3 University of Tennessee recruits of Lane Kiffin — WR Nu’Keese Richardson (above, left), safety Janzen Jackson and DB Mike Edwards — were charged with attempted robbery of a Knoxville convenience store earlier today.  Calling the alleged incident, “one of the dumbest crimes in the history of UT football™s criminal activities”, the Tennessean’s Mike Jones urges Kiffin to make an example of the trio, serving as judge and jury while insisting the felonious act was “perpetrated by three freshman football players.”

The skill-level of the players enhances Kiffin™s opportunity. He wouldn™t be cutting loose borderline players who might never make a meaningful contribution to UT football. He would be booting three promising players ” including, in Jackson, a starter and potential freshman All-American.

But it™s not a hard choice. This wasn™t a drunk player fallen asleep at a McDonald™s drive-thru. It wasn™t an œerror in judgment. It wasn™t œhanging out with the wrong crowd.

It was a premeditated crime. With a gun.

They didn™t just break the law. They broke a trust with their teammates and coaches.

The rest of the team didn™t deserve this. I feel sorry for them, rather than the knuckleheads who couldn™t resist the temptation of hitting up convenience-store patrons for spare change.

I™m only guessing the victims had spare change since the police report states their wallets were empty.

The three stooges really cased the joint, didn™t they? Based on all the thought that went into the crime, guess they didn™t know Pilot is owned by Jim Haslam, one of the university™s and football program™s greatest supporters. That™s œHaslam as in Haslam Field, where the team practices daily.

Unwittingly, Jones might’ve done Richardson, Edwards and Jackson a huge favor. Assuming anyone still reads the newspaper, lawyers for the students ought to argue they can no longer expect a fair trial locally.