Tennessee defensive lineman, former ‘Last Chance U’ star Emmit Gooden dismissed from team

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Tennessee dismissed projected starter Emmit Gooden on Thursday after he was charged with felony aggravated domestic assault for allegedly hitting his girlfriend with a glass jar candle, according to multiple reports. Gooden was expected to anchor the interior of the Volunteers’ defensive line in 2020 as a redshirt senior after he missed the 2019 season with an ACL injury.

The former Independence (Kansas) Community College star was featured in Season 3 of the “Last Chance U” series on Netflix. The popular docuseries followed the 2017 Independence football team and explored the backstory of Gooden, who was a second-year player at the school during filming. Gooden initially committed to play for Mississippi State while in high school and also committed to Arkansas at one point before ending up at Tennessee.

Gooden made 33 tackles for the Volunteers in the 2018 season, including seven tackles for loss, and was expected to be an integral piece of the team’s defense this season as he returned from injury. The Vols will have to look elsewhere to fill that spot now as they try and build on last season’s 8-5 record, which included a run of six wins in a row to end the season.

The Thursday assault charge against Gooden developed from an argument at an apartment near the Tennessee campus, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office website showed Thursday night that Gooden was being held on $10,000 bond. The victim suffered facial injuries that required medical attention, according to an arrest warrant obtained by the News Sentinel.

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