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Vols WR Arnett granted release

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.