Vanderbilt football may be without the services of a pair of young players this summer. Tae Daley, a freshman defensive back, and Frank Coppet, a redshirt freshman in the same secondary, suffered non-life threatening gunshot wounds after reportedly attempting to retrieve the stolen phone of teammate Donaven Tennyson.
Daley was shot in the leg, while Coppet was struck with birdshot in his arms. Daley also had his car stolen in the altercation.
The shooting took place Monday night. The Tennessean broke the news Tuesday.
The incident started after Tennyson put his cell phone up for sale on an undisclosed website. He met with a potential buyer Monday afternoon at a Chili's restaurant, only to have the phone stolen.
That night, the offending party had listed Tennyson's phone on the resale site, leading Tennyson and his teammates to set up a sting operation. They arranged a meetup for the phone at a west side Target, with Coppet carrying an air pistol in case the group needed some extra intimidation.
However, the thieves were also carrying weapons; in this case more powerful than a pellet gun. After Coppet left Daley’s car with the air pistol in his hand, two men in the seller's party opened fire with a handgun and shotgun, leaving Daley and Coppet hurt. They then left the scene, taking Daley's Toyota Corolla in the process. The two injured Commodores were taken to a hospital where they gave Nashville Metro Police their statements.
Vanderbilt athletics said it was looking into the incident in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.
"Our foremost concern is the well-being of our students, but it appears their injuries are not life-threatening. The university is monitoring the situation and will determine if any action on the part of the university is appropriate."
Tennyson earned reps as a receiver and kick returner as a true freshman in 2016. Daley and Coppet were slated to make their on-field debuts this fall. That timeline is now in jeopardy, depending on the extent of their injuries.