Poly AD, coach shocked by Kyler assault charges Tennessee investigating off-campus incident

February 20, 1996|By Kevin Eck and Lem Satterfield

Poly football coach Augie Waibel and athletic director Mark Schlenoff said yesterday that they were shocked to hear that University of Tennessee wide receiver and Poly graduate Greg Kyler had been charged with assault over the weekend.

Kyler, The Sun's 1993 Offensive Player of the Year, and teammate Anthony P. Hampton were charged with assault early Saturday for allegedly beating and kicking a university employee in an off-campus apartment complex courtyard.

"To hear this news has been devastating. A total shock," Schlenoff said.

Said Waibel: "He's never been in that kind of a situation at Poly, and you hate to see these kinds of things happen. You want to be of some help, but being this far away you don't know what to do. It's upsetting. I just hope that he doesn't jeopardize his opportunity."

Tennessee athletic director Doug Dickey said yesterday that the matter was under investigation. Volunteers coach Phillip Fulmer was unavailable for comment.

The employee, Brian N. Forrest, 22, is a graduate student and an assistant trainer in the athletic department. Forrest did not suffer any serious injuries.

It has not been established whether Forrest knew his alleged assailants.

Kyler could not be reached for comment yesterday.

This is the second time Kyler, a redshirt freshman, has been in trouble at Tennessee.

He was one of 31 athletes involved in making unauthorized calls on the university's telephone system last spring. Kyler was penalized with 100 hours of community service and the loss of two game tickets for the season.

"Greg has overcome a lot of difficulties in growing up, and we kind of felt like he was heading in the right direction," Schlenoff said. "We hope this is a temporary thing that will be rectified. I'm not defending anybody, but you only hope that there's more involved than what's been reported. That there are some extenuating circumstances that will absolve him in some way."

As a senior at Poly, Kyler was named to SuperPrep magazine's All-America team. That season, Kyler had an area-leading 29 touchdowns on 1,390 rushing yards and 432 receiving yards on 22 receptions. He led the Engineers to an 11-1 record and a 3A state runner-up finish.

Kyler finished this past regular season as Tennessee's No. 4 receiver with 21 catches for 287 yards and a touchdown.

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