Maurice Couch says financial hardship drove him to accept money: 'I was going to lose my family'

Tennessee defensive lineman Maurice Couch (44) reacts after tackling a NC State player during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game Friday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Michael Patrick, copyright © 2012

Tennessee defensive lineman Maurice Couch (44) reacts after tackling a NC State player during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game Friday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Former Tennessee defensive tackle Maurice Couch said he accepted impermissible cash benefits during his playing career because he was financially struggling and wanted to keep his young family together.

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Comments » 7

tnoldiebutgoodie writes:

Sorry Maurrrrr-rice. Not buying your story.

Especially since you are told at the very FIRST team meeting that as a college athlete, YOU CANNOT ACCEPT PAYMENTS CONSIDERED ILLEGAL. I know. I have attended many of those meetings. Was the coach speaking Chinese at the meeting you were at? What part of NO did you not understand? How many times do the coaches have to say "na-na.. don't do that."

If your "young" family was more important, then you should have quit football so you could pay more attention to being a father. That is, after all, MORE IMPORTANT THAN PLAYING FOOTBALL.

You cannot make this big wrong, a right with lame excuses.

And don't knock the stipend. It is what it is. Again, give up football and find a job.

The next problem is that knucklehead Tyler Bray, who's probably stupid enough to take the money WHILE he was still playing football. Wonder how many games we'll have to forfeit. After his conduct, I've always said that if that idiot sits down, he'll crush his brain.

southernbelle79 writes:

It is too bad no one sat down with this young man and helped him work out a budget, find a cheaper apartment, sell one or both of those cars.

Too bad he didn't have the entrepreneurial spirit of Kevin Plank, who started his own business to make money while on NCAA scholarship.

Too bad he wasn't willing to let his wife go home to her parents until he graduated. Young people who earn veteran's scholarships made bigger sacrifices than that.

Having said all that, it is very unfair that the coaches become multimillionaires and the players risk their bodies and give their all for the school, and yet can't afford to buy diapers for their kid.

ChadBTindell writes:

Mo Couch isn't a bad guy. He was in a tough position and made a bad decision.

That said, I hope other young men look at the contributing factor here. Having babies knowing you're time and income are severely limited is a mistake. A mistake that carries serious, long term consequences.

I wish Mo, his wife and child much happiness. Vol for Life should also mean we love and support those members of the Vol family who make mistakes. I hope Mo gets a chance to make a living on the football field or with his degree. Most of all, I hope Mo is a great husband and father. Best of luck!

meemaw writes:

in response to ChadBTindell:

Mo Couch isn't a bad guy. He was in a tough position and made a bad decision.

That said, I hope other young men look at the contributing factor here. Having babies knowing you're time and income are severely limited is a mistake. A mistake that carries serious, long term consequences.

I wish Mo, his wife and child much happiness. Vol for Life should also mean we love and support those members of the Vol family who make mistakes. I hope Mo gets a chance to make a living on the football field or with his degree. Most of all, I hope Mo is a great husband and father. Best of luck!

What a meaningful and thoughtful post. I agree 100%.

volnsc writes:

in response to ChadBTindell:

Mo Couch isn't a bad guy. He was in a tough position and made a bad decision.

That said, I hope other young men look at the contributing factor here. Having babies knowing you're time and income are severely limited is a mistake. A mistake that carries serious, long term consequences.

I wish Mo, his wife and child much happiness. Vol for Life should also mean we love and support those members of the Vol family who make mistakes. I hope Mo gets a chance to make a living on the football field or with his degree. Most of all, I hope Mo is a great husband and father. Best of luck!

Very well stated. There are many positions on this subject and other posters have taken a more hard line view but I frankly don't know what I would have done in a similar situation at 20 - 21 years of age. I wish Mo the best and he is always a VFL in my opinion.

AtLannaVFL writes:

in response to ChadBTindell:

Mo Couch isn't a bad guy. He was in a tough position and made a bad decision.

That said, I hope other young men look at the contributing factor here. Having babies knowing you're time and income are severely limited is a mistake. A mistake that carries serious, long term consequences.

I wish Mo, his wife and child much happiness. Vol for Life should also mean we love and support those members of the Vol family who make mistakes. I hope Mo gets a chance to make a living on the football field or with his degree. Most of all, I hope Mo is a great husband and father. Best of luck!

Well said ChadB. he didn't take the money to buy booze, drugs or bling. I'm not pure enough to judge like some of the previous posters.

Good luck to you Mr Couch.

KENVOL writes:

in response to tnoldiebutgoodie:

Sorry Maurrrrr-rice. Not buying your story.

Especially since you are told at the very FIRST team meeting that as a college athlete, YOU CANNOT ACCEPT PAYMENTS CONSIDERED ILLEGAL. I know. I have attended many of those meetings. Was the coach speaking Chinese at the meeting you were at? What part of NO did you not understand? How many times do the coaches have to say "na-na.. don't do that."

If your "young" family was more important, then you should have quit football so you could pay more attention to being a father. That is, after all, MORE IMPORTANT THAN PLAYING FOOTBALL.

You cannot make this big wrong, a right with lame excuses.

And don't knock the stipend. It is what it is. Again, give up football and find a job.

The next problem is that knucklehead Tyler Bray, who's probably stupid enough to take the money WHILE he was still playing football. Wonder how many games we'll have to forfeit. After his conduct, I've always said that if that idiot sits down, he'll crush his brain.

A-MEN. The only thing to add to that is where are you working now to pay for your family?

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