Badger football team gets early x-mas gift

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Volunteers will be missing a few players for their upcoming bowl appearance.

Three starters are among a half dozen Vols who have been ruled academically ineligible for the Outback Bowl. Wide receiver Lucas Taylor, linebacker Rico McCoy and defensive tackle Demonte Bolden failed to meet NCAA and SEC academic requirements to play. Coach Phillip Fulmer said Taylor has passed enough total hours, but was ineligible under a new NCAA policy that requires players to pass six hours within the grade requirements of their major. Taylor leads the Vols with 73 receptions.

McCoy has also started each game this season and is second on the team with 106 tackles. Bolden started all 12 of the games he played, but was suspended against Louisiana-Lafayette for an unspecified violation of team rules.

Also ineligible to play are free safety Ricardo Kemp, wide receiver Kenny O'Neal and linebacker Chris Donald.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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