Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Von Pearson’s suspension has been officially lifted by the University of Tennessee and its football program. On April 24 of this year, Pearson was named as the sole suspect in a sexual assault investigation by the Knox County District Attorney’s Office. Subsequently, Pearson was immediately suspended indefinitely from school and the football team. It was announced on Wednesday, by Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen, that Pearson would not be charged with the alleged crime in question due to insufficient evidence.
Head coach Butch Jones made the announcement of Pearson’s re-instatement to the football team on Friday evening via a post-practice press conference offering the following sentiments on the matter:
“Von’s got a long way to go, we’re here to talk about our football team. He’s just a small piece of our football team and he’s going to have to work his way back in football shape and he’s going to have to earn playing time,” Jones stated. “There is no entitlement in our football program. Before he’s ready to go on the field, he’s going to have to earn it because we have some football players doing some very good things.”
Pearson led the Volunteers in touchdown receptions in 2014 and ranked second on the team in both receptions and receiving yards. The senior wide receiver will be allowed to return to practice with the team immediately, but he will be required to start fresh under the NCAA-mandated five practice acclimation period. Pearson will be a welcomed returnee to a wide receiver corps that was down to just eight scholarship players prior to his reinstatement. It is anticipated that Pearson will play a significant role in the Vol offense in 2015.
— Written by Rob McVey, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. McVey is a diehard Tennessee Volunteers' fan who loves singing "Rocky Top" every opportunity he gets. Follow him on Twitter @Rob_UTVOLS