Mayo, Ayers involved in fight with frat members

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Two Tennessee freshmen were charged Tuesday with aggravated assault for their role in fights that broke out between football players and fraternity members at an on-campus party last month.

Jerod Mayo and Robert Ayers, who redshirted last season, turned themselves in and were released from the Knox County Detention Facility on Tuesday.

The arrest of Mayo and Ayers comes two days after quarterback Brent Schaeffer and receiver Bret Smith were charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly hitting a student who had been arguing with Schaeffer's girlfriend in a dorm early Sunday.

A total of 11 players have been either charged or cited since February with crimes ranging from underage drinking and shoplifting to assault.

"We've got some very immature young men on this football team and certainly, if not immature, socially unadjusted at this time," coach Phillip Fulmer said Tuesday. "I'm extremely embarrassed and disappointed in the actions of a number of our players over the last several months. We have a large majority of our guys doing the right thing and a few that have embarrassed us in a very big way."

Fulmer believes Mayo, a linebacker from Hampton, Va., was not involved and has been misidentified. The coach also indicated Ayers, a defensive end from Clio, S.C., will not play until he decides otherwise.

Mayo issued a statement through the athletic department, claiming he did not take part in the incident.

Reserve linebacker Daniel Brooks, who was named as a suspect in a police report, was not charged. Fulmer suspended him for the first two games of next season for repeated bad behavior, a decision he made several weeks ago but didn't announce until Tuesday.

Fulmer apologized to the university community, the school president, the athletic director and the team's fans. He was visibly angry and said his tolerance for misbehavior was very low.

"I'm not happy right now," he said.