published Friday, July 9th, 2010

Vols football players in brawl at bar - with video

by Wes Rucker
Audio clip

Sandy Morton

Audio clip

Derek Dooley

KNOXVILLE — Two University of Tennessee football players have been charged and at least two more have been questioned in connection with a nightclub fight near campus.

Freshman wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers (disorderly conduct) and sophomore safety Darren Myles Jr. (assault, resisting arrest and evading arrest) were charged after the 1:50 a.m. incident at Bar Knoxville on Cumberland Avenue. Senior wide receiver Denarius Moore and sophomore defensive tackle Montori Hughes have been questioned regarding the incident.

A Knoxville Police Department incident report claims that off-duty KPD officer Robert Capouellez was injured with a “head wound” after trying to break up a fight between one unidentified man and several UT football players. KPD officials haven’t released the other man’s name because his family hasn’t been notified.

Capouellez and the unidentified bar patron were transported to UT Medical Center for treatment, but no update on their statuses has been reported.

Multiple KPD officials have said more charges could come from the incident.

  • photo
    Photo by J. Miles Cary/Knoxville News Sentential Bar Knoxville on Cumberland Avenue is on the edge of the University of Tennessee Campus in a part of Cumberland Avenue called "The Strip."

UT officials have been gathering information on the incident and aren’t ready to comment.

Bar Knoxville co-owner Sandy Morton told The Times Free Press that “seven to 10” UT football players were involved in the fight.

Morton said the fight started inside but spread outside, and it ended with an off-duty police officer “knocked out in the street.”

“Basically, it was a normal Thursday night — Thursday’s our big night,” Morton said. “We had all the UT football players come in. They’re on a first-name basis with my husband (and co-owner), and they get VIP status, which means they pay no cover at the door. We’ve never had a problem with them in the past, but tonight, apparently they had a falling out with another gentleman. I don’t know why. I don’t know what happened, but several of the guys started beating up the other customer. I want to guess there was seven to 10 guys beating up this one gentleman.

“All the security then rushed in and were trying to break it up. My husband saw them picking up bar stools and starting to swing them. We got them out the door with security. There happened to be a friend of ours who was an off-duty police officer outside. He tried to help, and he ended up getting knocked out in the street and proceeded to be kicked while he was down on the ground in the middle of Cumberland.

“That’s basically the gist of it.”

Morton said she interviewed several witnesses but hadn’t determined what started the fight.

“All they said was these several gentlemen just started beating the tar out of this one,” she said. “There was blood. There was ripped shirts. It took pretty much all my security to get them out.”

Morton said her establishment has had some “small” problems with UT football players in the past.

“We have a strict dress code, and they’ll try to cross the line as much as they can,” she said. “They’ll try to come in without ID, but we’re very strict on ID. We’re very strict on underage drinking. We’ve had small occasions where we’ve had to throw a couple of them out for underage drinking. An overage friend will buy them a drink.

“That’s the typical problems we’ve had, but we’ve never had a fight. This is our first, and it will be our last.”

Myles was arrested in the early morning hours following UT’s April 18 Orange and White game and charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Officers “observed Myles being drunk and disorderly and riding on the hood of a vehicle in the parking lot” of a Knoxville nightclub, according to the incident report.

Myles was allowed back on the team, and new Vols head coach Derek Dooley opted to discipline the player internally — but without missing any games.

Continue reading by following this link to a related story:

BREAKING: Dooley dimisses Myles, makes statement

Check with throughout the day for updates on this developing story.

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hcirehttae said...

"We had all the UT football players come in. They’re on a first-name basis with my husband (and co-owner), and they get VIP status, which means they pay no cover at the door. We’ve never had a problem with them in the past, but tonight, apparently they had a falling out with another gentleman."

Well, if they had VIP status and they never had to pay a cover charge, it's a small step to thinking they can do whatever they like. Why should football players be treated any differently by a bar owner than anybody else? This is the problem -- from their earliest days when somebody figured out they could play the game, everybody's made allowances for them and given them special privileges. The other "gentleman" probably said something they didn't like, or didn't recognize them as exalted beings, and so they reacted like the spoiled, overprivileged babies that they are.

Stop glorifying football and college football players! Eliminate collegiate athletic scholarships -- they're a cancer on our educational system and our society. We're raising a mini-generation of athletes who think they're accountable to no law or regulation just because they can play a game that grown men are addicted to watching.

July 9, 2010 at 7:26 a.m.
Tairygreene said...

Who let hcirehttae out of the kitchen? That sandwich isn't going to make itself.

July 9, 2010 at 7:54 a.m.
grandmastaj said...

I'm beginning to think the only reason you read the sports section is to post comments like this. If you hate the evils of major college sports, why are you reading about them?

July 9, 2010 at 7:56 a.m.
WhitePineVol said...

Calm down. Let's not have a hissey. Might help to try and learn some facts before pulling the trigger. The travesty that occurred in November, 2008, should have taught us all that lesson.

July 9, 2010 at 8:01 a.m.
GoMocs said...

“We had all the UT football players come in. They’re on a first-name basis with my husband (and co-owner), and they get VIP status, which means they pay no cover at the door."

DING DING DING...we have a NCAA violation here folks!

Did I read they pay no cover as opposed to all other people?

July 9, 2010 at 8:07 a.m.
GreenKepi said...

Hey...Vols! Better be saving your energy for Bama!!!

July 9, 2010 at 8:22 a.m.
Humphrey said...

Isn't "VIP status" of not paying a cover charge an NCAA violation of an illegal benefit?

July 9, 2010 at 8:23 a.m.
jopad said...

First--I am a Vol fan and have been for 70 years. I attended UT and followed them through good and bad years of football, basketball, track, baseball, etc. teams. With that said, hcirettae is correct and makes several valid points (several people posting have already critized this poster without thinking about what was written.) College scholarships were originally created to provide financial support to students wishing to gain an education, not prepare for professional careers in sports. Unfortunately they have "morphed" into something all together different. hcirettae is correct in asserting a generation (or more) of young athletes, who have a sense of entitlement and being above the law, has been produced. Who is responsible for this? You and I are!! We placed these young athletes on a pedistal and now they have a warped sense of their value to sociey. I would not be unhappy if athletic scholarships were abolished and only ones given which were for academics. Return to the concept of why Universities were created in the lst. place, education not athletics. If young athletes want to be professionals then let the pro football and basketball teams organize "minor" leagues as does baseball. I would go even a further step than hcirettae, give scholarships (educational) only to students residing within the state the university is located and do not pay any professional athlete or ANY coach more than we pay teachers. Teachers contribute, sports only entertain! Can't we see that the inmates are running the asylum in athletics? Maybe even at times I'm one of the inmates. NOW GUYS, HAVE AT ME!

July 9, 2010 at 9:09 a.m.
Musicman375 said...

It seems the universities' take on it is that the revenue taken in from the sports events outweighs the negatives of the players' fame. There should be much more effort taken by all coaches/parents/fans, from the chid's first team sport experience onward, to remind the players they aren't invincible. I loathe the fact that they get so much special treatment as well, but ultimately, the UT system (and universities in general) would make significantly less money for their scholastics by abolishing athletic scholarships, as the wake of that would drastically reduce the revenue generated since so many players cannot afford tuition.

July 9, 2010 at 9:38 a.m.

Settle down girls. How many fights occur in college bars without athletes involved? Idiots will be idiots regardless of their sports stature.

Back in college I watched jocks fight in bars every weekend. Typically, it was guys like jopad, Humphrey, and GoMocs who popped-off to the jocks first. Then, left with blooded faces and bruised egos.

Beating up a cop is a different story, althogether.

July 9, 2010 at 10 a.m.
GoMocs said...

Wouldn't have been me. I knew the old adage..good things don't happen in bars after midnight.

The fact is most of these kids, not just at UTK, but at most schools, are spoiled kids who think they are entitled. This is not a UTK problem, but a problem nationwide.

July 9, 2010 at 10:34 a.m.
Vol_un_tears said...

People, we are overlooking the fact that there could be multiple secondary violations by the NCAA from this. The players cannot get special treatment that is not available to the general public. I wish that lady had just kept her mouth shut but she didn't. I know Kiffin would have laughed this off but I'll bet Dooley doesn't. I don't know what the bar patron could have done to start this but nothing he could do or sy should have 7 to 10 players beating on him. UT deserves better!

July 9, 2010 at 10:44 a.m.
Riverrat4UT said...

Ya know...Tennessee football was a lot of fun in the day. When is the NCAA going to get it? When thugs are allowed on campus and to participate in our sports programs, then this sort of thing will continue to happen. It's simply embarassing!

July 9, 2010 at 11:12 a.m.
jomo11 said...

If the players get VIP and no cover charge, that is probably an NCAA violation

July 9, 2010 at 11:35 a.m.
jomo11 said...

New coach, same thugs............

July 9, 2010 at 11:37 a.m.
buckeyerishi02 said...

Any person who beats up on off duty police officer needs to be thrown off the team as well as charged to the fullest extent of the law. If these idiots have complete disregard for the law and the men and women who uphold the law, what chance does the general public have with these thugs as they get older.

July 9, 2010 at 11:58 a.m.
gman62 said...

Yes, Vol_un_tears, that's what's important here - multiple secondary violations.

Never mind the fact that this one kid will probably be the scapegoat in this matter, get charged, kicked off the team, transfer to Memphis (that's where most thugs seem to transfer to), while the other guys get suspended for spring practice next year after the 'internal investigation' at UT, and no criminal charges being brought against them. Never mind the fact that two other people were beat up, one of them kicked in the head.

What's important is that UT not get punished for secondary violations, that would be a tragedy.

July 9, 2010 at 12:27 p.m.
10Degrees said...

Sports bring in revenue, not academic knowledge bowls. We are all guilty for athletes, musicians, and actors getting special treatment. Back in the day, racial discrimination was not reported for lynching of such "thugs". Teams stick together, if one fights then they all will fight. Happens with soldiers, athletes, and family members alike. This is a big deal because a non-uniformed cop got knocked out, whether he had time to identify himself or not he seemed an adversary and was dealt with. I'm not defending the players, there just happen to be a few "extra righteous" bloggers ignoring the obvious and blowing things far out of proportion. Fights will occur in bars, I was once a bouncer and am aware of the dangers of liquor near 18-23 year olds. Many scholarships are an opportunity at a better educated life, not just make millions playing sports. So few athletes make the pros yet become solid citizens from athletic scholarships.

July 9, 2010 at 1:11 p.m.
nurseforjustice said...


July 9, 2010 at 1:43 p.m.
GoMocs said...

Interesting photo:

Okay, since athletes can't receive special treatment not given to other students, the school sending a car to pick them up at jail is special treatment isn't it? I am guessing the school routinely doesn't run taxi service to the jail for the general student population?

July 9, 2010 at 2:09 p.m.
dswaim said...

I was once a Lady Vol, from out of state, who if it weren't for an athletic scholarship, would never have had an opportunity to receive higher education. And I admittedly did not have sufficient grades to be granted an academic scholarship either. So the mere idea of abolishing athletic scholarships or granting those to only people from in state is the most ridiculous idea ever. You shouldn't punish the entire village for one (or 7-10) idiot's actions... Also I bet if/when Mr. Rogers or Mr. Moore score 3 touchdowns in one game to beat the Gators, and a new music building is constructed due to the increase of revenue from that exact game, ya'll would/will be singing a much different tune.(prob Good 'Ol Ricky Top).... it is an awfully true statement that they, college football players, should not receive special treatment however, we are to only blame ourselves for that one.

I hope the proper punishment is asserted to the appropriate people and not just a slap on the wrist and a week's suspension of practice.

July 9, 2010 at 2:15 p.m.
GoMocs said...

To the ex Lady Vol, there is another form of scholarship, financial. I too think that college sports has gotten way out of proportion. A team made up of real students who went to the school, then went out for the school team. What a concept! But we have long since passed those days behind, sadly.

July 9, 2010 at 2:26 p.m.
Vol_un_tears said...


I figured the legal system would take care of those thugs. As for only one guy taking the brunt, I am sure there were several eye witnesses, including the owners of the bar, that will make sure the whole story gets out. I was stating where UT might come out in all of this. I, honestly, hope that each and every player that had a role in this get the severe punishment they deserve. UT does not need or deserve to have thugs like that representing the university. Hope you understand my point now!

July 9, 2010 at 2:57 p.m.
inquiringmind said...

If this bar is giving them free cover charges it sounds like an NCAA violation to me.

July 9, 2010 at 3:06 p.m.
acerigger said...

if only someone with a gun had been there,they could have put a stop to this thuggish behavior,huh? where's the concealed- carry permit people when you need them?

July 9, 2010 at 3:35 p.m.
harrystatel said...

It's "Big Orange Jumpsuit Time in Tennessee."

Join the UT Prison Alumni as they play this year's crop of crooks, cons, and future parolees in the "Mouth-Breather's Bowl" inside the razor-wire and cages at Neyland Yard.

I've given my last dime to UT. Go suck eggs, UT--you're not worthy.

July 9, 2010 at 4:46 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

How would someone know that he was an off duty police officer? They look the same as the rest of us without uniform...except for the haircut maybe.

Years ago, in Knoxville, my kind hearted 18 year old son was giving a homeless man something to eat. Knoxville was having some evening thing going on and there were carts giving away free hot dogs but the bums weren't allowed to get this food. My son got a hot dog and was giving it to a bedraggled man when...out of nowhere...these two young men run up and scream "Don't give the bum the hot dog." My son does anyway. These two guys proceed to wrest my son to the ground and handcuff him. THEN they tell him that they were undercover officers. They did let him go after a while. I later called the police chief who did some serious butt chewing on a couple of undercover officers. I've heard of it being illegal to feed the wildlife but this was taking it a little too far.

My point to this is...aside from the fact that the football guys were not do you know that a ordinary looking human being is an off duty officer? And I am just sure that he didn't attempt the same stuff that pulled on my son. That's no excuse for harming anyone as this man was harmed but I don't believe that being a police officer had anything to do with it.

July 9, 2010 at 5:03 p.m.
jopad said...

Dswaim--If you think the suggestion to eliminate athletic scholarships or provide academic scholarships only is based on this one incident you are mistaken. Those of us who have been around for many many years have seen this type of behavior from those who go to school on athletic scholarships happen far too many times. I too was a college athlete but have "soured" on athletic scholarships. Let's go to a system like D3 schools.

July 9, 2010 at 10:45 p.m.
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