UT secondary violations in last 6 months involved men's basketball team, football media guides and an unauthorized coach

'Prohibited tryout' cited in basketball

Fans who thought they were watching an open men's basketball practice at Thompson-Boling Arena before Tennessee's football game against Florida on Sept. 15 were actually playing a part in a minor NCAA violation.

In a report sent to the SEC days later, UT said its basketball program violated prohibitions on publicizing a "skill instruction" when fans poured into the arena.

The documents were released to the News Sentinel on Wednesday as part of open-records request. The university posted a summary of some of the violations on its website earlier in the day.

Most universities routinely self-report secondary violations to their conference offices and the NCAA. Only in rare circumstances does the SEC or the NCAA require additional penalties beyond what the university imposes on itself.

The men's basketball team was the focus of three of the 11 violations released to the News Sentinel on Wednesday.

UT's compliance office said fans mistakenly believed they were witnessing an open practice due to "misinformation" circulating in public.

"Numerous fans were in attendance based on reading message board posts and references in social media," UT wrote in the report to SEC commissioner Mike Slive. No member of the University of Tennessee publicized the skill instruction or invited the general public to attend.

At the end of the event, top prospect Robert Hubbs and other visiting recruits participated in a shootaround in street clothes, which UT said constituted a "prohibited tryout."

Hubbs signed with Tennessee in November.

UT issued letters of admonishment to staff members involved in the event and promised better communication between the athletics department and campus officials, who had started opening Thompson-Boling on Saturdays to provide access to restrooms for fans.

In football, administrative intern Nick Gentry was barred from practice for a week after compliance officials saw him instructing football players from the sidelines during the Tennessee game at South Carolina on Oct. 27. The NCAA limits the number of active coaches. Interns, quality control assistants and other administrative staff members are generally barred from engaging in active on-field coaching.

Gentry worked with defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri in 2012 and was not retained as part of the new staff.

Another violation came from an unexpected source. Tennessee said the media guides it provided at the SEC Media Days in July exceeded the 208-page limit set by the NCAA.

UT said the school originally planned to offer a record book to media as an online-only document, but the SEC required printed books to be distributed at the three-day event in Hoover, Ala.

"No printing would have occurred if not for the SEC requirement," UT wrote in its report to Slive.

UT said it rounded up the remaining guides "to ensure they are not distributed to the public or prospective student-athletes."

Other notable self-reported violations include:

Women's basketball assistant coach Kyra Elzy created a "personalized binder" to place in a prospect's hotel room during a visit, a violation of the ban on personalized recruiting aids.

All of Tennessee's swimming and diving staff were barred from Twitter for one week after the Vol_Swim account impermissibly retweeted and commented on a tweet involving a prospect.

UT sports nutritionist Allison Maurer purchased breakfast foods and prepared meals for UT men's basketball players during two summer terms in 2012. Although players paid for the cost of the food, UT said they paid nothing for the "personal grocery shopping services" provided by Maurer. They were required to repay the benefit to charity.

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

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Comments » 16

LiveToRide writes:

Secondary violations? Seriously? Every team in the SEC has 'em. Who gives a rats backside?

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say slow news day..Witch Doctor yawn.
Bones never lie.

TeamXer writes:

Thank God we've got the NCAA to reel in such wanton lawlessness.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to TeamXer:

Thank God we've got the NCAA to reel in such wanton lawlessness.

Witch Doctor LOL! Witch Doctor sure you dont get this with Evan($) on the pay site. Witch Doctor believe he quoto writing these. lol
Bones never lie.

voloffaith writes:

As many more versed in modern day communication would type...LOL

SpaceVol writes:

Out of control! LOL

vol98champ writes:

Throwing fire on water KNS. Please move Tusk or Gains.

Gunzilla writes:


smokeyvol1 writes:

Wow, Evan and KNS recycle the same story twice in one day. Trying to go green but your unable to when you are already a big pile of brown!

springtx_vol writes:

The only one that i really have a problem with is Hubbs shooting around. That one is pretty obvious to any coaching staff member that was around.

The one that makes me laugh, having to cover the cost of a personal shopper! You have got to be kidding me. Hey guys, I am going to the store, can I pick up something for you? Yes, you need to pay for it. Oops, you have to pay for my time and effort also.

Come on, man!

keepitreal4vols writes:

all schools use current players to recruit and follow prospects on twitter every day. Try policing that NCAA.

rbwtn writes:

This is Bull So many Rules you have to look them up. there's a word for that "Stupid thinking"

DeltaCharlie3 writes:

The violations will need to become much more serious if Tennessee ever expects to compete again.

See Alabama for blueprint.

JethroBodine1980 writes:

What is the deal with all these rule breaking folks at UT? It's bad enough that Vandy has taken over as the number one program in Tenn, now this....Where's Lane when you need hom?

orangecountyvols writes:

Maybe that's why no media guides were available to us. For years, you could buy one......$20 to mail you one, or $14 if bought on campus, etc.

Upon calling U T to ask how I could get one as was the case for many years, Tennessee said "oh they aren't available for the public.......only in digital form."

Things have sure changed there. Just like the game day programs, which were always different for each game. The past few years, they sell a "yearbook" at every game and vendors yell "programs." It got tiresome buying the same thing for each game.........
with the same info in each. Tennessee used to have a great media guide available for the media and the public, plus those game day programs. Times change..............

Ironcity writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie3:

The violations will need to become much more serious if Tennessee ever expects to compete again.

See Alabama for blueprint.

For the first time maybe ever, I agree with you.

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