Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Arnett Granted Full Release

Some justice after all.

After learning last week that true freshman WR and Saginaw native DeAnthony Arnett would be limited in his transfer options to MAC-only schools by Derek Dooley, the Vols made a 180 today and granted him a full and unconditional release. This allows Arnett to transfer to any school, including Michigan or Michigan State, to be both closer to his father and family, and continue playing at a high level.

While I don't think the #FreeArnett Twitter campaign was the only reason--far from it--for Tennessee's change of heart, it was really cool watching it grow and bring light to a situation. Several people began tweeting the Vols' official football account about their thoughts, and national players like Joe Schad of ESPN and Graham Watson of Yahoo! Sports' Dr. Saturday blog wrote about the subject as impartially as journalistically possible. This was a PR blunder from the start by Derek Dooley, bringing not only negative light to him and the program, but also to his abysmal 5-7 (1-7 SEC) season and recent recruiting woes. Dooley has other things to worry about, like his job.

While I doubt the flip came from Dooley's personal conversations with Arnett and his family--probably pressure from the top--I do give him credit for reconciling the situation and ultimately doing what's right. As I've said before, I've followed this story because of its affiliation with the Wolverines, and obvious benefit should he decide to transfer, but this is ultimately about him and his family. It's about celebrating that he's coming home should he even decide to transfer to Michigan State.

Allen Trieu recently tweeted that Arnett will make a speedy decision regarding where he will transfer. I imagine he wants his academic and athletic life settled as soon as possible so he can get back to his personal life. Whether he picks Michigan or Michigan State, great news the kid's coming home.

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