Adams: Another twist for Brown

John Adams

You don't know where Bryce Brown is headed.

You should have seen the freshman running back abruptly change directions and cut across the field to evade defenders last week. Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin marveled at the move, emphasizing, "He's 220 pounds."

You think that was something? You should have followed his recruiting.

At one time, you thought the high school All-American from Wichita, Kan., was headed to the University of Miami. At another time, you never imagined he was headed to the University of Tennessee.

Brown's turnabout was the most celebrated move of coach Lane Kiffin's first recruiting season at UT. If the Vols - coming off a 5-7 season with a new coaching staff - could get Brown, they could get anybody.

But what if they didn't get Brown?

Sorry, the inner alarmist in me popped out. The NCAA has that effect on me. So does Jamey Schagren.

Schagren is the producer of The Sports Page, the News Sentinel's morning radio show. On April Fool's Day, he posed this question to host Dave Hooker: Should Tennessee fans be concerned that Lennon Creer's Facebook status says he's transferring?

The question was dismissed with an April Fool's laugh, as Schagren intended. Then, later that day, a news story broke: UT running back Lennon Creer was transferring.

You think that's funny? How about this:

Schagren was taking calls in The Sports Animal studio Tuesday when a fan expressed concern (off-air) about Brown's hip injury, which kept him from practicing Monday.

"He's out for the year," Schagren said.

He waited just long enough for the dreadful news to register, then followed up with, "I'm kidding."

Funny guy, huh?

Too bad you already know the punch line. Following practice, Kiffin told the media that the NCAA was investigating Brown's amateur status.

That doesn't mean another Schagren joke has turned serious. In fact, this might amount to nothing more than another stop-and-go move on Brown's circuitous route from high school stardom to college football. Besides, if this involves nothing more than "summer camps," which Kiffin mentioned, how bad could it be?

Brown wasn't even considering UT when he was attending summer camps while in high school. And if someone who was deemed an unacceptable party by the NCAA paid his way, that's hardly a career-ending offense. He might have to pay back the camp money or sit out a game or two.

The wildcard in the game could be Brian Butler, who had a curiously prominent role in Brown's recruitment. At one point, he was even charging for Brown recruiting updates on a Web site. The NCAA frowned, and Brown discontinued the information-for-pay.

But the red flag had been raised.

Although little might come of this, that doesn't lessen the impact right now. Brown isn't just an outstanding running back prospect. He's a symbol of this staff's recruiting charge last February.

So everything is magnified with him.

Fans first had concern when Brown was diagnosed with a mild concussion the first week of preseason camp. They were concerned again when he missed Monday's practice with a hip injury.

Their concern is understandable. They got a guy they didn't expect to get.

And they don't want to lose him - not even for a practice.

Sports editor John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com.

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Comments » 47

RPBVolunteer writes:

It is like the NCAA to only look at Brown of the 5 or 6 guys who had money raised for them to attend a camp when Brown was a high school sophmore.

stayingorange writes:

Supposedly this goes back to his sophomore year. How is it that the NCAA only gets into the investigation 2 weeks before kickoff? I'm scared to take my Pee Wee team to McDonald's for a Happy Meal for fear of ruining their eligibility 12 years from now.

Tenecfan10 writes:

It seems to me the NCAA is always finding something to screw us over. Them and espn always diss us for anything. I am not taking to much from this I think they are mad we got the number one recruit and not one of there little favorite teams. Like Ohio state or Miami or USC or Texas. Screw them all... Go vols!!!!!!!!

cloudodust writes:

in response to meyer200608:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Oh yes, even off the Gainesville FL police blotter...

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

The NCAA is like the TSSAA , its full of phooey .Politically motivated .

Lean_and_Hungry writes:

the ever-vigilant NCAA upholding standards...what a bunch of bureaucrats. by the way, does the "c" in NCAA stand for a word that rhymes with cornhuskers?

rootin4volz writes:

What a bunch of self-important, egotistical, power-loving bozos we've got running the NCAA. Idiots. If I was standing in front of you I'd smack you across the face for being so damn petty and ridiculous, and then I'd send your whiny little azzes to your rooms.

RockinTop writes:

Funny, the NCAA has had concerns about this for a LONG time.....and just now getting around to it??

This is going to get alot of attention....and not just from the NCAA...

Leave the kid alone!

Go Big Orange!

VolGraduate writes:

This seems petty

Slystone writes:

Did Jose Jose drop his UT commitment? Volquest doesn't have him listed.

JLeon04 writes:

in response to Slystone:

Did Jose Jose drop his UT commitment? Volquest doesn't have him listed.

He still appears to be committed. Click on the complete 2010 list. ESPN didn't have any new info on him since his commitment. He better stay...

RJ_Vol writes:

I wonder if this is a little NCAA payback for the secondary violations CLK committed early on this year. Whether the NCAA says it or not, this is a shot over UT's bow...and they had better hear the warning. I'm as orange as the next person, but the NCAA is singling out Brown to get the Vol's attention. As fans, we should not pretend those secondary violations were not unimportant...The NCAA was surely to answer, and they now have. I think CLK has a chance to become a very good coach, but his actions possibly contributed to this as well. Let's be honest. I'd much rather handle this now than to face the NCAA down the line...and you know they will lay it to UT if given the chance(TV, bowls, forfeits, etc.). The NCAA has its eye on us...meaning we are one step away. It's time to be honest. CLK needs to keep it clean...

bigaldaddy writes:

John Adams is a doofus. Give me facts or be quite.

xvolx writes:

sounds racist to me.

smyrnavol writes:

in response to xvolx:

sounds racist to me.

keep it down there X, you might wake naffy. no need for that. lol! GO VOLS!!!

trubleoj writes:

Goat wagon- wagon hauling all the phooey for a scapegoat to pull.
NCAA basketball has had Nike Camps and AAU travel ball for the past decade, they don't know what to do about it so when Butler tries to convert it to football the NCAA has their goat - Bryce.
When I was in 10th grade I bailed hay all summer. I would have gone to football camps everywhere somebody offered.
Either Bryce is the victim or the goat.

Keep practicing Bryce. Don't let them make you a pawn.

ChattaVegasVol writes:

This whole thing is such b s!!! Nothing will come of this except a bunch of chicken little's posting all week that the sky is falling! Please let the season start already! The NCAA letting lane know they can and will f with him and his team if he doesn't start sucking up to them.

trubleoj writes:

phooey? seriously, phooey=phooey? poo maybe, or do-do but not phooey....

Cldvols1 writes:

in response to meyer200608:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

LOL you guys are too funny! This is such a petty offense, one that he had nothing to do with. You and the dark cloud do know your on a Volunteer website. Oh yeah thanks for visiting GoVolsxtra.com, ya'll come back now ya here! Unfortunately I don't have time to visit a FL site. Go Vols!!!

rocky_topper writes:

in response to volzone919:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

GFY!

NoogaVol55 writes:

in response to xvolx:

sounds racist to me.

Ha! I Love It...Spin it so it looks like the NCAA doesn't want to see a young black male from Kansas improving his well being. That would go over great in the public's eye. Bryce Brown would be back on the field in the drop of a hat. Somebody call Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton!

Maybe this isn't a bad idea....Ha!

VolsFanInNC writes:

in response to meyer200608:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You need to get a girlfriend or something. I barely have time to spend on my team's site, yet you are here every day. Truly sad.

GreerVol22 writes:

in response to NoogaVol55:

Ha! I Love It...Spin it so it looks like the NCAA doesn't want to see a young black male from Kansas improving his well being. That would go over great in the public's eye. Bryce Brown would be back on the field in the drop of a hat. Somebody call Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton!

Maybe this isn't a bad idea....Ha!

With Obama in power, this strategy is money! I like it!

panties4tebow writes:

in response to meyer200608:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Remember fl panties field/convict stadium and why your mommie doesn't love you!!!!!

chargervol writes:

When the Vols start winning, which will be sooner than later, all these trolls and posers will fade away. Is it football time, yet? I'm tired of the talk, its time to see the walk. Tee it up and start knocking the peez out of somebody. GO VOLS!!!

CrankE writes:

Now that they finally ended the Gerald Williams hostage crisis, they begin the Bryce Brown hostage crisis. Since it took 2 years for the NCAA to get interested enough to do anything, it'll probably take 2 years for them to get interested enough to resolve it.

I think it's past time for some "Regime Change" at the NCAATF.

dw0731 writes:

Worst case 2-3 game suspension. Coming down on an athlete for something that was done on his behalf when he was 15 is wrong. Has this been brewing for some time and we are just hearing about it now? We could use this young guy but Poole, Hardesty, Oku will make sure we can make 1st downs rushing the ball.

UTfan4life2 writes:

The last few lines summed up what our program is at right now. We NEED Bryce to be great, so much is riding on him.

Maverick1921 writes:

ESPN's Chris Low posted on his blog this morning that he thinks with the NCAA coming to Knoxville two weeks into camp suggests that another school gave them information to check out UT.

footballtime writes:

Alot of players get investigated for this or other minor infractions and I do not think this is worth making a big deal over unless it hampers playing time, but the NCAA and Adams are alike in many ways making a big deal over nothing because they are both low rent people unable to stand in the face of greatness and accept challanges or obstacles without finger pointing,or looking into others backyards...how pathetic John please resign

UTfan4life2 writes:

Dont comment on any of the writers/editors...they will give you the ban stick. Trust me, I know.

InertGas writes:

This infraction sounds like a wrist slapper not a deal killer.

NCSmoky writes:

in response to RPBVolunteer:

It is like the NCAA to only look at Brown of the 5 or 6 guys who had money raised for them to attend a camp when Brown was a high school sophmore.

I am not certain that Brown is the only kid they are looking at. He may be the only one worth mentioning.

Its not just paid fees for camps. Butler raised money to rent buses and take future prospects on tours of college campuses. He says the tours were for academic reasons to encourage the kids to work harder in school. He hoped they would concentrate on school work rather than other things that could land them in jail (his words). He claims there was a spiritual aspect to the trips.

It does look a little suspect on Butler's part. Taking a bunch of HS football players to college campuses for academic reasons is like going to Hawaii for a week and talking with someone about Amway and calling it a business trip.

NCSmoky writes:

Butler has two corps. One is for profit and the other is a 501C3 non-profit organization. The for profit entity, PotentialPlayers.com, ran the camps and the other L.I.F.E. LLC ran the campus tours. The monies he raised for the tours were supposedly tax free contributions.

Butler smells and I hope it doesn't affect Bryce or his brother at Miami or any of the other kids.

He does list all the kids he helped at:
http://www.potentialplayers.com/news_...

givehim6 writes:

Makes one wonder if Brown had ended up going to Miami or any other school besides UT if the NCAA if there would even be an investigation?

allvol32 writes:

Bryce Brown just turned 18 in May of this year. No matter what happened when he was 15 to 16 years old he can't legally sign a contract. Other than signing with an agent which he couldn't do how could he be considered to be a professional athlete? I don't think that he was playing for the CFL at the time and they don't pay athletes in high school that I'm aware of. He hasn't played football except at the amateur level.

Even big league baseball players are allowed to maintain amateur status in football.

Does the NCAA really think that Bryce Brown is a professional football player?

NCAA = you can't make this stuff up!

"We're from the NCAA and we're here to help you..."

FLAVOLS writes:

in response to meyer200608:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Get your tongue out of Teblow's panties.

FLAVOLS writes:

in response to hiresanders:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son, unless you're a Kentucky fan.

UTfan4life2 writes:

in response to hiresanders:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You will NEVER get laid by a chick.

jerseydevilvol writes:

The article the other day said that there were other players involved. Does anyone know anything about that? I hope Mr. Oku isn't involved, because he was another player that was with that butler guy.

SLOBBER_knocker_U writes:

in response to RJ_Vol:

I wonder if this is a little NCAA payback for the secondary violations CLK committed early on this year. Whether the NCAA says it or not, this is a shot over UT's bow...and they had better hear the warning. I'm as orange as the next person, but the NCAA is singling out Brown to get the Vol's attention. As fans, we should not pretend those secondary violations were not unimportant...The NCAA was surely to answer, and they now have. I think CLK has a chance to become a very good coach, but his actions possibly contributed to this as well. Let's be honest. I'd much rather handle this now than to face the NCAA down the line...and you know they will lay it to UT if given the chance(TV, bowls, forfeits, etc.). The NCAA has its eye on us...meaning we are one step away. It's time to be honest. CLK needs to keep it clean...

TENNESSEE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS INVESTIGATION!!!!! UT IS NOT BEING INVESTIGATED!!! IT'S NOT UT'S OR LANE KIFFINS FAULT!!! CHILL OUT!!!

orange_glory writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

How many times can you type I think. Please get some facts before you type.

pjw_62#324384 writes:

OK - I live in Memphis. Land of Coach Cal and World Wide Wes and yet no NCAA investigations ever on that exact front. And they're investigating this? Please --- get this over with and stop the distractions!

Go Vols!!!

footballtime writes:

in response to UTfan4life2:

Dont comment on any of the writers/editors...they will give you the ban stick. Trust me, I know.

yeah guess the first admendment is just ignored

gohawks1 writes:

in response to hiresanders:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Bryce will never play a game for Sanders.

Ralph_Crampton writes:

e NCAA must be fair in all its dealings with college athletic infractions, For example why the increase of having games wiped away, like they did Memphis. Its as if the Tigers never played the season in 2008. What about Reggie Bush of Southern Cal., who enjoyed extra benefits. Why haven't the Trojans been stripped of winning games a few years ago? There were reports that a basketball star at Kansas after Academic questions about his high school grades. Is the NCAA being selective about who they punish? After all, Kansas won the NCAA title last year. Are championship teams immune from punishment?

DC_Vol writes:

in response to volzone919:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The Gators can score all the points they want on 9/20. Last time I checked the game was on 9/19. Bryce Brown will play and dance in the Florida endzone. How will Florida win by 63 points when they won't be able to score half that many points against the UT defense led by the great Monte Kiffin? Twenty five years of NLF experience. I hear Monte has been making special plans for Tebow and company! Also, remeber UT's defense was third in the country last year. Florida will have a game on their hands on 9/19, no more easy wins for Florida anymore. Go Vols!!!

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