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Vols' wide receiver dismissed from team

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. | University of Tennessee junior wide receiver Brandon Warren has been dismissed from the football program, Volunteers coach Lane Kiffin said after Monday's practice.

Kiffin didn't give a specific reason for Warren's dismissal, offering only "conduct detrimental to the team."

"Brandon Warren is no longer with our team," Kiffin said. "We wish him the best of luck, and we'll give him full academic support and keep him going in school.

"And that's the last I'm going to comment on it. It's very unfortunate."

Warren, a former Florida State player from the Knoxville suburb Alcoa, had seven catches for 54 yards and two touchdowns in Tennessee's first five games this season.

The 6-foot-2, 216-pound Warren was visibly upset during the Vols' 26-22 loss to Auburn on Saturday in Neyland Stadium. Various teammates and coaches tried unsuccessfully to calm him, though he eventually settled down, located his thrown helmet and returned to the lineup.

Multiple witnesses said Warren got into a confrontation with Volunteers' wide receivers coach Frank Wilson. Attempts to reach Warren on Monday night weren't immediately successful, and Wilson was not made available for comment after the Vols' practice.

Kiffin said minutes after the Auburn loss that he hadn't seen Warren's in-game conduct, but he added that at least two of the team's biggest breakdowns came on plays designed to get him the ball.

Since spring practice, the coach has repeatedly, publicly challenged Warren whose production never quite matched his potential.

"I am not going to get into anything further out of respect to him and his family," Kiffin said. "But he has not been removed from this team because of (Saturday) solely."

Junior wide receiver Gerald Jones had a brief spat with Kiffin the previous Saturday, when Tennessee defeated Ohio, but Kiffin said Jones' situation was different.

"Gerald ... did have a small issue on the sidelines (against Ohio), which is something that he's learned from, and something that he has expressed that he's apologetic for," Kiffin said. "He had a good week last week, and he had a good day today, and he's continued to improve."

Tennessee's receivers have mentioned mounting frustrations with the team's second consecutive season of passing-game struggles. Senior quarterback Jonathan Crompton has completed just 82 of 150 passes 54.7 percent this season for 900 yards, nine touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Aside from the team's season-opening 63-7 victory over Western Kentucky, Crompton has tossed four touchdowns and six interceptions.

Crompton again took most of the first-team's practice repetitions Monday.

"Adversity, if it's handled right, makes you stronger," Kiffin said. "A lot of times, things get worse before they get worse, unfortunately, when you take over a program.

"I said it last week, we've got 95 percent of the guys doing things right and buying in, and we'll be closer to being a championship team as more and more guys buy in. Unfortunately, along the way, if they don't, other things have to happen."

Several players declined Monday night requests to comment on Warren's dismissal.