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UT Releases Letter Of Allegations

The University of Tennessee released the notice of allegations sent by the NCAA this morning.  The key points:

What’s Good For Tennessee

* The UT baseball program was not cited for any rules violations. 

What’s Bad For Tennessee

* Allegations of impermissible contact with prospective student-athletes resulting from a cumulative total of 96 impermissible phone calls over a 24-month period.  (This was expected.)

* Allegations that Bruce Pearl had impermissible contact with junior recruits at his home, had acted contrary to the principles of ethical conduct, had failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance, and had failed to monitor the activities regarding compliance of all assistant coaches.  (This was expected.)

* Allegations that Pearl and an assistant coach had impermissible contact with a recruit at his high school.  (This had been rumored.)

* Allegations that three basketball assistants had failed to furnish full and complete information relevant to the investigation.  (This was expected.)

* Allegations that a former assistant football coach had made impermissible contacts with recruits.  (This was expected.)

* Allegations that Lane Kiffin’s football staff had made 16 impermissible phone contacts with recruits.  (This had been rumored.)

* Allegations that Kiffin failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the football program and failed to monitor the activities regarding compliance of several assistant coaches.  Also, allegations that Kiffin permitted a recruiting intern to make impermissible contact with a high school coaching staff during a visit.  (This was expected.)

* Allegations that the University had failed to monitor the men’s basketball coaching staff’s telephone contacts with recruits and their relatives.  (This was expected.)

Initial Observations:

* The words “lack of institutional control” were not used in the release.  UT officials had to have sighed with relief on that one.

* UT was cited for failure to monitor Pearl’s phone calls, but not for failing to monitor Kiffin in general.  That is big huge plus for Tennessee.

* It seems that Pat Haden might have some decisions to make regarding Kiffin’s continued employment at Southern Cal.

* With Kiffin and his aides listed prominently in the notice of allegations, the appeals of UT and Kiffin (and his ex-aides) might be linked in terms of time frame.  If Kiffin and crew delay, conceivably, it could slow down the NCAA’s final verdict on UT.

* There were no unexpected allegations — at first view — levied toward Pearl.  Depending on the NCAA’s penalties, it looks as though Tennessee’s coach will survive.  Whether he should or not is a matter of great debate.  But if AD Mike Hamilton is to be believed, UT will keep Pearl on staff.  The fact that no new violations popped up makes that more likely.

* Following a 22-month investigation into three different Vol sports, the NCAA’s findings could have been much, much worse.  For instance, UT could have been hit with a failure to monitor charge in football as well as in basketball.  Instead, Kiffin takes that failure to monitor charge with him to Los Angeles. 

Tennessee will now have 90 days to go before the NCAA and debate these charges.  It’s believed they will head to Indianapolis in mid-June.  At that point, the NCAA will then decide on penalties.  And predicting penalties from the NCAA requires more tools than Doppler radar and StormTracker.  It’s a crapshoot as whether or not the NCAA will drop the hammer on Pearl or not. 

But, again, the letter of allegations could have been worse.  So it’s possible that UT escapes this entire episode with scholarship reductions in basketball, small scholarship reductions in football, recruiting restrictions in basketball and some sort of suspension for Pearl. 

From UT’s perspective, that’s survivable.  But is it just?  Let the debate begin.



Hey Gary, how many SEC coaches now or in history have a "ring"? More importantly how many Tenn coaches have rings in the history of the program? How many even have a Final Four. When you have perspective you understand. By the way, the past 10 years of UT football had the 2nd highest winning % in program modern day history to the 1990's. They also went to 3 SEC title games during that 10 years. No one else can say that and UT had never had that kind of history nor will they again. You have obviously never played or coached a sport and are just an idiot fan.

PS John. I know you are on the local radio in Knoxville. There will be 6 SEC teams dancing baby.


I know this is a sad day for you, Mr. Pennington, and are very disappointed. You have been hoping for that "failure to monitor" charge against the football program for a very long time, and it didn't come. Considering the circumstances, it seems Tennessee is going to get off with its basketball coach and without major penalties against its football program, and I know that upsets you considering how much you had hoped for the opposite. I would say I'm sorry, but, you don't deserve that. Your despise of UT and hoping for the hammer against the university has been obvious for some time. Oh well. It's great to be a Vol.


- The JR recruits where already committed (latter decommitted) and where brought to the house by another player. Pearl did not know he was coming. This is what he lied about. What should he have done kicked the kid out of the house. Of course not. Yes, he should have reported it and none of this would have happened.

- 3 recruits came to campus with their families for an official visit. They showed up at the hotel about 6 hours early. What should they have done told them to sit in the lobby?

-Most of the phone calls in basketball where made to kids after they committed.

- I now Ms. Pennington likes to throw out the fire word yet he is just trying to stir it up. He knows that Hamilton does not have the power to fire Pearl and only Haslem does. Haslem said he is staying regardless. So hey Johnny boy, give that one a rest.

By the way, you do not fire the best thing by far in the history of your program over a few little things. Calhoun is still at UCONN. What on earth does he think Bruce did that anyone with a brain would want him fired for? Nice try John. Looks like you will have to talk about trees at Auburn for awhile.


The impermissible contact w/ a recruit at his high school was after press conference announcing Pearl lied to ncaa, that would seem to be a big problem for Pearl, no?




If Kiffin doesn't survive at USC, then I don't know how you can justify Hamilton surviving this at UT? Can you answer why Mike Hamilton should be allowed to continue to run an athletic program that the words failure to moniter are being thrown at?


who really cares about UT -Football ,losing program year after year. Been nothing for over 10 years. Basketball a couple good not great years. Big deal.Keep Pearl,get rid of Pearl. Yes he's a lier and cheat.But this isn't his first time.

Great coach,Pearl no. good yes but NO championship ring on his finger.



Throw a kid out of his house? Nope. Wouldn't expect him to do that. But that whole issue would have been a secondary violation... if Pearl hadn't looked the NCAA investigators in the eyes and lied about it. That's the problem.

But I'm sure we all enjoy getting such detailed information from someone who refers to himself as "Guest." It's interesting that an insider like yourself can't seem to spell the name Haslam right. That booster's son is the governor of Tennessee now.

Oh, and if you don't think the national media (and some Vols fans) have been calling for Pearl to be fired, it's pretty clear you never come off your Vol messageboards. For the record, we don't call for coaches to be fired here at MrSEC. So while you suggest I've tried to get Pearl fired, once again, your views are a few clicks off from reality.

Ms. Pennington



Depends on whether or not the NCAA considers the contact to be an accidental bump -- meaning secondary violation -- or a more serious encounter.

It's folly to try to read the tea leaves. The NCAA's actions in one case rarely provide clues to how the body might rule in another case.



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