University of Tennessee Football Players Arrested at Knoxville-Area Party

Dan Carson@@DrCarson73Trending Lead WriterFebruary 10, 2014

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 26:  A.J. Johnson #45 of the Tennessee Volunteers against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 26, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

UPDATE: Thursday, February 27 at 2:30 p.m. ET 

According to Evan Woodbery of, the 12 current and former Tennessee Volunteers football players cited or arrested at the Quarry Trail apartment complex on February 9 will likely emerge with a clean record from their scrape with the law.

Woodbery reports that the seven team members who received citations appeared in court Thursday and will have their charges dismissed if they pay their court costs and stay out of trouble for 60 days.

As for those arrested in the incident, A.J. Johnson, Danny O'Brien and former Vols player Dontavis Sapp are also on path to have their charges wiped away. The three appeared in court last week, and their charges have either been dismissed or are in the process of being resolved.

Johnson's resisting arrest charge was dismissed, and his other charges will be thrown out pending the completion of community service. 

O'Brien and Sapp will have all charges dropped after completing six, trouble-free months of community service and alcohol education classes. 

---End of Update---

Drunk and serving alcohol to underage football players is no way to go through life.

Unfortunately, that appeared to be the name of the game for former and current University of Tennessee football players on Saturday night.

According to TMZ Sports, police arrived at a Knoxville-area party hosted by former Vols linebacker Dontavis Sapp early Sunday morning. Officers came in response to a series of noise complaints and found a group of current and former University of Tennessee football players drinking with underage members of the team.

L.G. Patterson/Associated Press

Sapp, according to TMZ’s report, was heavily intoxicated and unwilling (or unable) to cooperate with officers. The situation was exacerbated by senior Vols linebacker A.J. Johnson, who interfered with police attempts to bring Sapp into custody. 

The TMZ report states that Johnson “stepped in...and grabbed a cop by the shoulder, in an effort to keep Sapp from being arrested.”

Johnson was “pulled to the ground,” according to TMZ, and “continued to resist arrest by pulling away and rolling around.” After this incident, it would appear police began scooping up athletes and partygoers.

According to (h/t Chase Goodbread of, 20-year-old defensive tackle Danny O’Brien was taken into custody for resisting arrest, underage drinking and criminal impersonation.

O’Brien allegedly presented officers with a fake ID and became “combative” when police attempted to take him into custody.

Up to nine former and current Tennessee players in total were at the party, though Sapp, Johnson and O’Brien were the only individuals arrested. Johnson has been charged with purchasing alcohol for underage individuals and resisting arrest. also reports that former UT walk-on Isaac Mobley was charged with underage drinking.

Butch Jones, head coach of the Volunteers football team, addressed the situation in a statement on Sunday morning.

“We are aware of the situation and are still in the preliminary stages of gathering all facts and information,” Jones said. “We have very high standards and expectations within our football program at the University of Tennessee, and appropriate action will be taken.” 

How this will pan out for the players involved is yet to be seen, although the arrest doesn’t stand to aid Johnson’s bid for a spot on an NFL roster.

Johnson is the SEC’s leading returning tackler in 2014, having opted to come back for his senior year at Tennessee instead of declaring for the NFL draft. Clearly, partying with underclassmen is a good way to cut down a season of stat-sheet stuffing he needs to impress scouts.

While the details have yet to be sorted out, it’s probably safe to say Johnson won’t be playing the role of Otter Stratton at any more campus soirees. As much fun as it is to mess with the underclassmen and nickname kids “Flounder,” partying with underage kids can only be to your detriment.

Was the party over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Yes.


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