There's a difference at times between a 5-second show of emotion and one that's much longer.
"We're not perfect. None of us are. But you'd like to catch yourself after a couple seconds as you start to make a mistake and stop there. I know that Gerald's learned from that."
Warren, a former Class 2A Mr. Football winner at Alcoa (Tenn.) High School, served a mandatory suspension from the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association after being ejected from two games for unsportsmanlike conduct penalties as a senior in high school.
Warren signed with Florida State, where he earned freshman All-America honors. He sat out the 2007 season before enrolling at Tennessee and eventually winning an appeal with the NCAA to play in 2008 after transferring to be closer to his mother, who is ill.
Warren had 10 catches for 85 yards last season as a tight end before moving to wide receiver during spring practice.