Tennessee football Coach Phillip Fulmer stated in his weekly press
conference on Tuesday that wide receiver Nilo Silvan was dismissed from the
team because of the severity of charges brought against him.

Silvan was arrested and charged with raping a 17-year-old girl on Sunday
evening at his West Knoxville apartment.

"I am not passing judgment on anyone yet, because I do not know what
happened, but again, an athlete has put me in a position to make a decision
and make one I will," Fulmer said. "Nilo Silvan is dismissed from this
football team, and I will continue to look further into this matter."

Silvan will remain under scholarship for the remainder of the semester and
his dismissal from the team is final unless there are any further
developments, Fulmer said.

Fulmer addressed the team on the Silvan situation, but stressed that there
is, and must be, an ongoing dialogue with the players beyond this one

"I addressed the team [Monday] regarding this particular matter," Fulmer
said, "But again, it's an ongoing process that we encourage to try to deter
behavior that is not acceptable."

As recently as last Friday in a team meeting, Fulmer spent time talking
with his football team about morals, character and behavior.

"We constantly encourage, inform, advise, and teach our players to do the
right things and not put themselves in harm's way--to always think and
consider their families, teammates, coaches and their university," Fulmer
said, "All of which they represent both on and off the field."

The athletic department has devised many programs-mandatory and
voluntary-that are designed to help athletes deal with academic, social and
athletic problems and adjustments.

"We have had an implementation of a health and wellness program...and have
had presentations regarding sexual responsibilty, sexual abuse and sexual
assault," Fulmer said. He said these are just a few of the programs that
have been utilized by the athletic department.

Athletic Director Doug Dickey said never in the history of UT has the
athletic department shown more time and effort trying to create
counseling-type programs for Volunteer athletes.

"We are not without the voice of reason being put out here; it is out there
in plenty of opportunities for people to hear it," Dickey said, "We need
people to respond in a manner of responsibility that we can all take pride

Silvan's previously unnamed roommate has been identified as Joey Kent.

It is not known whether Kent had any involvement in the alleged rape.