Richardson, Edwards dismissed from Volunteers

Associated Press

November 17, 2009; 10:01 a.m.

Two of three Tennessee freshman football players charged last week in an attempted armed robbery have

been dismissed from the team. “Clearly, their actions have no place in our program,” coach Lane Kiffin said Monday.

Kiffin

said wide receiver Nu’Keese Richardson, 18, and defensive back Mike

Edwards, 18, were permanently dismissed from the team, while former

starting safety Janzen Jackson, 18, will continue to be barred from

team activities while Kiffin awaits more information in his case.

Richardson

was the player whose recruitment first got Kiffin in trouble with the

Southeastern Conference. Kiffin joked in February that Florida coach

Urban Meyer cheated in trying to keep Richardson as a Gator, earning

Kiffin a reprimand from the SEC.

All three players were out on bond but kept home Saturday when Tennessee traveled to play Mississippi.

Three

victims told police they were sitting in their parked vehicle at about

2 a.m. last Thursday outside a convenience store near Tennessee’s

campus when two males dressed in hooded jackets, one brandishing a

handgun, approached and demanded, “Give us everything you’ve got.”

“The

victims stated that they all presented their wallets to the suspects

and showed them that they did not have money,” a police report said.

“The victims stated that a third black male then approached and told

the other two black males, ‘We’ve got to go.'”

The three

freshmen were arrested shortly afterward with companion Marie

Montmarquet, 22, also a UT student. She allegedly drove their getaway

Toyota Prius in which police found a pellet gun and hooded jackets.

The

victims identified Richardson and Edwards as the men who approached

their vehicle, and Jackson as the one who told them to leave, the

police report said.

“After extensive and thorough research of

the situation … and considering various disciplinary options, I’ve

decided it’s in the best interest of our program to remove Nu’Keese and

Mike,” Kiffin said in a statement.

“We hold our student athletes

to an extremely high standard on and off the field. Our student

athletes must be responsible members of society, and this type of

conduct will not be tolerated.”

Kiffin said he hoped Richardson and Edwards “will learn from their terrible decision.”

Richardson,

a highly touted recruit from Pahokee, Fla., finished his Tennessee

career with six catches for 58 yards. Edwards, a Cleveland, Ohio,

native, played in eight games and registered five tackles.

Jackson,

a Lake Charles, La., native, has started seven games this season,

logging 33 tackles and a forced fumble. He was suspended for the

Memphis game for undisclosed reasons, a week after he was named SEC

freshman of the week for a strong performance against South Carolina.