Tennessee wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett has been granted his release from the football program, head coach Derek Dooley said Tuesday.

The Saginaw News reported over the weekend that Arnett, a Michigan native, requested the release because his father recently underwent two surgeries, including a procedure on his heart.

The report said Tennessee denied Arnett's request to play at Michigan or Michigan State because of school policy, and cleared him only to play at a Mid-American Conference school in Michigan.

But Dooley said Tuesday that he was "very comfortable carving out an exception for [Arnett]" to get back to his father.

He said he got a few messages from Arnett's brother over the holidays and eventually had some 1-on-1 conversations with the receiver.

"The most important concern for me is the welfare of our student-athletes," Dooley said.

Arnett made 24 catches for 242 yards and two touchdowns this past season, when he was a true freshman.