NCAA taking look at Vols

UT acknowledges hostess program being investigated

Tennessee Media Guide photo of hostesses.

UTSports.com

Tennessee Media Guide photo of hostesses.

The University of Tennessee's football program has considered itself clean since June.

But the NCAA is ultimately the judge of that, and it's in the process of closely inspecting the Vols.

UT hasn't self-reported any secondary recruiting violations since head football coach Lane Kiffin's sixth in June, but following a report by the New York Times into an alleged misuse of a hostess program, UT's recruiting techniques are under the microscope.

UT acknowledged an NCAA investigation is ongoing and the focus is largely on Orange Pride, a group mostly comprised of female students and responsible for entertaining recruits on campus visits, among other duties.

Some hostesses are accused of visiting recruits at high school games outside of the state, which would be a potential NCAA violation for representatives of the school.

"The University of Tennessee confirms that there is an NCAA review under way," the university and the UT Men's Athletic Department said in a joint press release. "University Administration and Athletics are cooperating fully.

"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."

The NCAA could also be looking to take action, particularly if it's able to prove the Athletic Department was responsible for a trip like the one reported by the Times.

According to the report, some hostesses drove about three hours to a game involving three potential Vols in Duncan, S.C., and brought signs with them - including one that said, "Come to Tennessee."

That apparently wasn't enough to sway highly touted running back Marcus Lattimore. Two of his teammates at Byrnes High School, Brandon Willis and Corey Miller, had previously given verbal commitments to play for the Vols.

"I haven't seen no other schools do that," Lattimore told the Times. "It's crazy."

It's also not permissible, according to NCAA rules, though exactly what sort of impact it could have on the Vols remains unclear.

Kiffin was unavailable on Wednesday. NCAA policy is to not comment on investigations. UT Athletic Director Mike Hamilton hasn't issued any public comments since confirming the investigation on Tuesday night to the Times, but a news conference is being held today - previously scheduled to focus on UT's bid to the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

In line with past NCAA rulings, an incident like the alleged trip to South Carolina might at worst be deemed a secondary violation if Kiffin and his staff had no knowledge of the event.

Each of the previous six secondary violations reported by UT was specifically listed in the contract Kiffin signed in October, along with a stipulation that he advise the school "immediately of any actual knowledge of or reasonable cause to believe that violations of NCAA, SEC or university rules and regulations have occurred or are occurring."

A UT spokesperson confirmed that there is a rules orientation process for Orange Pride members every spring.

Regardless of who did or didn't know about the trip, or what exactly a cardboard sign might have had written on it, a rule appears to have been broken. And the NCAA is sorting it out, starting with a chat today in Georgia with UT commit JaWaun James and his parents about possible violations during his recruitment.

"It seems to me they're trying to act like Tennessee had something to do with that," said Charles Willis, the father of recruit Brandon. "I don't believe Tennessee had something to do with that."

Austin Ward may be reached at 865-342-6274.

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Comments » 39

LaneTrain writes:

How many ways can you write the same story?

WestTennVol writes:

Already posted this on another 'eerily similar' article, but gonna put it here so everyone sees and reads it. Thanks Clay Travis for another legit article. Sound logic, very well written.

http://ncaafootball.fanhouse.com/2009...

WestTennVol writes:

in response to LaneTrain:

How many ways can you write the same story?

Agreed.

Also, do they even play college football in New York?

BigOrangeInCarolina writes:

in response to WestTennVol:

Already posted this on another 'eerily similar' article, but gonna put it here so everyone sees and reads it. Thanks Clay Travis for another legit article. Sound logic, very well written.

http://ncaafootball.fanhouse.com/2009...

Good read. Thanks for the link. I just wish ESPN and the rest of those involved in this witch hunt would read it.

LadyVolsEighTimes writes:

WOW!!! What this says is that UT girls are hotties that can overcome any players chances to make 100 $million in the NFL! Well maybe $75 nillion.

FEARinSEC writes:

in response to WestTennVol:

Agreed.

Also, do they even play college football in New York?

Yes, Mr. Thamel, the author of the NeW York Times original article is a Syracuse Alum. I also hear that Mr. Thamel and Coach Urban Meyer are pretty close buds.... You do the math, but a lot seems fishy on this one....
Read this:
http://13psi.com/something-stinks-in-...

crimsonviper writes:

in response to LaneTrain:

How many ways can you write the same story?

That's what I was wondering.
KNS, while the witch hunters are hard at work why don't you try something different??
The bowl game perhaps?..Coaching hires? anything?

Madkels writes:

in response to FEARinSEC:

Yes, Mr. Thamel, the author of the NeW York Times original article is a Syracuse Alum. I also hear that Mr. Thamel and Coach Urban Meyer are pretty close buds.... You do the math, but a lot seems fishy on this one....
Read this:
http://13psi.com/something-stinks-in-...

Thats right. He would have been a junior when T Martin and the Vols beat the Orangemen on a last second field goal on our way to the first BCS National Championship. Wasn't McNabb their QB?

eduardo writes:

where there is smoke there is fire!!! shouldve hired Brian Kelley

RaineyVol writes:

as long as Kiffin is coach they are going to try to screw with Tennessee every year!

fball writes:

i don't know but from the looks of some those orange pride members you could probaly field a couple of OL's out of that group and maybe a plow mule or two.

colt writes:

All this stuff helps Tenn. Kids like to go where all the action takes place. Therefore it will help all sport recruiting in the long haul. No one is going to be thrown under the bus. Again Kiffin and Tenn win. Book it.

mike#208050 writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

tuscavol writes:

Fellow Volunteer fans, pleas listen carefully; this could get very ugly before its over. I have read several articles about this story and the language being used puts UT in a very negative light. Once again the media hounds get to rip apart our coach and the program. Even if this turns out to be "much ado about nothing" it will remain on the lips and the minds of all outside of Knoxville. Recruiting may suffer severely. If you look at this realistically, it looks kind of bad. The Hostesses trip to Byrnes High School does seem a bit out of the way and deserves the suspicion it has received. Even if the Coaches knew nothing at all about it, it still reflects on the program. I hope this goes away quickly but I have a feeling it wont. It did a world of good for the father of the recruit to say SOME if the things he did. Some of his statments may have hurt the cause all together. The one about them possibly dating may be the death nail. Lets hope not.

I say these things because I am reading a lot of post here that seem to be ignoring the obvious facts of the situation. We can scream conspiracy all night long but no one created the hostess trip out of thin air. It happened. Lets all hope it ends with UT fans getting the last laugh.

Go Vols!!!!!!!

tuscavol writes:

in response to mike#208050:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

First of all, Spurrier was the FIRST to shoot off his mouth about Kiffin. Before Kiffin could finish his acceptance speech, Spurrier insinuated that CK broke NCAA rules. Then Kiffin called Meyer a cheater because of his usual dirty recruiting tactics. Kiffin has only given back what he received when he bacame the Tennessee head coach. The real problem here is that the powers that be and people like yourself are not use to people fighting back. The only difference is that Kiffin is under the media microscope and other coaches are not. Spurrier can say and accuse anyone he wants and its ok because he has been in the league longer. Well, Kiffin wont stand by and drink that kool-aid.

It's funny how so many people outside of Knoxville focus so much of their attention on our coach. Why is that I wonder? Could be because he is the biggest threat to their security. Your posting on this site is the biggest complement you could give us Tennessee fans. Thanks!

Go Vols!!!!

bballvol1234 writes:

in response to mike#208050:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

bballvol1234 writes:

in response to tuscavol:

Fellow Volunteer fans, pleas listen carefully; this could get very ugly before its over. I have read several articles about this story and the language being used puts UT in a very negative light. Once again the media hounds get to rip apart our coach and the program. Even if this turns out to be "much ado about nothing" it will remain on the lips and the minds of all outside of Knoxville. Recruiting may suffer severely. If you look at this realistically, it looks kind of bad. The Hostesses trip to Byrnes High School does seem a bit out of the way and deserves the suspicion it has received. Even if the Coaches knew nothing at all about it, it still reflects on the program. I hope this goes away quickly but I have a feeling it wont. It did a world of good for the father of the recruit to say SOME if the things he did. Some of his statments may have hurt the cause all together. The one about them possibly dating may be the death nail. Lets hope not.

I say these things because I am reading a lot of post here that seem to be ignoring the obvious facts of the situation. We can scream conspiracy all night long but no one created the hostess trip out of thin air. It happened. Lets all hope it ends with UT fans getting the last laugh.

Go Vols!!!!!!!

yeh great but what you fail to realize in the big picture is that often times these recruits only come in contact with this student because of the jampacked visit go here see this meet this coach meet that coach be here be there what tends to stem from this is an aquaintance or friendship if you will someone to keep in contact with they just happen to be a hostess because that is the only student or person relatively close to the recruits age they meet facebook and other means of communication allow them to continue to interact post visit....i say everyone pick a recruit next year or even this year for basketball recruiting go to his school and hold up a sign and see what happens...it isnt a conspiracy but someone (more than likely another asst. recruiting) saw the sign and told someone and here we are...does anyone know if the girls were originally from byrnes or somewhere relatively close no they dont......the NCAA does not want to know what goes on via facebook as far as recruiting big recruits get friend requests and wall posts from an array of people from various schools recruiting them saying if not almost begging them to pick their school so is everyone in violation...If the coaches or administration knew about it thats a different story but if they didnt so what

wayoutwill writes:

"Kiff" is not my fave person for a Coach of my beloved Vols.I don't like the way he conducts himself as a person.I don't like cocky and brash,I like the Johhny Majors persona of "Aw,shucks,we'll have to get a few breaks and play our best"-and that's when Arkansas State is visiting--as oppossed to the "Kiff' persona which is We will be singing Rocky Top all nite long-and that's when we're headed to the swamp to play the #1 team in the country;but having said all that;I will have to belive that the real reason that the Vols are being witch-hunted on this deal is because "Kiff' is scaring the bejesus out of these SEC coaches with his recruiting skills and they are looking to put the stop on him,not to mention the fact that his attitude has drawn the ire of the NCAA with all the secondary violations!Oh,well,hope he can win with a couple less scholarships,I belive they're gonna bust off a few this time!

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to GOTGO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

B S

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to ThePhantom_96_06_08:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well, Old Man Davis IS crazy. Your whole premise is an exercise in futility.

TommyJack writes:

in response to ThePhantom_96_06_08:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This thread needs a call screener.

BAFLETCHER writes:

in response to WestTennVol:

Already posted this on another 'eerily similar' article, but gonna put it here so everyone sees and reads it. Thanks Clay Travis for another legit article. Sound logic, very well written.

http://ncaafootball.fanhouse.com/2009...

Would not be surprised to know that Kiffin did in fact have himself turned in. He is fully aware that nothing would come of this. He is using the NCAA's dime to keep UT in the public eye. "There is no such thing as bad publicity"
UT is one of the top headlines on ESPN.com along with Notre Dame, Louisville, Kentucky basketball, and others. Just a way of keeping Tennessee's name in front of recruits during the doldrums.

tntorbett writes:

in response to ThePhantom_96_06_08:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

you are a moron, who should go be the fan of another school (oh wait, judging by those numbers in your screen name you're a Gator fan); Coach Kiff is great, he calls it like it is, & Gators everywhere are scared of what the future holds; it's ok for y'all to be scared of Kiff', you should be

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to mike#208050:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Please Memphis fans, give it a rest. This is not an Albert Means or Derrick Rose situation. This is not Bama paying a coach in Memphis 20K for Means or someone taking the SAT's for Rose.
This is an inquiry. Feels like I am talking to my kids. How many times do I have to repeat myself?
LET THE INQUIRY RUN IT'S COURSE!!!!
All trolls on here are drooling for UT to get hit with serious penalties. You're like a kid on Christmas morning waiting to open a "UT on probation" present, aren't ya?

SIMSVOL writes:

nothing more than a witch hunt with sinister timing...

TommyJack writes:

in response to ThePhantom_96_06_08:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

ThePhantom = zz, mv,daman, KNS, etc....boring

SIMSVOL writes:

folks like phantom and mike clearly have no life. we appreciate your interest in UT - while most of us hardly have time to check out VOLS news, I definitely don't have time to read other school boards and news and couldn't care less what's going on on other campuses like Memphis.

Get a life. You clearly have issues. Tennessee will be just fine - this is an overzealous NCAA rep who has nothing better to do. Hostesses are used by just about every major program on the planet. So find something else to worry about - like the joke of a president in our White House.

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

SilatGamecock writes:

I love that the first GoVols.com screen is Orange Pride and Mouses Ear. Two groups of 'hoes, same class of women. Kiffin is daddy pimp.

TommyJack writes:

in response to SilatGamecock:

I love that the first GoVols.com screen is Orange Pride and Mouses Ear. Two groups of 'hoes, same class of women. Kiffin is daddy pimp.

gamecocks have no bidness discussing anything about SEC football.

VolunteerPassion writes:

in response to Ellison_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

you left out government and stimulus packages XD

GreerVol22 writes:

Kiffin is using the NCAA and ESPN and their to blind to know it. I love it!

DC_Vol writes:

in response to TommyJack:

ThePhantom = zz, mv,daman, KNS, etc....boring

TommyJack,

I am thinking you are correct about the Phantom zz, MV and Daman being from KNS. It does make sense. There seem to be more posts from these anti-vol posters than the rest of the Vol nation at times. I guess KNS is trying to drum up posts for advertising revenue. Thoughts anyone....

RaineyVol writes:

ATTENTION: ALL NON VOL FANS REPORT TO YOUR OWN FORUMS!

THANKS,

BLIZAKE

tuscavol writes:

in response to bballvol1234:

yeh great but what you fail to realize in the big picture is that often times these recruits only come in contact with this student because of the jampacked visit go here see this meet this coach meet that coach be here be there what tends to stem from this is an aquaintance or friendship if you will someone to keep in contact with they just happen to be a hostess because that is the only student or person relatively close to the recruits age they meet facebook and other means of communication allow them to continue to interact post visit....i say everyone pick a recruit next year or even this year for basketball recruiting go to his school and hold up a sign and see what happens...it isnt a conspiracy but someone (more than likely another asst. recruiting) saw the sign and told someone and here we are...does anyone know if the girls were originally from byrnes or somewhere relatively close no they dont......the NCAA does not want to know what goes on via facebook as far as recruiting big recruits get friend requests and wall posts from an array of people from various schools recruiting them saying if not almost begging them to pick their school so is everyone in violation...If the coaches or administration knew about it thats a different story but if they didnt so what

Then the big picture needs to change. Young men being escorted by attractive young females is a scandal waiting to happen. No relationship should have developed between this recruit and a Orange Pride member. I am trying not to sugar coat this situation and see it for what it is. My ONLY point was that many of or fans are turning a blind eye to this situation and not seeing how bad this really looks for Tennessee. You can rationalize all you like; it won't change one fact being looked at by the NCAA. If a rule was broken, you better beleive Slive is going to drop the hammer on UT. Do YOU realize what the big picture is on this? Bottom line, she should not have gone to that game; no matter what her relationship with him was at the time. She has implicated the coaches and herself AND put the program at risk. Mike Slive could care less what your opinion is about facebook.

I hope this dies but the stain and the stink of it will remain on this program long after does. THAT, my friend, is the one and only "Big Picture"

johnlg00 writes:

in response to GreerVol22:

Kiffin is using the NCAA and ESPN and their to blind to know it. I love it!

For what it's worth, Jim Rome just basically blew off the whole thing in an opening bit on his show.

johnlg00 writes:

Also, Tony Kornheiser, on ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption" last night, pretty much said there was nothing to this situation, even if it happened the way we have heard.

tuscavol writes:

in response to g8rgal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks again. I see you still like talking about Kiffin. Since you enjoy it so much, let me ask you something; 1. Does YOUR common sense not tell you that its not a good thing to focus so much time and effort on somthing you don't like. 2. What rules have Kiffin been breaking? Also, can you give me some examples of the blatant disregard he has had for those rules. If you are refering to the secondary violations, could you please check to see how our numbers compare to those at other colleges; are they higher or lower than most? 3. How does his arrogance outweigh that of Myer, Saban or Spurrier? Please if you will; check the number of toes Spurrier has stepped on over the years and let me know if Kiffin has passed him yet. 4. If Kiffin were fired tomorrow, would you become a Tennessee fan? If the answer is no, its just another sign that your common sense is failing you. 5) Why did you not listen to your mother when she told you that wonderful story about the dogs and the fleas? Confused? I'll explain. It's simple; you don't like Tennessee but you hang out on their fan site anyway. Would you lay next to a dog if you knew it had fleas; considering dogs AND fleas bite. That would be double jeopardy you know. In other words, if you keep laying with Vol fans, some of our orange may rub off on you. Considering the fact you won't go away; it probably already has. Get it? Dogs and fleas.

I'll be waiting on your answers to my questions. I know you are dying to post on our site again. Like I said before; thanks!!!!!!

GO VOLS!!!!!!

RCVOLIN10 writes:

in response to BAFLETCHER:

Would not be surprised to know that Kiffin did in fact have himself turned in. He is fully aware that nothing would come of this. He is using the NCAA's dime to keep UT in the public eye. "There is no such thing as bad publicity"
UT is one of the top headlines on ESPN.com along with Notre Dame, Louisville, Kentucky basketball, and others. Just a way of keeping Tennessee's name in front of recruits during the doldrums.

I hope you are kidding.

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