Hamilton not aware of violation in intern's trip to South Florida

Kiffin doesn't believe Rubio met with prospects

— Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton said Saturday he does not believe UT’s football program committed a secondary violation after a report surfaced into the actions of a recruiting intern.

First-year UT coach Lane Kiffin didn’t seem so sure.

Hamilton said UT has provided the SEC with its internal review of intern Steve Rubio’s trip to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Rubio was accompanying Kiffin recently while he was recruiting at football powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas High School.

The story implicating Rubio, who played football and spent a year there as a volunteer assistant coach after graduating in 2003, was reported by The New York Times late Friday on its Web site. It’s the second time this week the newspaper uncovered possible recruiting violations by the Vols.

By NCAA rules, only UT’s nine assistant coaches and Kiffin are allowed to visit prospects off campus.

Hamilton said he does not believe Rubio met with prospects. If he did, the violation would likely be ruled a secondary violation by the NCAA.

“In college athletics from time to time, institutions will have secondary violations,” Hamilton said. “The rule book is thick in its intricacies.”

Under Kiffin, UT self reported six secondary violations earlier this year. UT is also under a highly publicized review by the NCAA for alleged misuse of its recruiting hostesses.

The Vols are recruiting several prospects from St. Thomas Aquinas, including defensive back Cody Riggs and kicker Michael Palardy, who committed to UT in September.

After practice on Saturday, Kiffin declined to rule out contact between Rubio and prospects during the trip.

“You never want to say never but I’ll pretty much say that he did not (have contact with prospects),” said Kiffin, who added that Rubio visited with friends at the high school.

Rubio joined UT this summer. He had been director of player personnel at the University of Central Florida. Rubio spent three years as an equipment manager for the Golden Knights and was moved to graduate assistant for recruiting and operations in 2007.

Kiffin said he doesn’t believe it would have been possible for Rubio, who acts as a personal assistant and often guides him on the road in South Florida since he is familiar with the area, to meet with prospects since the team was practicing during their visit.

Kiffin said Rubio hasn’t visited with coaches or school employees at other recruiting stops.

“He doesn’t do that at any other schools that we go to when he goes with me,” Kiffin said.

Hamilton pointed out that UT has still not received an official letter of inquiry from the NCAA regarding the activities of the members of the university’s Orange Pride, a group mostly comprised of female students and responsible for entertaining recruits on campus visits, among other duties.

Two Orange Pride members — Lacey Earps and Dahra Johnson — traveled nearly 200 miles to Duncan, S.C., on Sept. 25 to watch UT commitments Brandon Willis and Corey Miller of Byrnes High School play in a football game. A photo that surfaced Friday from SI.com shows Earps and Johnson posing with Miller and Willis holding a poster board sign that reads “Miller and Willis have our hearts …” The word “hearts” is written in orange.

Their presence alone is likely an NCAA violation since they are considered UT representatives and must adhere to the same standards and limitations of contact with prospects as football coaches.

Hamilton acknowledged that Kiffin’s public persona, which is often described as brash, could make him more of a target by media and opposing coaches who could turn him into the NCAA.

Hamilton said Kiffin and UT are always aware of fine-tuning his image.

“Lane is a very bright guy,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton said he understands that promoting UT football, sometimes through provocative comments, is a necessity.

Hamilton said the key is finding an appropriate balance.

Kiffin hasn’t seemed fazed amidst the media maelstrom.

“When I used to say things about Florida, I would like that if I were them because it means they’re at the top and people are shooting for them,” he said. “When it comes to recruiting, I think we’re at the highest level of it. People really want to know what we’re doing.

“How are we able to get interest from so many great players and sign so many great players? I think you have a lot of people coming at us. If you can’t beat them, figure out a way to figure that they’re doing something wrong.”

While Hamilton is certainly not pleased with the scrutiny, he would be disappointed if the Vols weren’t self reporting secondary violations. That would be an indictment of his compliance department.

“Our goal in our compliance department is to identify violations and make sure they don’t become repetitive,” Hamilton said.

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Comments » 113

Skullz_VOL writes:

way too many rules.

10volunteers98 writes:

Wow! Everyone seems to be wanting to hang Tennessee!The NCAA and Slive seem to have it in for UT.Even the crummy liberal New York Times has nothing better to write about.

rockytopvol writes:

Well, gonna have to dig deeper.The new NCAA office is in BEIJING.......

FEARinSEC writes:

Oh man, this blows holes in several posters "theories"!

I'm sure they will come up with something else to rant about.

IF THE SIGN DOESN'T FIT, NCAA MUST ACQUIT!!!

balloonman writes:

Kiffin may well be bright but he is incredibly immature and Hamliton has to go spin his childish comments as "all part of the plan" endlessly.....Hammy... Kiffin ain't Bruce Pearl!

volzcrushm writes:

witch hunt.......but then, may help us with some more lime light publicity!?

givehim6 writes:

I see whats going on UT which is not one of the SEC prise teams like say Bama,UF or LSU. Started getting in top recruits, so other SEC darling teams ran to Mike Silven crying. So now he is trying to keep CLK from having snother top 10 year.

oldQB writes:

Kiffin hasn't done anything wrong. Love having this guy. It is so refreshing to have someone who will dish it out for a change. That's strike 2 NYT.

FEARinSEC writes:

in response to Richard_Saunders:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And you have credibility?

movol77 writes:

in response to Richard_Saunders:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Look here Richard_Simmons, what do you know about cred? Try "dialing another meal."

69grad writes:

I live in South Carolina and have heard some fans bragging that Swinney didn't like UT coming into his backyard to recruit the two Byrnes linemen. Between Spurrier, Clemson and Biatch Meyer, I think the most guilty party is probably Meyer and his bunkmate from the NYT. "BIG NEWS. TWO GIRLS FROM TENNESSEE GO TO FOOTBALL GAME IN SOUTH CAROLINA. OH THE HUMANITY"

Flock off, losers.

GBO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jsmithnga#207674 writes:

So many of the SEC fans think coach is a jerk; well if so he is a cool jerk unlike at least 5 other coaches who are plain ole arrogant jerks. There is a jealousy problem as well as fear of the future as the recruits had rather play for a cool jerk that can provide them good coaching as well as publicity. We are the only school that can make national headlines every time a coach or player passes gas in public. It took me a while to understand his philsophy but now I am on the train and fully support him--actually enjoy the media and interloper banter. A true friend is there through the good and bad and a true fan is the same. Keep the fear on them as long as they are complaining, they show they are scared. W.D. put a litte voodoo on them.

Hounddog writes:

Is the reporter Geraldo Riveria? I am sure we will all find NOTHING when the secret room is revealed.

Let's play football. Hounddog

537081 writes:

New York City what the dickence is the Times doing meddleing in the Vols business any way sounds like a witch hunt to me does espn own the times?

TommyJack writes:

KEEP DIGGING, boys. Fulmerons are as bad as the lopers.

mtvols writes:

Shouldn't The New York Times be writing about Tiger Woods instead of the VOLS?

FWBVol writes:

I guess there's no corruption going on in New York athletics...high school, college or professional, so the New York Times has to spend time and resources on investigating Tennessee's football program.

I guess the poor little newspapers in the Southeast don't have any reporters that can uncover a story.

The New York Times is nothing but a carpet bagger newspaper doing soneone else's dirty work. If these stories came out of a paper in Florida or Alabama everyone would be blaming Meyer or Saban. I believe somebody is covering their rear end by putting the Times on this so-called story.

jhnshft writes:

does anyone spell check their articles on this site?

BigOrangeJeff writes:

Does anybody proofread these things before they're posted? Hooker's piece has more typos than Florida football player's term paper.

tennrich1 writes:

Like i said....the New York Times could be printing what I know to be the truth and with their track record I would assume I obviously didnt have the facts and would question my understanding of the facts.....NYT is almost broke...that's a matter of record. Its so FAR LEFT LEANING that NO ONE reads it anymore....

oldQB writes:

Hey KNS, since you are getting scooped on these "so called stories" maybe you should do some investigative reporting and see how the NYT is getting the story. Now that would be a story and you could save face....maybe.

JackumUT writes:

Thank you Mr. Hamilton, for you comments defending the UT program and our coach against the chicken-cabal, who would like to slow us down in our successful recruiting in all those other SEC-school states. You've done a great job in bringing in the right coaches, not just to rebuild, but to take UT to the top in Men's Basketball and Football. And for the continued support for Pat Summitt, who keeps the Lady Vols competeing for National Championships!!!

deadheadvol writes:

in response to BigOrangeJeff:

Does anybody proofread these things before they're posted? Hooker's piece has more typos than Florida football player's term paper.

Thets damm funie Jef, an tru

flafan2001 writes:

in response to 69grad:

I live in South Carolina and have heard some fans bragging that Swinney didn't like UT coming into his backyard to recruit the two Byrnes linemen. Between Spurrier, Clemson and Biatch Meyer, I think the most guilty party is probably Meyer and his bunkmate from the NYT. "BIG NEWS. TWO GIRLS FROM TENNESSEE GO TO FOOTBALL GAME IN SOUTH CAROLINA. OH THE HUMANITY"

Flock off, losers.

GBO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I agree with M&M. why the negative perception of 2 pom pom girls driving 200 miles in their prom dresses to a high school football game? Seems reasonable to me. these hook ups happen all the time via myspace. i'm sure these young women told their parents, mom and dad we're driving 200 miles to see a couple of players we met once on campus. BTW- how do you like my $300 prom dress i'm wearing to this high school game. We even made up a sign. So mom and dad asks- why are you going. I think they're great guys and want to support their high school team. Okay girls- so long as you're not violating any NCAA rules.

Ringside writes:

My cousin went to see the Colts play this year and sat next to a woman that had a daughter that attended West Virginia. Her daughter had a friend who has a mom that is married to a man that work with someone that attended a high school football game in Tampa, FL. That person has a daughter that attends UT. Another violation???

minnehan writes:

in response to jhnshft:

does anyone spell check their articles on this site?

Yeah, what is up with the spelling?

NoMoreWooAfterGoodOleRockyTop writes:

When is our fair and impartial hometown newspaper going to do a story detailing how many minor violations have been committed by ALL SEC SCHOOLS? We want to know if UT is any different than any other school. I DOUBT IT!!! And if so then Hammy needs to Phix it.

MoralVictory writes:

Kiffin is going to be the Grinch that stole Christmas..What's next Orgeron progressing with his "shirt tear off move" to include the Orange Pride. Is there no shame in the Vol Tribe these days. Whole lot of cheating going on for a 7-5 effort...and you guys were delighting in Urban's text practices..Kiffin is going to castrate your program..When he said he wanted to catch up to Alabama .who woul dof thought it would be in the violations/probation dept.

ETSU_Vol writes:

Where are all the tools on the article breaking this story bashing everything orange? An that idiot ' vol' fan spewing off and claiming he was 100% correct??? .... Oops guess not. How does crow taste? No one on the PLANET knows the truth but kiffin. Not creyer nickey satan spurrier or that moron thamel. So all you negative vols shut your pie holes until things are proven fact. You don't know jack so don't act like you do. The day it's undeniable proven kiffin told people to do these things then you can talk. Until then do yourselves a favor and quit looking like fools

oldvolsfan writes:

this smells of meyer and slive

AllforTenn writes:

Misspelled words throughout this article. Any copy readers to edit such writing?

ANGRYWOLF writes:

in response to 10volunteers98:

Wow! Everyone seems to be wanting to hang Tennessee!The NCAA and Slive seem to have it in for UT.Even the crummy liberal New York Times has nothing better to write about.

has nothing to do with liberalism.
The Times sportswriter is a friend of Urban Meyer.

I think that is where this is coming from.

FEARinSEC writes:

in response to MoralVictory:

Kiffin is going to be the Grinch that stole Christmas..What's next Orgeron progressing with his "shirt tear off move" to include the Orange Pride. Is there no shame in the Vol Tribe these days. Whole lot of cheating going on for a 7-5 effort...and you guys were delighting in Urban's text practices..Kiffin is going to castrate your program..When he said he wanted to catch up to Alabama .who woul dof thought it would be in the violations/probation dept.

(((YAWN)))

Different day, same lame posts.....

orangeblood8456 writes:

the question is who is paying the nyt to print these stories, true or untrue. there's a snitch somewhere.

rockytopatl writes:

This story doesn't get into the Memphis coach who claims the UT hostess allegedly came on to him and his son. This alleged episode is in the latest NYT story. The "coach" is a suspect source and this 2005 blurb from the New Orleans Times-Picayne makes that clear. Same guy attacks Arkansas, it is investigated and the story goes away:

From the Time Picayune in 2005

RAZORBACKS NOT UNDER INVESTIGATION: A lawyer for the University of Arkansas said the NCAA has told the school that it is not investigating the Razorback basketball program amid allegations of improper contact with a Memphis, Tenn. recruit. An amateur coach in Memphis, Keith Easterwood, said he had heard of contact among Arkansas boosters and basketball recruit Thaddeus Young, who has since announced that he will attend Georgia Tech. Arkansas coach Stan Heath and the Young family denied any wrongdoing in Young’s recruitment.

rockytopvol writes:

Kiffin has addressed the Rubio situation at insidetennessee.com...The new story is that the ncaa is digging into rumors that another intern named lewinsky may have commited violations..oh wait that's the white house, old news!

kman29 writes:

in response to oldvolsfan:

this smells of meyer and slive

And this would be why? Because of your hatred for both? lol! Unlike what Kiffin does in regards to Florida, Meyer doesnt sit around bringing up Tennessee at every press conference.

ETSU_Vol writes:

in response to kman29:

And this would be why? Because of your hatred for both? lol! Unlike what Kiffin does in regards to Florida, Meyer doesnt sit around bringing up Tennessee at every press conference.

yeah I'm sorry folks but he is 100%correct... Meyer doesn't... He doesn't have the brass to. He just slides a note under the door of the nyt office. He would give it to them personally but he is contagious with the whine flu and doesn't want them to contract it. Plus he is dehydrated and is to thirsty for a press conference... Oops.. Lmao

gatorbaitheaven writes:

When are you people going to get it, its not Meyer,Saban,Spurrier,or Slive. Its Pete Carrol and Al Davis they are in cahoots to bring the SEC and Lane Kiffin down. You see Al wants to see CLK burnt at the stakes. Pete Carrol wants to to bring the SEC to its knees. He is tired of a 1 or even 2 loss SEC teams being ranked ahead of his 1 loss USCw team. You see Al is paying anybody and everyone to dig up dirt on CLK to ruin him. Petes part was to give a glowing review of CLK cause he knew if anyone could rip the SEC apart from the inside it was CLK. Hell is coming boys and its riding a hog wearing a black leather jacket.

tennezz writes:

Slive is loving this! He had to cross his legs to keep from peeing on himself when he heard about this!

shopsports#273141 writes:

It's time for TENN fans who do a little private investigating PROFESSIONALLY, to shadow the Gator recruiters et all. Turn in Urbie and friends every time they pee on a bush!! Or breathe. Obviously they want to fight dirty. Let's have at it.

dvols writes:

giva giva giva giva garmin........

rockytopatl writes:

in response to kman29:

And this would be why? Because of your hatred for both? lol! Unlike what Kiffin does in regards to Florida, Meyer doesnt sit around bringing up Tennessee at every press conference.

I wouldn't bet on that, Mr. Gator. There is plenty of evidence tying your coach to Pete Thamel, the New York Times reporter, who is based in Florida. The original tip may well have come from Meyer or his minions. Be assured that Meyer hates Kiffin with a passion.

tovolny writes:

in response to BigOrangeJeff:

Does anybody proofread these things before they're posted? Hooker's piece has more typos than Florida football player's term paper.

This might help: "Does anyone proof their comments prior to posting? Hooker's article contains more typos than a term-paper prepared by a Florida football player."

You forgot the "a" and it is probably better to use "term-paper" in this context since both words together represent a single noun. However, you might have been referring to a "paper" (noun) and the modifier "term" as an adjective. My guess is you were referring to the singular form. Also, if you intended to refer to the whole team writing a term-paper, you might want to use the "s' " to indicate a plural condition making the use of the "a" a mistake.

Another thing, the HTML and Java Scripting can occasionally (not often) cause mistakes created from reading from one format and writing in a slightly different format.

BUT LOOK! As long as we know what the "intent" of the message is, posting a comment to this site doesn't need to be formal...just plain and simple. We are just "good ole boys" having fun.

TommyJack writes:

KNS losing control of this site with their lopers. Wise up.

VOLume27 writes:

How did that Memphis clown even get the attention of the NYT? What, is he on NYT speed-dial or something?

roloyo writes:

in response to kman29:

And this would be why? Because of your hatred for both? lol! Unlike what Kiffin does in regards to Florida, Meyer doesnt sit around bringing up Tennessee at every press conference.

I agree. That's the craziest thing I ever heard. Why would an opposing coach turn another team in to the NCAA???? Unless you're talkin about when Phat boy turned in Alabubba......yes it "does" happen...idiot.
GBO

KennyPowers_UTfan writes:

This has to be getting absolutely exhausting for you Kiffin apologists. Because you have no shame, and because you blindly put all your faith in an unproven, immature coach, you come up with off-the-wall theories about Spurrier and Saban and Meyer...

This is about Lane Kiffin and his disregard for following rules. It's about an unchecked Ed Orgeron running our recruiting like he ran Ole Miss - recklessly.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to minnehan:

Yeah, what is up with the spelling?

The problem, as is usually the case, is not the spelling, it is the word usage. I'm sure even KNS' computers have spell-check, but it can't tell you when you have used the WRONG WORD, if a real word is used and it IS spelled correctly; e.g., "think" instead of "thick", where the latter would have been correct in context in this article.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to allVolinGA:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

GPS can't drive the car. Another article said that Rubio was often CLK's driver on such trips. Rubio drives the car while CLK works the phone, as with any other CEO in the country.

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