UT player Renaldo 'Swiperboy' Woolridge's rap video at bar may violate NCAA rule

Source: 'Swiperboy' was given New Amsterdam room for free

Tennessee forward Renaldo Woolridge photographed at Thompson-Boling Arena in Oct. 2010. A music video Wooldridge shot at the New Amsterdam Bar and Grill on Sunday, Jan. 23 2011 may indirectly hit the UT athletic program with another NCAA violation.

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee forward Renaldo Woolridge photographed at Thompson-Boling Arena in Oct. 2010. A music video Wooldridge shot at the New Amsterdam Bar and Grill on Sunday, Jan. 23 2011 may indirectly hit the UT athletic program with another NCAA violation.

Bruce Pearl comments on allegations surrounding Renaldo "Swiperboy" Woolridge

The New Amsterdam Bar and Grill is located at 1836 Cumberland Ave.

Photo by Saul Young

The New Amsterdam Bar and Grill is located at 1836 Cumberland Ave.

New Amsterdam Bar and Grill

1836 Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN
Phone: 865-544-7080

Housing one of the largest dance floors in Knoxville, New Amsterdam is a two-story club featuring 3 bars, one central 360-degree bar upstairs, and a full-service drink and dining menu. DJ dance parties and live music shows every weekend. Located ...

More about New Amsterdam Bar and Grill »

Inside the beats of Swiperboy Entertainment

Tennessee men's basketball player Renaldo Woolridge shot a "three phase" music video early Sunday that may indirectly hit the UT athletic program with another NCAA violation.

Eight hours after the Vols' 72-61 loss at No. 8 Connecticut on Saturday, Woolridge received exclusive access to the upstairs portion of New Amsterdam Bar and Grill, 1836 Cumberland Ave., free of charge, a bar source aware of the arrangement told the News Sentinel.

The source asked not to be identified because publicity may hurt the bar.

Not charging Woolridge, a junior forward who goes by the handle "Swiperboy," and his party for the reserved space to shoot the video could be considered an extra benefit and constitute a National Collegiate Athletic Association violation.

"It was given to him by the New Amsterdam for free because we do support him and UT sports in general," the source said.

"He shot the video, like I said, to support UT. It was basically done at the New Amsterdam because it's one of the favorite spots for UT college students."

The cost for leasing the room for special occasions was not available.

UT associate athletic director for communications Jimmy Stanton said today the UT athletic department would decline to comment at this time.

Men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl, speaking at his weekly media luncheon, said he planned to meet with both Woolridge and the UT compliance department to determine whether a violation occurred.

According to NCAA bylaw 12.1.2.1.6, student-athletes are not permitted to receive preferential treatment, benefits or services "because of the individual's athletics reputation or skill or pay-back potential as a professional athlete, unless such treatment, benefits or services are specifically permitted under NCAA legislation."

Woolridge, 20, declined to comment on the video when approached Saturday night by a representative of the News Sentinel. He did not dress in UT's loss to the Huskies on Saturday because of an ankle injury.

On his official website, Woolridge, in a video blog shot during the team's flight Thursday night to Connecticut, promoted the impending production of a video for his latest single, "Snap Back." Woolridge has filmed a number of rap videos since arriving at UT in 2008, including a university-sponsored promotion during former football player Eric Berry's Heisman trophy campaign in 2009.

“I’m very supportive of Renaldo as a student and very supportive of him in his major in film and communications, and he particularly has a very unique talent,” Pearl said. “When I say that, we’re encouraging him to be the best he can be in both pursuits, academically as well as basketball.

“There are certain times of the year where it’s more appropriate to focus the vast majority of his energy to that in the season and probably we’ll visit with him a little bit on that. There’s a balance; there’s got to be a balance there.”

The violation would be the latest for the UT men's basketball team, which is one of three programs - along with football and baseball - that is currently under investigation by the NCAA. The UT athletic department announced that it received a Letter of Inquiry from the NCAA in October and is expected to receive the findings by as early as the end of January or February.

A number of UT men's basketball players violated the NCAA's improper benefits rule when they received free admissions on Thursday nights to Bar Knoxville, 1820 Cumberland Ave., between May and July 9, 2010. Because none of the student-athletes received more than $100 in benefits, they were briefly declared ineligible until they paid back their share to a charity.

Men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl and football coach Derek Dooley have since banned their players from attending Bar Knoxville, which was also the site of well-documented brawl involving football players and an undercover police officer last July. The bar recently changed its name to Rumorz.

Recent cases of improper benefits in college basketball that went above $100 have resulted in suspensions. Kansas State's Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly were suspended in December for three and six games, respectively, for receiving improper discounts from a local clothing store.

Jacques Smith, a freshman defensive end on the football team, was arrested Oct. 31 at New Amsterdam after a fight with a patron. Smith pleaded guilty on a simple assault charge, but will have the transgression dropped from his record in a year if he adheres to his judicial diversion.

Woolridge has averaged nine minutes per game in eight games this season.

Grant Ramey, a freelance writer for the News Sentinel, contributed to this report.

Andrew Gribble covers Tennessee football and recruiting. He may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble/

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Comments » 127

Orangeblood13 writes:

gee whiz

if he dedicated his self to basketball like he does rapping, he might get more minutes

and the beat goes on

PHAT_VOL writes:

THis does not look good. If things continue it could look more and more like a lack of instituional control to the NCAA. What is the athletic director and new president doing if anything about this on going mess?
GO VOLS !!

maddawg writes:

NCAA rules specifically state that if you shoot a music video it must be worth a phooey or it is NOT a violation of NCAA rules. No violation here.

maddawg writes:

Worth a phooey???? Thats not what I typed. haha

Clad_In_Big_Orange writes:

Not surprised, what isn't against NCAA rules?

LEXKYVOLS writes:

All players need to ask permission from coaching staff before they do ANYTHING which includes eating, sleeping, taking a pi$$, etc. This has become a joke.

factor writes:

The rules are not that complicated.......unless your reading and comprehension skills are below college level. Yeah....that must be it!

BTW- Did anyone hear the commentators mention UCONN's recent NCAA violations during the game ? I have read them and they are far worse than what Pearl did, except for the "not being truthful" part!

VolNavy writes:

If he didn't know it was a violation, is it really a violation?? What if his dad booked it without his knowledge??

orangecountyvols writes:

The NCAA has its fast break going with the Vols.

Kinda' like the military...........search and destroy.
Wonder what's next for the powers that be?

bebecerveza writes:

Guess that ankel wasn't hurting too much if he can go and make a video? I mean really, promoting his production company after a tough road loss, how about Bruce promoting his butt to the bench for good. the guy wouldn't even be here if his daddy wasn't Orlando.

N2Motorsports writes:

I gave SwiperBoy a high five after the Memphis win earlier this month. Since I'm a donor, I think I need to report this to the Athletic Department so they can turn it in as a "Secondary Violation."

LEXKYVOLS writes:

in response to factor:

The rules are not that complicated.......unless your reading and comprehension skills are below college level. Yeah....that must be it!

BTW- Did anyone hear the commentators mention UCONN's recent NCAA violations during the game ? I have read them and they are far worse than what Pearl did, except for the "not being truthful" part!

If SEC had not suspended Pearl for the 8 games, you would have not heard anything about the VOLS problems. This will all go away as far as the "media mentions" after the suspension.

SutherStylez writes:

Really??? But Cam can do whatever the f he wants and get away with it

GerryOP writes:

Interesting. If this is a violation, what about the "Roll Tide" commercial on ESPN?

Mule_Days_King writes:

Just what UT fans needed...another cr*ppy rap video from Renaldo.

tnvol4ever writes:

in response to TheMemphisSlim:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Right on brother--except you used rap and music in the same sentence.

VOLtage writes:

In related news one of the players stepped on a crack in the sidewalk while walking to class. This will also be a NCAA violation.

tmartin writes:

This is ridiculous. . . .What the phooey does his rapping carreer have to do with the NCAA? If McBee was picking tomatoes in Grainger County in the summertime and his boss bought him a Gatorade, would that be a violation?

MrBamSeydu writes:

Soooo 8 hours after you lose a game you're making a rap video? People wonder why we're losing.

VolMoment writes:

in response to PHAT_VOL:

THis does not look good. If things continue it could look more and more like a lack of instituional control to the NCAA. What is the athletic director and new president doing if anything about this on going mess?
GO VOLS !!

You must not have any kids! If you think a President, AD, and coach can be with each player 24 hrs a day then you are the biggest nit-wit I have ever encountered. It is jerks like you that run the NCCA and the East news media. Wasn't much mentioned about Conn. coach and UConn NCCA problems last Sat. Get out and get a life in the real world if your mother will remove your pacifier.

factor writes:

in response to VOLtage:

In related news one of the players stepped on a crack in the sidewalk while walking to class. This will also be a NCAA violation.

Only because he...... BROKE HIS MAMMAS BACK!

sheep writes:

Again with the irresposible behavior that i thought left with Tyler Smith! This team is not focused, and if it is a violation he should be punished. Right is Right. Renoldo should be dismissed from the team for this because this just adds fuel to an already out of control fire. Why was he at this bar seing he is underage for drinking? This is a bad example for our young people. Is it any wonder this team is struggling and that they wont play as hard for Pearl as they have for Tony Jones? Pearl has lost control of thes team, and Renoldo knows better, of maybe he dosent....
BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Here we go again says the Sheep.

onthestrip writes:

It is not unusual for bars or restaurants to allow the use of their facilities for such activities at no cost. It's good publicity and good for business. Other students would typically be given the same access. I manage a restaurant on the strip and students often have projects which might require filming or other access to my facilities, my staff or myself. There has never been a charge for the facility. There is no violation here. Any fair investigation will come to the same conclusion.

murrayvol writes:

in response to sheep:

Again with the irresposible behavior that i thought left with Tyler Smith! This team is not focused, and if it is a violation he should be punished. Right is Right. Renoldo should be dismissed from the team for this because this just adds fuel to an already out of control fire. Why was he at this bar seing he is underage for drinking? This is a bad example for our young people. Is it any wonder this team is struggling and that they wont play as hard for Pearl as they have for Tony Jones? Pearl has lost control of thes team, and Renoldo knows better, of maybe he dosent....
BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Here we go again says the Sheep.

If you want to be taken seriously, get a new screen name and a remedial English course.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Interesting. If this is a violation, what about the "Roll Tide" commercial on ESPN?

Gerry,

Correct sir ! An excellent observation...........

mocsandvolsfan writes:

I wanna know where Swiper's rule book was? Isn't he supposed to carry one at all times when not on campus?? or even ON campus! I don't know! I mean what's the rule on carrying rules?

kyvol98 writes:

Is the NCAA now covering academics, seeing as how what he was doing is part of his major in school.
Should have had Cam Newton in it, then all would be forgiven.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to shen24:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And the only thing we have to reply to you as usual.............

Great troll

volsfan74 writes:

in response to onthestrip:

It is not unusual for bars or restaurants to allow the use of their facilities for such activities at no cost. It's good publicity and good for business. Other students would typically be given the same access. I manage a restaurant on the strip and students often have projects which might require filming or other access to my facilities, my staff or myself. There has never been a charge for the facility. There is no violation here. Any fair investigation will come to the same conclusion.

I doubt we get a FAIR investigation on anything with the NCAA.

madrigal writes:

Oh for heaven's sake! NCAA has so many rules nobody could possibly know all of them, and then they *interpret* them however they choose.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

If they gave him the room for free, what is the issue? No food, no drinks, I think this might be BS. On the other hand, I TRULY wish you guys would see what's going on. You have a coach who has recruited players over a 5 yr span, only to see a handfull actually make it through school without dismissal. He wins games, but ethically he's about as credible as the players he's had to dismiss. As for player development.... He's been here for 5 yrs. PLEASE tell me when Pearl graduates someone and gets them drafted.

KnoxKiffin writes:

There is a dark cloud hanging over the UT Men's Athletic Department.

lomas98 writes:

The bar needs to come out and say what a reserved area of the place costs for something comparable. He will be forced to pay it back. It's not the university's fault the bar decided to give him the space for free. What is Swiperboy supposed to do, demand he pay for it? USC got in trouble earlier in the year because someone gave a football player a ride across campus in a golf cart. It was valued at $5.00 and player paid it back. I would guess a private room is worth more than $100 so this could lead to a suspension just like he KState players.

factor writes:

Perhaps we should require student athletes to take a course on NCAA Rules and Regulations.

It really is not that confusing of a rule. All they need to ask themselves, when someone offers them something is this; Is it of value? Is it also available to all other students? Someone said that he would have offered his place of business to any student or group.......I doubt it.

8ball writes:

in response to shen24:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Auburn 28 ala 27

spvol writes:

And yet, Calipari continues to coach...

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

I thought clubs payed players to perform at their club. Again, this makes 0 sense.

sheep writes:

in response to murrayvol:

If you want to be taken seriously, get a new screen name and a remedial English course.

BLAH BLAH BLAH I do not want to accept that these young man are role models like it or hate it. As to my screen name, not my fault that you are a HATER and not creative.
BAAAAAAAAAAAAA To the haters.

GerryOP writes:

in response to shen24:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Don't guess you've seen the commercial. It's not totally complimentary to Tide Nation. But then again, maybe it is!

NO_DIGGITY writes:

in response to Claudettevol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Actually did some digging myself and New Gator Head Coach Charlie Weis directed his Asst. Galen Muschamp to break this story. On another note if Swiper is gonna Carve, he needs something more original.

GerryOP writes:

Yup, already made the ESPN.com NCAA BB splash page with the appropriate cred -- "...a report in The Knoxville News Sentinel..."

JohnnyU writes:

This story is so earth shattering that it took two staff reporters to write it. No doubt the entire KNS investigative division is working feverishly even now to bring us any late breaking developments. I've got to go now, I think maybe ESPN will go live with this.

dvols writes:

but he don't play......

hatethevols writes:

in response to DukeDeLuca:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Did he pay anything for it?

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to DukeDeLuca:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Get a freakin' grip, dude.. What do you want Mike to do, put an ankle bracelet on all the players? This violation in the grand scheme of things won't amount to a hill of beans; he'll get a suspension and that'll be that. But, damn, it's UT, so it MUST BE FRONT PAGE NEWS.

noxcounty writes:

program losing and out of control - Pearl must go

VolWoman writes:

in response to factor:

Perhaps we should require student athletes to take a course on NCAA Rules and Regulations.

It really is not that confusing of a rule. All they need to ask themselves, when someone offers them something is this; Is it of value? Is it also available to all other students? Someone said that he would have offered his place of business to any student or group.......I doubt it.

Don't you know per the Cam Newton & Ohio State rulings - if he doesn't know, he did nothing wrong!

Wes Rucker said that the bar gives fraternities, etc free rooms for things so as long as non-athlete students get the same treatment, it's no big deal, I hope.

GerryOP writes:

Major, major event. Two stories up on ESPN.com.

http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasket...

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/st...

Will it never end?

GerryOP writes:

Just to test the NCAA system, let's suspend Swiperboy this evening and see if we can get a reinstatement letter from the NCAA within 12 hours.

BUBBA-Deeeeee writes:

Just What UT needs is another negitive mark against the VOLS , Way to go DAN

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