NCAA Finds No Major Football Violations

Aug. 24, 2011

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    The NCAA Committee on Infractions announced Wednesday that it found no major violations in the University of Tennessee football program. Additionally, the Committee did not impose any penalties on the University in addition to those penalties already self-imposed by the University. The Committee commended the University's cooperation in the processing of the case.

    "We appreciate the opportunity to close this chapter with the Committee's announcement today, moving forward with no major violations in our football program and no additional penalties from the NCAA," said interim vice chancellor for athletics/athletic director Joan Cronan. "The institution cooperated fully with the NCAA and we have a strong culture of compliance, and a bright future is on the horizon for Tennessee athletics."

    The University accepts the findings of the Committee and will not appeal the decision.

    "It is time for the University of Tennessee to put this behind us and look forward," said Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. "The NCAA commented very positively about our cooperation. We have worked hard to make things right and that has been accepted by the Committee. We have great coaches and great student-athletes, and now it's time to go out there and compete."

    All of the violations occurred under previous coaching staffs. The violations, which the University admitted in its response to the Notice of Allegations, included secondary violations in the football program and multiple major violations in the men's basketball program related to impermissible phone calls by the former coaching staff, impermissible off-campus contacts by the former coaching staff, and an institutional failure to monitor the men's basketball program related to impermissible phone calls. The former head men's basketball coach was cited for unethical conduct and failure to monitor and promote an atmosphere for compliance, while three former assistant men's basketball coaches were charged with failure to cooperate and act with honesty and sportsmanship.

    Among the penalties already self-imposed by the institution are a two-year probationary period for the athletic department (which the NCAA modified by starting on August 24, 2011 instead of May 20, 2011), a restriction on providing any occasional off-campus meals by the men's basketball staff during the 2011-12 academic year, a reduction in the number of staff members allowed to contact recruits during the November 2011 contact period in football, and a reduction in permissible recruiting days by the football staff during the spring 2011 period (from 168 to 162).

    The University had also implemented penalties on the previous men's basketball coaching staff, including salary reductions and significant restrictions on off-campus recruiting.



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