Tennessee's legal fees for NCAA surpass $300,000

More than one-third of what the University of Tennessee athletic department has spent in legal fees during its NCAA investigation came in the months after it received a Notice of Allegations in February.

UT has paid $317,178.06 to the firm Bond, Schoeneck and King, according to an invoice figure provided by UT on Wednesday to the News Sentinel. That's an increase of more than $115,000 since the beginning of February.

The total, which began adding up when UT hired the firm in November 2009, does not include fees for Bond, Schoeneck and King's recent internal investigation of violations in the baseball program. UT, which self-reported three secondary violations Tuesday, has yet to receive an invoice for the hours of work logged in response to claims by former coach Todd Raleigh of numerous potential violations.

Though the figure isn't totally finalized, UT, compared to other universities that went through similar predicaments, could have made off a lot worse.

The University of Connecticut originally paid Bond, Schoeneck and King $338,000 to investigate problems within its men's basketball program but was eventually forced to request permission to spend another $337,000, according to the Hartford Courant.

More than $25,000 of that total came from a one-day appearance before the NCAA Committee on Infractions. Because UT could not make its invoices available Wednesday, it is unknown what UT was charged for its June 11 hearing.

Using the same law firm as UT, the University of Alabama spent $188,443 over a year while defending itself during its textbook scandal-triggered NCAA investigation, according to The Birmingham News. The University of Michigan paid more than $600,000 to the firm Lightfoot, Franklin, White during its recent infractions case, according to AnnArbor.com.

Ohio State, which was summoned for a Committee on Infractions hearing last week, has spent more than $800,000 since news broke in January of potential violations in its football program. That figure went beyond legal fees, as the school also has employed public relations and IT firms throughout the investigation.

UT's investigation certainly kept its lawyers busy in recent months, as the legal team spent nearly three months drafting a 190-page response to the 12 major violations levied against the university's men's basketball and football programs.

According to the response, UT's lawyers and members of the NCAA enforcement staff conducted the vast majority of their interviews before January 2011, but there were follow-up sessions that carried into March.

Coordinator of Football Operations Kyle Strongin interviewed about violations committed by former football coach Lane Kiffin and members of his staff Feb. 15. In March, weeks after it received the Notice of Allegations, UT and the enforcement staff re-interviewed Jordan Adams, the high school basketball player at the center of Bruce Pearl's infamous "bump" violation, along with teammate A.J. Hammons and his assistant coach, Wilbur Allen.

The costs associated with UT's NCAA investigation are wide-ranging and will continue to mount for years.

Pearl, who was fired in March, and former athletic director Mike Hamilton, who resigned in June, will eventually collect more than $2 million in buyout money from UT.

To help aid in the search for Hamilton's replacement, UT hired Parker Executive Search for a fee of no less than $90,000 and no more than $105,000.

Though the contract was dated to end last Saturday, university spokeswoman Margie Nichols said it would not affect the ongoing search and UT would not be liable for more charges.

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Comments » 32

Voluvr writes:

There goes the first quarters profits on Smokey Dogs for the 1st game.

BigVolinCarolina writes:

Money well spent, huh?

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say after all the poo we been smeared with..Witch Doctor think that kinda cheap in Lawyer money. ((?))
Bones never lie.

GreerVol22 writes:

$300k can buy a lot of BBQ.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

Why is it that stuff like this ALWAYS tops the GVX headlines but getting recruiting news is like pulling teeth? 4* GA WR Jason Croom will select between Miss. St. And UT tomorrow. Many think the 6'5" 215lb stud will pick the Vols.

TennHillbilly writes:

Send Kiffy and Pearl the bill.

vut56#231073 writes:

We could look on the bright side: think about the bill Miami will wind up eating. That...plus their show could close and the revenue stream grind to a halt.

It is just the cost of monkey-business.

Classof72 writes:

That amount equals one and a half Cam Newtons, if reports are accurate.

By the way, would the NCAA finding no "lack of institutional control" mean that Ohio State was in control of its cheating, or was not in control of its cheating? Which is worse?

SLM85VOL writes:

It's nice to know that our ticket sales are being well spent. I say send the bill to Mike Hamilton since he did such a great job micromanaging his toupee.

Esau writes:

It's all good ain't it, the coaches and AD officials are long gone with their buy out money. This lawyer money is a chump change line item entry in the grand scheme. Why have those obligatory 10+ percent increases in tuition if we can't afford little phooey like this?

Outdated writes:

If the UT law dept would have handled this whole situation would the outcome be any different? I think not ..poor job of managing resources!!!
What would the Tea Party think?

gortrtt writes:

More great news falling at your doorstep this morning. You can thank Mike Hamilton.

alfrizzle097 writes:

in response to Outdated:

If the UT law dept would have handled this whole situation would the outcome be any different? I think not ..poor job of managing resources!!!
What would the Tea Party think?

They don't do that fr the same reason they don't have the architecture people design the campus buildings.

thevoice writes:

Gee, thank you Bruce. See what lying does?

thevoice writes:

Guess this means no free Hamilton bobble head game. Dang.

rayt435 writes:

$25,000 in one day!! Seems like the law firm is ripping UT off just like UT rips off the students.

hallsguy writes:

Cost of doing business in the big time athletic arena.
To those questioning the University's law department; this is way beyond their scope of expertise.They probably spend more on outside counsel for the athletic department than most small colleges entire athletic budget.
UT's law office is generally charged with reviewing contracts for the purchase of pens and pencils for the math department kind of thing.

agentorange writes:

the Vols should get off easy in light of UNC, OSU and Miami. Our violations look like peanuts.

jcherrie#219531 (Inactive) writes:

This is money well-spent. The recession is hitting attorneys hard. A new BMW 740i is well over $70,000.

Voluvr writes:

$300,000 lawyers are a dime a dozen. Let's get some good representation. Wonder how much it is to rent a helicopter?

The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca writes:

Mike Hamilton's bad decision making has almost destroyed the UT Men's program at my alma mater.

VolunteerLifer writes:

200K should be deducted from Bruce Pearl's buyout package. 100K should be billed to the University of Southern California athletic department c/o Lane Kiffin.

CCLC writes:

If that law firm can't get it down UT is in for a long ride.
just sayin'

BigBadVol writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

Why is it that stuff like this ALWAYS tops the GVX headlines but getting recruiting news is like pulling teeth? 4* GA WR Jason Croom will select between Miss. St. And UT tomorrow. Many think the 6'5" 215lb stud will pick the Vols.

I agree Rich. 4-star safety McNeil commits and I had to get the info from a rivals website before KNS even mentioned it.

KevDVol writes:

How much of that $300,000 goes to Michael Glazier for withholding the photo info from Pearl for 6 days just before the NCAA show and tell started? I'm pretty sure that amount should be refunded.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor hear Jason Croom committed to the Vols earlier.....HUGE WR
Bones never lie.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor say blah blah blah... your post are irrelevant and slow-witted like a sports pay site we all ignore.
Bones never lie.

kletusfleabiscuit writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say blah blah blah... your post are irrelevant and slow-witted like a sports pay site we all ignore.
Bones never lie.

Now that is funny,,same thing I was thinking. Especially the slow witted part. My guess is that the fake witch doctor is a floriduh fan. Keep rolling them bone's me good man.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor(Premium)...free read.
http://blogs.ajc.com/recruiting/2011/...
lol.
Bones never lie.

cronka writes:

in response to TennHillbilly:

Send Kiffy and Pearl the bill.

AMEN!

Kelly8 writes:

in response to girlfriend:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good. Lord. Is it really that hard to understand that there is ZERO relationship between Athletic Department's budget and that of the rest of the university? Is it really that hard to comprehend?

Every dollar the UT Athletic Department spends is generated by the Athletic Department. It's not like the 300K would've been spent on academics instead; the Athletic department CREATED that money through it's product, sports and everything associated with it.

The UTAD contributes over a million dollars a year to academics, so if it weren't for the athletic department, tuition would in fact increase by MORE.

Why is this so difficult to understand?

THE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT DOES NOT SPEND MONEY THAT WOULD OTHERWISE GO TO ACADEMICS. THE MONEY FOR THE LAWYERS CAME FROM FOOTBALL AND BASKETBALL TICKETS SALES, TV CONTRACTS, THE SALE OF MERCHANDISE, AND...DONATIONS FROM PEOPLE LIKE US!!!!

If you want the academic side of the university to have more money, and therefore offset tuition increases, either write a check directly to the State of Tennessee or an academic department at UT. There is NOTHING stopping you from doing this. If you think UTAD spends it's money poorly, quit going to games, buying shirts, and turn off the TV. Jesus.

Colliervol writes:

in response to agentorange:

the Vols should get off easy in light of UNC, OSU and Miami. Our violations look like peanuts.

That's what I'm hoping. If they hammer us, they have to give those 3 the Death Penalty. And they aren't going to do that. Except maybe for Miami. Talk about a sordid mess.

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