Though he is listed as a person the University of Tennessee should copy when it responds to its Notice of Allegations from the NCAA, SEC associate commissioner Gregory Sankey won't have any part in whatever decisions the Committee on Infractions makes after its June meetings with UT officials.
Sankey won't even be in Indianapolis for the hearings, as the NCAA's conflict of interest policy will prevent him from having any input on the case.
According to NCAA guidelines, a committee member is required to recuse himself or herself when a school from the same conference is being examined.
Sankey, the most recently appointed member of the Committee on Infractions, has been involved with three cases already this year, most notably including the recent probation levied against California men's basketball for numerous impermissible phone calls.
Sankey, who has been with the SEC since 2002 as its director of compliance, is in the first year of a three-year term with the COI. COI members are permitted to serve as many as three, three-year terms.
Former COI members typically fill in for those who must recuse themselves. When Oregon law professor James O'Fallon, who is set to be on the committee for UT's hearing, was unable to participate in Southern Cal's hearing last year because of his Pac-10 ties, former COI chair Josephine Potuto took his place, according to an SI.com article.
Senior deputy director of athletics at Notre Dame Melissa Conboy, who also will be a member of the COI in June, did not participate in the recent ruling against the UConn men's basketball program. Potuto helped fill in for that case, too, as NCAA guidelines state that two of the 10 members must be women.
The two NCAA staff members who also will receive a copy of UT's response to the 12 major allegations of violations it faces in its men's basketball and football programs do not have a say in the committee's final decision on punishments and sanctions, NCAA spokesperson Stacey Osburn wrote in an e-mail.
NCAA vice president of enforcement Julie Roe Lach and her staff will present the allegations and facts of the case while Shep Cooper, the director of the Committee on Infractions, serves as the committee's liaison.
UT has until May 21 to respond to the allegations. The university's appearance before the NCAA's Committee on Infractions in Indianapolis is anticipated to be during the committee's meeting on June 10-11.