Tennessee has issued a statement confirming an NCAA review into possible recruiting violations following a report from the New York Times about improper use of hostesses.
Tiffany Carpenter, UT assistant athletic director for public relations, said the release should be considered a joint statement with UT and the athletic department and there are no plans for a separate statement from athletic director Mike Hamilton.
According to the Times report on Wednesday, UT is under scrutiny for the use of members of the Orange Pride group, hostesses who have helped in recruiting under football coach Lane Kiffin. The Vols had previously caught the NCAA’s eye after self-reporting six secondary violations since Kiffin was hired last December, but they haven't turned one in since the last of those six in June.
"The University of Tennessee confirms that there is an NCAA review under way. University Administration and Athletics are cooperating fully," the statement said. "We are concerned about the alleged activities of some members of the Orange Pride.
"Both university and NCAA guidelines are a part of the Orange Pride’s orientation and training. If those guidelines were violated, we will take appropriate action. Because of federal student privacy regulations, we can’t comment further."
The Times story cites examples of Orange Pride hostesses traveling to high school games featuring UT recruits and holding up signs encouraging the players to sign with the program, which would be a violation of NCAA rules because members of the group are representatives of the university.
Hamilton confirmed the investigation to the Times, but he didn’t elaborate on what it included.
“Typically, we do not comment on inquires that are in progress,” he told the Times on Tuesday night.
There are already plans for the inquiry to continue on Thursday with a visit from the NCAA to UT commit JaWaun James in Georgia.
Read the full story by the by The New York Times.