Jan 2, 2012
Family says there's "no chance" Arnett returns to Tennessee
The highly coveted 2011 wide receiver recruit out of Saginaw, Mich. will not return to the University of Tennessee under any circumstances; this according to a family member of Arnett's. Arnett has said that he will not make any public statemtns until the situation has been resolved with the Volunteers.
After a stellar true freshman season at Tennessee that saw Arnett catch 24 passes he has requested a release from his letter of intent to the university. Arnett is seeking a "hardship waiver" to be able to attend either Michigan, Michigan State or Notre Dame in order to be closer to his ailing father.
14.2.5 Hardship Waiver. A student-athlete may be granted an additional year of participation (per Bylaw 14.2.4) by the conference or the Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement for reasons of “hardship.”
According to family statements, Arnett fully enjoyed his time at Tennessee and his request to be released has no basis in any dissatisfaction with the school or his coaches. It was also stated that he was happy with his playing time and that there was nothing the Vols' did that motivated his request, it has everything to do with his ailing father in Saginaw.
Since the beginning of winter break Arnett's father has undergone two surgeries; heart surgery and another to impact a stent in his arm for dialysis, which may need to be redone should it be unsuccessful.
Arnett is attempting to transfer schools without losing any eligibility; following his season at Tennessee he has three years of eligibility remaining. Due to Tennessee policies they have denied Arnett's request to be released to Michigan or Michigan State because they do not allow releases to any schools that they compete against or recruit against.
Although his request has been denied to head to Ann Arbor or East Lansing, the Vols' have released Arnett to play with any of the Mid-American Conference schools in Michigan - Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan or Western Michigan.
Regardless of whether Arnett receives his release to Michigan or Michigan State he will have to fulfill his National Letter of Intent, which requires that Arnett have at least one year of education at Tennessee. Arnett will attempt to satisfy his letter of intent by taking online classes through Tennessee while remaining close to his father in Saginaw.
Depending on the release that Tennessee grants Arnett, he may have to pay his own way should he choose either Michigan or Michigan State, sit out a season, lose a year of eligibility or some combination of those. But Arnett has made the Vols' know that he will not be returning to Knoxville and his family has stated that the university understands.