KNOXVILLE -- Tennessee freshman tailback Treyvon Paulk has been dismissed from the program for what head coach Butch Jones termed a "personal conduct issue," and it likely stemmed from an incident over the weekend involving Paulk and his ex-girlfriend.
According to the Knox County Sheriff's Office, Paulk was accused of assault, though his ex-girlfriend, 18-year-old Chelsea Reese is refusing to prosecute or take out an order of protection. He will not be charged.
While at a party on Saturday, Paulk and Reese began arguing when he "became very agitated and struck her in the mouth with his fist," according to KCSO.
Reese had cuts to her lips but refused medical treatment, the incident report states.
Jones, the Volunteers' second-year coach announced Paulk's dismissal at the start of his weekly news conference on Monday afternoon, but he would not elaborate further or take any questions regarding the situation.
"We hold our players to a very high standard and expectation with being a member of our football family," he said.
The 5-foot-8, 200-pound Paulk was redshirting this season and practicing on Tennessee's scout team. He was present the last time the Vols had a practice that was open to reporters last Wednesday. Paulk missed most of his senior season at Milton High School in Alpharetta, Ga., after tearing the ACL in his left knee last September.
After running for more than 1,200 yards and scoring 19 rushing touchdowns as a junior in 2012 alongside Auburn signee Peyton Barber, Paulk was rated as a four-star prospect by ESPN and a three-star recruit by other services.
He is the first casualty from Tennessee's touted 2014 recruiting class.
"Every circumstance is different, and I'm a father figure," Jones said when asked about how he handles discipline in his program. "Unfortunately, some incidents are out of my control, and some incidents, you try to teach.
"We do a tremendous job in the overall growth and development of every individual in our football program with our Vol for Life program, our personal development and growth program. We spend an inordinate amount with outside speakers, using real-life illustrations and constantly having dialogue and talking about it."
Vols-Florida at noon
The SEC announced the Florida-Tennessee game in Knoxville on Oct. 4 will kick off at noon and be televised by the SEC Network. It will be the Vols' third game of the season on the league's new channel. Tennessee's first two games, wins against Utah State and Arkansas State, were televised by the SEC Network.
The Gators will have an open date before trying to beat Tennessee for the 10th consecutive year.
Jones reiterated that receiver Von Pearson (ankle) will not play at Georgia on Saturday, but he said the status of fellow receiver Josh Smith (ankle) is "ongoing." The sophomore was on crutches and in a walking boot as late as Friday of last week.
Freshman tight ends Ethan Wolf (knee) and Daniel Helm (ankle) are good to go for Saturday's trip to Athens.
Contact Patrick Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.