NCAA talks to UT hostess Lacey Pearl Earps

Earps interviewed amid possible violations by football team in 2009

Tennessee football recruits Corey Miller (80) and Brandon Willis pose with Tennessee recruiting hostesses Dahra Johnson (left) and Lacey Earps after a game at Byrnes High in Duncan, S.C., on Sept. 25.

Photo by Andy Staples/SI.com

Tennessee football recruits Corey Miller (80) and Brandon Willis pose with Tennessee recruiting hostesses Dahra Johnson (left) and Lacey Earps after a game at Byrnes High in Duncan, S.C., on Sept. 25.

Lacey Pearl Earps, a recruiting hostess who was the captain of Orange Pride, says she was interviewed by the NCAA amid possible recruiting violations by the Tennessee football team under former coach Lane Kiffin.

Earps told the News Sentinel in a Facebook chat Wednesday that she wasn't the only Orange Pride member interviewed by National Collegiate Athletic Association representatives.

"Other members were interviewed as well," Earps wrote.

Orange Pride is a group mostly comprised of female students that is responsible for entertaining recruits on campus visits, among other duties.

Earps did not respond when asked if Dahra Johnson, who along with Earps was photographed with UT recruits last September, was interviewed. She also did not disclose when the NCAA interview took place.

When Earps was asked if she would be interviewed about the events that led to the NCAA investigation, she declined.

"I really appreciate the opportunity, but I'd rather wait until the investigation is over to talk about it," Earps wrote.

Earps has graduated from UT and lists her hometown as Murfreesboro, Tenn.

The New York Times reported Dec. 9 the NCAA was investigating claims that hostesses were showing up at UT prospects' games. A day later UT confirmed that an NCAA review was under way.

On Dec. 11, a photo taken by Andy Staples of SI.com showed Earps and Johnson posing with UT commitments Brandon Willis and Corey Miller of Byrnes High School at a football game in Duncan, S.C.

Miller signed with UT in February, but Willis changed his commitment and signed with North Carolina.

If Earps and Johnson attended the game as members of Orange Pride, it would have been a violation of NCAA rules because they were considered UT representatives - expected to adhere to the same standards and limitations of contact with prospects as football coaches.

The severity of the violation is dependent upon whether the hostesses were directed to attend the game by UT's football department.

If the two attended the game on their own, the transgression would likely be considered a secondary violation.

On Friday, UT athletic director Mike Hamilton said the possibility of receiving a letter of inquiry from the NCAA over recruiting violations still exists. The letter would detail what the NCAA would be looking at specifically.

"They originally came to us to talk to us about allegations related to the hostess situation last fall," Hamilton said. "I don't know the specifics of their lines of questioning with the folks that they've talked to, but I'm sure once the NCAA begins to look into anything, certainly everything is fair game in terms of their line of questioning."

Holdovers by coach Derek Dooley from Kiffin's staff - Lance Thompson and Jim Chaney - were questioned by the NCAA last spring and ESPN.com confirmed that former UT assistant Eddie Gran had been interviewed as well.

Kiffin, who is his first year as coach at Southern California, said Friday that he was not concerned about possible NCAA recruiting violations during his 14-month tenure at Tennessee.

"I have great confidence in what we did there, that we didn't do anything wrong," Kiffin said.

Tennessee self-reported six minor recruiting violations by Kiffin and his staff.

Phil Kaplan may be reached at 865-342-6285.

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Comments » 68

boro_vol writes:

She lives in the 'boro? Alright!

CoverOrange writes:

Compared to what others have done recently (SoCal, FSU, Bama), this is minor.

And why does the "letter of inquiry" come after all the inquiring is done?

SmyrnaMan writes:

A Facebook chat? lol

CoverOrange writes:

in response to marc_ash#231781:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It's a placebo.

VolFanNC writes:

Funny how all these stories are coming out right before Pat Martin is supposed to announce his decision and right before several others.

VolWoman writes:

This goes along just great with the news they also want to interview Bryce Brown about Kiffin's recruiting.

beachvol1 writes:

Kiss of Death when Kiffin says no wrong doing?

Razor784 writes:

in response to beachvol1:

Kiss of Death when Kiffin says no wrong doing?

Yeah, exactly, he also said that USC wouldn't get into any trouble with the NCAA this year

MikeTheTiger writes:

cheaters

bigkluvsorange writes:

hey vol fans,if we were to get in trouble would"nt we want it now and not later?don't think it could be more than this tear anyway(just hoping)we are on the bottom we can and will go up from here,p.s. espn sucks (really)

flatrock writes:

I believe the girl in the photo with Lacey is actually from the same town/county as the two
football players. Can't believe that attending
a game there would be much of a violation-
unless FB paid their expenses...

V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO writes:

Much ado about nothing. Blah blah blah, let's start the season.

oskie_score writes:

That little ploy (legal OR not) cost us a very good player, include all the injuries and it both exasperates as well as compounds the loss!
W/ a decimated d-line Tennessee sure could use the (lost) talents of Brandon Willis.

Thanks for nothing!!

Snapshot writes:

in response to Agent_Orange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You think her parents named her after
Lacey Underall from Caddyshack? lol

nola_vol writes:

I must confess, when I first read the headline, my brain gave it inflection as if there was a semi-colon missing.

"NCAA talks to UT hostess; Lacey Pearl Earps"

The earlier it is, the more that little piece of gray matter entertains me. However, by 11pm tonight, I will have grown annoyed with it again.

nola_vol writes:

in response to bartlett79:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

According to Wikipedia: "...there are 71 streets in Atlanta with a variant of 'Peachtree' in their name.

Atlanta grew up on a site occupied by the Creek people, and the 'peachtree' street was, in fact, not named for a peach tree of any sort, but for a large Creek settlement called Standing Pitch Tree after a tall lone tree. The 'pitch tree' was corrupted to 'peach tree', perhaps by mistake, or because it sounded better to English speakers."

According to the Waffle House website there are over 1600 WHs in 25 states. Only 19 are listed with an actual "Atlanta" street address, and there are only 378 listed in Georgia.

According to my wife, I spend too much time on the computer.

TKO writes:

"and other duties"

tenndave writes:

Fulmer is having a bad time. Mike Hamilton comes in and fires him. He hires LK. LK bolts and leaves program on possible NCAA sanctions. Shouldn't Mr. Hamilton lose his job? Now don't jump to conclusions. I am not bashing Hamilton just stating facts. If this pans out bad, someone has to take the blame.

dvols writes:

ncaa needs to investigate the ncaa about vistiing vol hostesses...

CCLC writes:

in response to DavidAGarrettJr:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Depends. How fast can you run the forty?
That's on a need to know basis.

99gator writes:

i'd talk to her too.

VOLinATL writes:

Get rid of this group....it's degrading for the girls (or it should be) and serves no purpose whatsoever in an institution of (supposedly) higher education.

CCLC writes:

in response to nola_vol:

According to Wikipedia: "...there are 71 streets in Atlanta with a variant of 'Peachtree' in their name.

Atlanta grew up on a site occupied by the Creek people, and the 'peachtree' street was, in fact, not named for a peach tree of any sort, but for a large Creek settlement called Standing Pitch Tree after a tall lone tree. The 'pitch tree' was corrupted to 'peach tree', perhaps by mistake, or because it sounded better to English speakers."

According to the Waffle House website there are over 1600 WHs in 25 states. Only 19 are listed with an actual "Atlanta" street address, and there are only 378 listed in Georgia.

According to my wife, I spend too much time on the computer.

Alrite WIki Raider...what's a "pitch tree". Maybe the Creeks couldn't spell Peach.

jzt writes:

Looks like a Kiffin witch hunt, hope we aren't the sacrificial lamb in all this.

VOLliven2it writes:

Coach Twinky(now at USC), "I'll recruit my way," shows up on our radar again. We can do nothing but wait and see. By the way, don't expect a 4 to 5 year investigation on this. It will likely be quickly done. Is there any way to secure an NCAA rule book for college athletics? Not that I want one to read, I would just like to see it. At times it seems they make new ones up as they go or adjustments to fit circumstances. Guess our honest recruiting will take a big hit. That's how it goes when you have a Twinky for a head coach.

GreeneCountyVol writes:

Lacey Earps. Lacey Earps.
Brave, courageous and bold,
Long may her fame and long may her glory
And long may her story be told....

SEAL_9821 writes:

I've said it for years and i'll say it again...the NCAA board is the most liberal organization out there. They are gonna do anything and everything they can to destroy programs.

vol88 writes:

in response to ROAD_FOREMAN_OF_ENGINES:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

swimming recruit? lol. Good story. I'd say things haven't changed that much, here, there or anywhere.

gnm53108 writes:

This article almost made a clean sweep of all the things I dont want to hear about.

kiffin,brown,ncaa.

Atleast it left out injury.

nola_vol writes:

in response to CCLC:

Alrite WIki Raider...what's a "pitch tree". Maybe the Creeks couldn't spell Peach.

Pitch is an old word for tree sap, used to glue, seal or waterproof things. If it was a pine tree, the pitch could have been boiled into tar.

But you're right in your insinuation. Somehow today, it's always the fault of dead white men.

theoldbear writes:

in response to ROAD_FOREMAN_OF_ENGINES:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I graduated in 1968. A lot of my friends and class mates were driving those Camaros, 442's, and SS396's. Don't remember any GTO's. Beaty Chevrolet and Rice Olds and a Ford dealership (Hull-Dobbs?) had a "program" where if a UT scholarship athlete's car was in the shop for repairs, they were provided a "loaner."

Some of those student/athlete owned cars would be tied up for parts for months! And if the student didn't have enough money to pay for the repairs, he couldn't get his car back. But he did keep driving the loaner!

Those were the days!

BTW, I was alternating between a 1960 Opel station wagon and a 1955 Pontiac 4 door sedan!

JohnBravo writes:

Of course Kiffin isn't worried, it's no longer his problem. If the NCAA finds rules were broken it's UT that get's penalized.

I do hope that serious violations aren't found. UT has suffered enough from it's association with Lane. I do miss Layla though...

Good luck Vols.

Roll Tide!

jpark001 writes:

in response to ROAD_FOREMAN_OF_ENGINES:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Road,

Spencer Haywood's biography devotes a chapter to the summer (1967) he spent in Knoxville as a UT basketball signee.... Ironically enough his "summer job” in that chapter was working for Rice Olds... Quote: "Driving cars from the front lot to the back" ... “Hours per week were great”... "Zero" and he got “a brand new red Delta 88 loaner car that allowed him to drive a local clothing store where the discounts were great for UT athletes…free!”

Sounds like you’ve inadvertently laid the foundation to validate his Knoxville memories with your war story and he yours with that chapter of his biography….

CCLC writes:

in response to JohnBravo:

Of course Kiffin isn't worried, it's no longer his problem. If the NCAA finds rules were broken it's UT that get's penalized.

I do hope that serious violations aren't found. UT has suffered enough from it's association with Lane. I do miss Layla though...

Good luck Vols.

Roll Tide!

Agreed! Enough already. This is just piling on. Vols don't need this and it starting to make me cringe. When the NCAA has you it their sights it just can't get over soon enough. And yeah... Layla was easy on the eyes,but can't be too bright if she hooked up with Lame.
just sayin'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th3ycK...

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to JohnBravo:

Of course Kiffin isn't worried, it's no longer his problem. If the NCAA finds rules were broken it's UT that get's penalized.

I do hope that serious violations aren't found. UT has suffered enough from it's association with Lane. I do miss Layla though...

Good luck Vols.

Roll Tide!

It would suck if something happened, but as stated in an earlier post, if it does happen, I suppose this is the best year for it since expectations have mostly been low.

However, even though it’s technically not Kiffin’s problem anymore, it will give the NCAA an excuse to move in with lil Lame and Layla. I think the NCAA wants to get rid of him as much as Slive wanted him out of the SEC.

cjensen writes:

Hostess is what they call them now, eh?

Hmmm, we used to have a more apt description, but I guess things change and titles get upgraded...kinda like the garbage man is now a sanitation engineer.

Vol86 writes:

I like the hostess boob story at a home game the best. If the kids and dad couldnt handle boobs in the face, not the kind of people we want in our ut family.

GOJO writes:

in response to nola_vol:

Pitch is an old word for tree sap, used to glue, seal or waterproof things. If it was a pine tree, the pitch could have been boiled into tar.

But you're right in your insinuation. Somehow today, it's always the fault of dead white men.

**********

You are right on. However, I will add that the Virginia pine, a scrubby little thing, was the one usually referred to as a pitch (pine) tree. You could partially girdle one & get a lot of pitch. Yep, I've done it.
Somehow I think "hanging with the hostesses" would be a lot more fun.

orangeman1 writes:

I'm sure a hot 21 year old was going to a highschool game 500 miles away to see them because they are friends. Yea right!!!! This was bad when it happened but the "Fear the Kiffin" crowd still defended him and his staff to no end. Now Kiffin is gone and all of a sudden what he did was bad. This is a notice to all those that support a coach no matter what. It will come back to bite you in the end.

EMBuckles writes:

Aw. man! I am SO GLAD I found this web site! It's a education! Um, uh, more or less! Anyway, way, way, back in the day, many moons ago, during the early '70s, I was at UT Knoxville for a while. Back then, scoop was that the Vol Swim Team "Timettes" (young, um, uh, "ladies" who performed various volunteer, um, uh, "tasks" for the swim team) were allegedly also used as, um, uh, "escorts" for athletes being recruited by UT in the various sports. Scuttlebutt had it that, supposedly, these, um, uh, "young ladies" were paid, under the table, a certain amount if they escorted potential recruits and given a "bonus" in cash if they slept with a recruit. Not that UT, or any other SEC university, would EVER do anything like THAT, of course! ;> However, those were the rather "rampant" rumors at the time. Anyway, fast forward to 2010, no matter what is actually going on at UT, and given that the NCAA seems to have become the embodiment of political correctness run amok, I think that it is probably "ill advised" for UT, or any other SEC institution, to have any sort of "young ladies" involved with the athletics department in any sort of "escort" or "hostess" role these days. And, yes, not having a car, as I trudged to class at UT, back in the early '70s, I used to look enviously at all those "hot cars" sitting in the parking lot at the "jock dorm". Must've been NICE is all I can say!

cjensen writes:

Why do you think recruits, even after making rock solid commitments, elect to 'take their visits', just to be sure?

RandRams writes:

The NCAA have an agenda and they WILL have their sacrificial lamb (LK) to make their point. Not a matter of "if" BUT " when".

This too shall pass...

marnel1958 writes:

in response to EMBuckles:

Aw. man! I am SO GLAD I found this web site! It's a education! Um, uh, more or less! Anyway, way, way, back in the day, many moons ago, during the early '70s, I was at UT Knoxville for a while. Back then, scoop was that the Vol Swim Team "Timettes" (young, um, uh, "ladies" who performed various volunteer, um, uh, "tasks" for the swim team) were allegedly also used as, um, uh, "escorts" for athletes being recruited by UT in the various sports. Scuttlebutt had it that, supposedly, these, um, uh, "young ladies" were paid, under the table, a certain amount if they escorted potential recruits and given a "bonus" in cash if they slept with a recruit. Not that UT, or any other SEC university, would EVER do anything like THAT, of course! ;> However, those were the rather "rampant" rumors at the time. Anyway, fast forward to 2010, no matter what is actually going on at UT, and given that the NCAA seems to have become the embodiment of political correctness run amok, I think that it is probably "ill advised" for UT, or any other SEC institution, to have any sort of "young ladies" involved with the athletics department in any sort of "escort" or "hostess" role these days. And, yes, not having a car, as I trudged to class at UT, back in the early '70s, I used to look enviously at all those "hot cars" sitting in the parking lot at the "jock dorm". Must've been NICE is all I can say!

This post has just won the title of
"Most Quotation Marks"!

Now, back to the Kiffin hate!

NeylandWest writes:

I've decided that I need to interrogate her as well.

tnbud62#231266 (Inactive) writes:

in response to DavidAGarrettJr:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

much easier for them to show you what they do,rather than tell you!

tnbud62#231266 (Inactive) writes:

in response to FearTheVols1252:

It would suck if something happened, but as stated in an earlier post, if it does happen, I suppose this is the best year for it since expectations have mostly been low.

However, even though it’s technically not Kiffin’s problem anymore, it will give the NCAA an excuse to move in with lil Lame and Layla. I think the NCAA wants to get rid of him as much as Slive wanted him out of the SEC.

I was at the Western Kentucky game last year and had to suffer thru some terrible times before the game as I sat with Kayla and her whole blonde entourage for 3 hours,I suffered thru it as best as I could,gloom,despare and agony on me!But I guess I did it for the team,best excuse I could give my wife!

SummittsCourt writes:

Please hurry up season so kns will stop focusing on weasel boy and baby brown. It's time to move on. Whatever happens - happens and the fightin' Dooleys will overcome!

LiveFaith writes:

Is this the girl that is half bear and half cat?

d_ray writes:

Are we just about finished with all the problems Kitten brought upon our school? The Titans sued Kitten....UT should sue him too if he brings our school any NCAA sanctions. After all, it is a known fact that you can sue anyone for anything. Another lawsuit against Kitten would be more mud on his face. The USC fans already do not trust him. I have friends in L.A. The word is out to force the school to fire him and hire a trustworthy coach in order to more quickly clean up the USC image.

196SVol writes:

I must admit, Lacey does look a lot like coach Pearl.

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