Derek Dooley on potential recruiting violation: 'I can't change what happened'

Tennessee coach Derek Dooley said he hadn't heard about a potential major violation committed by former coach Lane Kiffin and former assistant Willie Mack Garza long before a Monday night report from Yahoo! Sports, and he's hoping the lack of a connection between Garza and UT's current regime protects the program from potential penalties.

"You never want anything to come out on your program that somebody might perceive as negative. But you know what, I can't change what happened," Dooley said after Tuesday's practice. "All we can deal with is make sure everybody understands that this wasn't under our watch, and it wasn't involving a coach on our staff and it doesn't involve a player that's been in our program."

According to the report, the NCAA enforcement staff is taking another look at the recruiting practices during Kiffin's one-year stint as coach. Former scout Willie Lyles, whose relationship with schools such as LSU and Oregon recently came under major scrutiny with the NCAA, received $1,500 from Garza to fund airfare for an unofficial recruiting trip for then-highly touted high school prospect Lache Seastunk, according to the report.

"We are aware of the situation as is the conference office," Tennessee associate athletic director for communications Jimmy Stanton said in a university statement. "We've been verbally contacted by the NCAA enforcement staff regarding a recruiting issue in 2009 related to the former coaching staff and a student-athlete who never attended Tennessee."

Last month, the NCAA upheld UT's self-imposed sanctions in response to a 22-month investigation into the men's basketball and football programs. The athletic department is one month in to a self-imposed two years of probation.

The two major violations alleged against the football program did not stick. Instead, they were considered a collection of unrelated secondary violations committed by Kiffin, now the head coach at Southern Cal, and his assistants. The NCAA upheld the litany of self-imposed sanctions UT instituted and did not penalize the program any further.

"I'm hoping the NCAA is going to stay consistent with what they've done, which is 'Let's target the people that make these mistakes, not the programs.' " Dooley said.

Seastrunk, who eventually signed with Oregon but has since transferred to Baylor, visited Knoxville with his mother, Evelyn, from June 20-21, 2009. Garza followed Kiffin to Southern Cal in 2010, but abruptly resigned last month amid speculation of his involvement with a NCAA investigation.

Lyles told Yahoo! that he provided the NCAA with receipts for the plane tickets and a handwritten receipt from MoneyGram International, which allegedly proved that Garza wired him the money. A former employee of Florida-based Complete Scouting Services who went on to form the Houston-based Elite Scouting Services, Lyles has recently opened up about his links to potential major violations at Oregon, LSU and now UT.

UT spent more than $300,000 on scouting services in 2010, according to documents obtained by the News Sentinel in June.

"There's a lot of good legitimate scouting services out there," Dooley said. "I think it's like anything. There's some guys that probably don't provide a service as it relates to scouting. Those guys to me aren't considered scouting services.

"I can't speak in particular terms, but we do a lot of quality control on what goes out of our program to make sure what's coming in is within the rules and is giving us what we need from an evaluation standpoint."

Andrew Gribble 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 » 72

CroKev writes:

'Let's target the people that make these mistakes, not the programs.' " Dooley said.

Couldn't agree with CDD more!

tennvolsman19651965 writes:

I feel for CDD. He has inhieritted a mess from Kiffin and his crew of thugs. Nothing would please me more than to have the NCAA throw some sanctions on Kiffin, not UT. Thank God Hamilton and Kiffin are gone!

The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca writes:

Fire Phat Phil! It's his fault. If he hadn't won that national championship, our expectations wouldn't have been raised so high. He was fired in mid-season after winning the SEC East just a few months before...but the fans were teed off because we didn't win the SEC outright and hadn't made a run at the national championship in awhile.

An SEC East championship sounds really good now, doesn't it?

Ain't gonna happen again for awhile.

It's Phat Phil's Phault.

vol4life0687 writes:

That's what happens when you hire someone like kiffin...I hope for the worst for him at USC and hope dooley can still get good recruits out of this mess.

MusicCityVol writes:

Dooley is dead on. All he can do is continue to tell recruits and their families that this mess was made by a different regime. Dooley is taking the questions head on but getting his message out in a positive manner.

Lane Kiffin's Fires Still Burn in Knoxville
http://www.checkerboardchatter.com/20...

skm writes:

the sanctions against kiffin are already taking place. he got whipped by asu and no one noticed, because usc ("it's a powerful place") isn't on anyone's minds anymore.

TheStupidPolice writes:

The only person who needs to be worried about this situation is Lache Seastunk. This young man is about to go from being the top HS recruit in America, destined for a career in the NFL to being ruled ineligible by the NCAA and doing who knows what for a living all because he trusted some scumbag when he was 17 years old. This Lyles guy was obviously acting as an agent and it's just a matter of time before the NCAA drops the hammer on Seastunk.

wallingdad writes:

in response to The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca:

Fire Phat Phil! It's his fault. If he hadn't won that national championship, our expectations wouldn't have been raised so high. He was fired in mid-season after winning the SEC East just a few months before...but the fans were teed off because we didn't win the SEC outright and hadn't made a run at the national championship in awhile.

An SEC East championship sounds really good now, doesn't it?

Ain't gonna happen again for awhile.

It's Phat Phil's Phault.

is there a trophy for winning the east? is that really considered a championship?

murrayvol writes:

in response to TennesseeTonyT:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"Scary thoughts"?? Not at all.

This falls considerably short of the fart in a whirlwind level.

The_Real_Orange writes:

in response to simmsagain:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Im an old Gator fan and couldn't care less if UT ever competed for titles again. But this post and too many that think like him are the reason that no coach will ever last as long at one school as guys like Paterno and Bowden did. To fire a coach 4 years after he was winning the SECCG away from going to the BCS championship game is simply a sign of our microwave society. Fans think their school should not only compete but win the national title every couple of seasons or so. Ridiculous expectations.

murrayvol writes:

in response to The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca:

Fire Phat Phil! It's his fault. If he hadn't won that national championship, our expectations wouldn't have been raised so high. He was fired in mid-season after winning the SEC East just a few months before...but the fans were teed off because we didn't win the SEC outright and hadn't made a run at the national championship in awhile.

An SEC East championship sounds really good now, doesn't it?

Ain't gonna happen again for awhile.

It's Phat Phil's Phault.

Duke, will you ever let go of the stone?

Phil's handling this a lot better than you are.

The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca writes:

How many times was the UT football program put on probation during Coach Fulmer's nearly 2 decade run as head coach?

The answer is zero.

murrayvol writes:

in response to The_Real_Orange:

Im an old Gator fan and couldn't care less if UT ever competed for titles again. But this post and too many that think like him are the reason that no coach will ever last as long at one school as guys like Paterno and Bowden did. To fire a coach 4 years after he was winning the SECCG away from going to the BCS championship game is simply a sign of our microwave society. Fans think their school should not only compete but win the national title every couple of seasons or so. Ridiculous expectations.

Ridickless fans. Ridickless expectations. It will always be so.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca:

How many times was the UT football program put on probation during Coach Fulmer's nearly 2 decade run as head coach?

The answer is zero.

Witch Doctor say dont crow too loud, Witch Doctor first hand to what Ray Danner did under the table for Fulmer. Witch Doctor say doing and just not getting caught still kinda crooked.
Bones never lie.

revols21 writes:

in response to TennesseeTonyT:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree this isn't good. However, I don't think we'll get a hit out of it since Kiffin, Garza and Hamilton are now gone, Seastrunk didn't show up & this happened two years ago.

I'm completely dismissing the radio comment though! There is no way NCAA can hold UT accountable for someone's actions simply because they paid their salary. If you pay someone $50 to mow your yard and they use that $50 to buy a gun and shoot someone, you are not responsible.

Seastrunk, Garza & Kiffin are the ones that should receive suspensions. No way should Dooley's crew be held accountable.

allvols4life writes:

in response to The_Real_Orange:

Im an old Gator fan and couldn't care less if UT ever competed for titles again. But this post and too many that think like him are the reason that no coach will ever last as long at one school as guys like Paterno and Bowden did. To fire a coach 4 years after he was winning the SECCG away from going to the BCS championship game is simply a sign of our microwave society. Fans think their school should not only compete but win the national title every couple of seasons or so. Ridiculous expectations.

While I don't usually agree with a Gator, you are 100% correct in this post. In the technology generation, we expect our coaches to be as good as we are on the video games. We can win a National Championship every year on NCAA Football for PS3 or Xbox 360, so why can't Dooley or Muschamp or (insert the coaches name here) win it every year or at least be competing for it every year? This in turn has led to more of the "win at all costs" attitudes that coaches like Kiffin, Tressel, Pearl, and others are resorting to. Sad really.

The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Duke, will you ever let go of the stone?

Phil's handling this a lot better than you are.

No, Murray. I'm gonna carry this load until my alma mater's program is consistently back to the success level of the Fulmer regime. If it happens next year, I'll back off. If it happens in 20 years, I'll back off in 20 years.

The whiners and moaners complained for years about Fulmer. I'm going to whine and moan until we get back to that success level.

As for Kiffin, he was a ridiculous hire from the git go. Unfortunately, we'll pay forever because of Mike Hamilton's horrendous judgment.

I wish I could remember who first posted this comment on an earlier version of this story, but I can't. The post was something like, "Lane Kiffin is the genital herpes of football coaches."

True that.

baldingalum writes:

I see two "formers" in the opening sentence. Coach Dooley is handling this correctly. My hope, and what I believe is just, is that this incident and its ramifications land on the door of the folks out in South Central L.A.

VolGrad writes:

in response to The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca:

Fire Phat Phil! It's his fault. If he hadn't won that national championship, our expectations wouldn't have been raised so high. He was fired in mid-season after winning the SEC East just a few months before...but the fans were teed off because we didn't win the SEC outright and hadn't made a run at the national championship in awhile.

An SEC East championship sounds really good now, doesn't it?

Ain't gonna happen again for awhile.

It's Phat Phil's Phault.

Where's my glasses? Where's my meds? Darn it, I can't see to find my meds without my glasses! Will someone help me find my glasses?!!

"They're on your nose, old man. Open your eyes and quit trying to see out your butt."

Let... it... go.... :)

tennvolsman19651965 writes:

in response to wallingdad:

is there a trophy for winning the east? is that really considered a championship?

Say what you want about the guy ranting on. The fact is and always will be: 1998 National Championship team was coached by Phillip Fulmer. So yes, there was a national CHAMPIONSHIP with Phat Phil.

The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say dont crow too loud, Witch Doctor first hand to what Ray Danner did under the table for Fulmer. Witch Doctor say doing and just not getting caught still kinda crooked.
Bones never lie.

If you can't prove it, then it's slander.

Show some integrity.

Prove it or zip it.

The_Real_Orange writes:

in response to simmsagain:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

As full of it as you are.....you shouldn't have any problem finding plenty to eat.

As for Zook, try a little harder kid. When did Zook have a team one game from a title game? Redonkulous!!!

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

in response to The_Real_Orange:

Im an old Gator fan and couldn't care less if UT ever competed for titles again. But this post and too many that think like him are the reason that no coach will ever last as long at one school as guys like Paterno and Bowden did. To fire a coach 4 years after he was winning the SECCG away from going to the BCS championship game is simply a sign of our microwave society. Fans think their school should not only compete but win the national title every couple of seasons or so. Ridiculous expectations.

This coming from someone whose coach had to step down because the gator fans couldnt handle a 7-5 season leven though they had won 2 national titles in the last 4 years before that.

Agreed. THE most ridiculous expectations are in Gainesville, FL.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca:

If you can't prove it, then it's slander.

Show some integrity.

Prove it or zip it.

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

gluesniffer writes:

why did Lyles save all this incriminating evidence, reciepts and such? makes you wonder if he was trying to get caught.

Packer_Park_Orange (Inactive) writes:

in response to tennvolsman19651965:

I feel for CDD. He has inhieritted a mess from Kiffin and his crew of thugs. Nothing would please me more than to have the NCAA throw some sanctions on Kiffin, not UT. Thank God Hamilton and Kiffin are gone!

Let the excuses continue..."Dooley inherited a mess"....Setting us up for the inevitable beardowns this year...Can't be done in his 2nd year...This is pure... nonsense (see my previous post).

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to CrippledCoon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

crimsonviper writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Duke, will you ever let go of the stone?

Phil's handling this a lot better than you are.

Wait a minute,I thought Duke was Phil...I know i'm out of the loop,but I thought i had that one right.My bad.

tennvolsman19651965 writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

Let the excuses continue..."Dooley inherited a mess"....Setting us up for the inevitable beardowns this year...Can't be done in his 2nd year...This is pure... nonsense (see my previous post).

Dude. I am as big a Fulmer fan as you are. But the facts are:
1. Fulmers recruits are gone
2. Kitten had a great recruiting class, but they all left
3. Dooley is trying to pick up the pieces
If it were up to me, I would have liked to have seen Fulmer around another year or so to see if he could straighten things out, but it didnt happen. Let him go! You will find that you will sleep better and easier that way.

greg_aument14#648025 writes:

"Im an old Gator fan and couldn't care less if UT ever competed for titles again. But this post and too many that think like him are the reason that no coach will ever last as long at one school as guys like Paterno and Bowden did. To fire a coach 4 years after he was winning the SECCG away from going to the BCS championship game is simply a sign of our microwave society. Fans think their school should not only compete but win the national title every couple of seasons or so. Ridiculous expectations."

I see what you are saying... but Fulmers case is different... 1) Paterno is no more relevant then the queen of England. He is a figure head and his assistants run that ship and have for years. Bowden and FSU were no longer relevant and another case of holding on too long. Fulmer had a great run. However, change is sometimes a good thing. The program needed new blood. The moran kiffin was a horrible hire... making Jerry Jones' hire of Barry Switzer (and anyone post jimmy johnson) look god. Kiffin has given a black eye that will take years to remove. I hope his program at USC goes up in flames. He is a crooked man who runs a shady operation. His hire was a mistake... but I believe Fulmers program was stagnant and stale. Without Coach Cut the offense or clawfense was in a state of disarray. Coach Dooley seems to be a stand up man a man of character... and has a personality. I think if given time he will return the program to its status as one of the best. Great Runs start small... they build a foundation they put it together piece by piece. Patience and perseverance are great teachers.

Packer_Park_Orange (Inactive) writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Get real...Cars...You talking about cars?...What's the big deal with that...Been going on forever..When I was at UT, the parking lot in front of Gibbs was Cletis Benton Pontiac's second lot...Should know, I had one.

The_Real_Orange writes:

in response to TheRealDragonSlayer:

This coming from someone whose coach had to step down because the gator fans couldnt handle a 7-5 season leven though they had won 2 national titles in the last 4 years before that.

Agreed. THE most ridiculous expectations are in Gainesville, FL.

If you go back and read my post, I didn't say anybody had fans worse than the others. All fans nowadays seem to have unrealistic expectations.
As for Meyer, he tried to walk away a year earlier because of his own personal problems of trying to deal with the stresses of coaching at a top school. He tried delegating and that obviously didn't work. He wasn't forced out by any stretch of your imagination.

Couchdummy writes:

I agree with the beliefs of Coach Dooley. The question of who authorized the funding expenditure for tickets is one that concerns me. Are all expenditures by the coaches run through the UT compliance office prior to the authorization? Or, does the coach have the power to write a check and expected to follow guidelines provided by the compliance office? Bottom line: does the university have control processes in place to protect against willful violation of NCAA rules on expenditures?

Central_IL_Vol writes:

in response to The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca:

Fire Phat Phil! It's his fault. If he hadn't won that national championship, our expectations wouldn't have been raised so high. He was fired in mid-season after winning the SEC East just a few months before...but the fans were teed off because we didn't win the SEC outright and hadn't made a run at the national championship in awhile.

An SEC East championship sounds really good now, doesn't it?

Ain't gonna happen again for awhile.

It's Phat Phil's Phault.

Dude,

Get on with it!

I don't like what happened with Fulmer! I still think that he was a good coach and the Vols would probably be in better shape right now, but I am not going to argue about something that happened 3 years ago. We cannot change the past, so why make a big deal of it. Let me reiterate; FULMER IS NO LONGER COACH, IT'S PAST TIME TO MOVE ON!!

Derek Dooley is now coach and he has my full support and we would all be better off if Dooley had every Vol fan's support.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

Get real...Cars...You talking about cars?...What's the big deal with that...Been going on forever..When I was at UT, the parking lot in front of Gibbs was Cletis Benton Pontiac's second lot...Should know, I had one.

Witch Doctor doubt you know anything Witch Doctor talking about. Witch Doctor say Phil had his time and at first he gave his all, then he started cruzing and it bit him in the butt. Witch Doctor say Danner bought most or all of those cars just to snuff it out. Witch Doctor say OH YES it would have been a big deal. Witch Doctor think Phil best riding off into the sunset.
Bones never lie.

voloffaith writes:

in response to CroatianVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Remember the song,'Ball of Confusion'? this is 'Poster confusion'.

The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca writes:

in response to revols21:

I agree this isn't good. However, I don't think we'll get a hit out of it since Kiffin, Garza and Hamilton are now gone, Seastrunk didn't show up & this happened two years ago.

I'm completely dismissing the radio comment though! There is no way NCAA can hold UT accountable for someone's actions simply because they paid their salary. If you pay someone $50 to mow your yard and they use that $50 to buy a gun and shoot someone, you are not responsible.

Seastrunk, Garza & Kiffin are the ones that should receive suspensions. No way should Dooley's crew be held accountable.

Sorry, it doesn't matter who committed the sin. It's UT's responsbility to hire and supervise coaches in such a way that NCAA rules aren't violated.

We didn't.

We'll pay.

The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Who are you?

Where's your proof?

You should have enough integrity to back up what you put on the KNS website.

If you have proof, take it to the TBI and to the NCAA.

I repeat. Prove it or zip it.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca:

Who are you?

Where's your proof?

You should have enough integrity to back up what you put on the KNS website.

If you have proof, take it to the TBI and to the NCAA.

I repeat. Prove it or zip it.

Witch Doctor say you pretend to be a friend of Phil...say it in his presence and see the reaction. Witch Doctor say more than Witch Doctor know about this...Witch Doctor say you must not be as tight as you act or you'd be one of the HUNDREDS that know this both in Nashville and Knoxville. Witch Doctor say you just told on yourself.
Bones never lie.
*Witch Doctor not take anything against Vols to the TBI? geez how old are you?

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Mama_Calls_Me_Precious:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor say the gigs up Dorothy, Witch Doctor say we know you are just replying to yourself....lonely? Does the pretend thing work?
Bones never lie.

The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say you pretend to be a friend of Phil...say it in his presence and see the reaction. Witch Doctor say more than Witch Doctor know about this...Witch Doctor say you must not be as tight as you act or you'd be one of the HUNDREDS that know this both in Nashville and Knoxville. Witch Doctor say you just told on yourself.
Bones never lie.
*Witch Doctor not take anything against Vols to the TBI? geez how old are you?

Your presumption is incorrect. I've shaken Phil Fulmer's hand once or twice in my life. He doesn't know me from Adam. I'm not "tight" and have never pretended to be.

I hear all kinds of rumors, everyone does. I don't pass them along.

You slandered good people, good businesses, and loyal Vol supporters with your comments. By printing them, KNS is open to charges of libel.

I often find your comments entertaining. Not today.

Practice integrity.

Ayres_Hall writes:

This story is done here because it doesn't involve our coaches or our players. But it will follow and stay with Kiffin.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to wallingdad:

is there a trophy for winning the east? is that really considered a championship?

Not only is there a trophy,there is an east division ring also.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Mama_Calls_Me_Precious:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor say that the only bullet you got....Witch Doctor say you think you sound smartazz but it really sound lame cause THATS the only bullet you got. Witch Doctor say nothing clever witty or bright..someone needed to tell you. Witch Doctor say there ya go.
Bones never lie.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

Let the excuses continue..."Dooley inherited a mess"....Setting us up for the inevitable beardowns this year...Can't be done in his 2nd year...This is pure... nonsense (see my previous post).

Your knowledge of anything Tennessee amazes me.

Next thing we know you will be telling us how much smarter you are than God.

Brother,you are in need of some serious mental health therapy.

If I horded so much hate for a coach and a program as you do Dooley and U.T., I would stay as far away from them as I possibly could.

You are truly a sick individual.

barefoot43 writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

Get real...Cars...You talking about cars?...What's the big deal with that...Been going on forever..When I was at UT, the parking lot in front of Gibbs was Cletis Benton Pontiac's second lot...Should know, I had one.

Now this is BS. What year? What position?

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca:

Your presumption is incorrect. I've shaken Phil Fulmer's hand once or twice in my life. He doesn't know me from Adam. I'm not "tight" and have never pretended to be.

I hear all kinds of rumors, everyone does. I don't pass them along.

You slandered good people, good businesses, and loyal Vol supporters with your comments. By printing them, KNS is open to charges of libel.

I often find your comments entertaining. Not today.

Practice integrity.

Witch Doctor say save the drama skippy, Witch Doctor said first hand, first hand. Witch Doctor not out to damage the university just because Im upset because my favorite coach got fired for NOT doing his job. Witch Doctors point clear, every school or program wouldnt want a light shined on it. Fulmer included. period.
Bones never lie.

OwensboroVol writes:

in response to The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca:

Fire Phat Phil! It's his fault. If he hadn't won that national championship, our expectations wouldn't have been raised so high. He was fired in mid-season after winning the SEC East just a few months before...but the fans were teed off because we didn't win the SEC outright and hadn't made a run at the national championship in awhile.

An SEC East championship sounds really good now, doesn't it?

Ain't gonna happen again for awhile.

It's Phat Phil's Phault.

I'm a supporter of Phil Fulmer too. However, I think that you may require some intervention. Get some help while its still available!

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to Mama_Calls_Me_Precious:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I would be very careful talking about class if I were you.

Witch has more class in his/her little finger than you have in your whole body.

You and your brother pecker_head are two of the most classless poster in America.

keviningeorgia writes:

in response to abnerPeabody:

I would be very careful talking about class if I were you.

Witch has more class in his/her little finger than you have in your whole body.

You and your brother pecker_head are two of the most classless poster in America.

His mama calls me SIR!

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