Report: Tennessee self-imposes two-year probation

Associated Press
7/22/2011 6:19:28 PM
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Knoxville News Sentinel is reporting that Tennessee has self-imposed a two-year probation on its athletics department as part of its response to alleged NCAA violations.

The probation and other smaller penalties are outlined in the university's 191-page official response to the NCAA allegations, which was filed in May and inspected by the newspaper.

"The University has taken what it believes are meaningful and appropriate steps to address the problems identified in this case," the response reads, "including declaring student-athletes ineligible, implementing enhancements to the compliance program, and self-imposing penalties upon the particular coaching staff members and sports programs that were designed to punish the head coach, deter similar conduct in the future, and offset any advantages that the programs may have gained."

The 12 charges against Tennessee were made by the NCAA in February after nearly two years of investigating basketball coach Bruce Pearl, football coach Lane Kiffin and their coaching staffs. Kiffin had already left Tennessee for Southern California, and Pearl was fired in March.

Both coaches were accused of recruiting violations, and Pearl also acknowledged in September lying to NCAA investigators about a cookout he hosted at his home attended by recruits. At the time of Pearl's admission, Tennessee docked his salary and limited his ability to recruit.

In addition to the probation outlined in the May response to the NCAA's allegations, Tennessee imposed punishments on new basketball coach Cuonzo Martin and new football coach Derek Dooley. Neither Martin nor Dooley have been accused of wrongdoing.

Martin and his staff are not allowed to provide off-campus meals during the 2011-12 academic year. Dooley and his staff's recruiting days during the spring 2011 recruiting period were reduced from 168 to 162, and only five of the 10 football coaches will be allowed to make recruiting phone calls during the November 2011 recruiting period.

Tennessee officials and coaches and Pearl and Kiffin went before the NCAA's committee on infractions in June. The university is awaiting the NCAA's final ruling on the charges and any additional penalties the organization may impose.

Bruce Pearl (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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