NCAA rules Maurice Couch permanently ineligible

Maurice Couch

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Maurice Couch

Tennessee’s football team finally received its much-anticipated answer. It just wasn’t the one the Vols wanted.

Senior defensive lineman Maurice Couch has been ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA, the team announced through its Twitter account Friday. The school said it will appeal the decision.

The 6-foot-2, 304-pound senior has not played since UT’s compliance staff declared him ineligible on Sept. 12, one day after Yahoo Sports named Couch and former quarterback Tyler Bray in a report about SEC football players who accepted cash payments from Luther Davis, a former Alabama player who allegedly acted as a liaison to NFL agents and financial advisers.

Couch was the only active player named in the report, which raised the possibility that the NCAA could require the Vols to vacate wins in which Couch participated.

But a Tennessee official familiar with the ruling told the News Sentinel that the NCAA did not vacate any games and that Couch’s status was the only issue under appeal. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the NCAA has not yet ruled on the appeal.

Couch did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

However, he used social media to make his feelings known, writing “At the end of the day, what’s most important is I have my family, my degree, and love n support from the Volnation.”

“And thanks to UT, coaches, teammates, Volnation, and everyone else involved sincerely appreciate everything you done for me,” he tweeted later.

During Tennessee’s 45-10 loss to No. 1 Alabama on Oct. 26, Couch posted a tweet that hinted at his motivation for taking money.

“ ... I apologize to the Volnation for what I did, but I’m a father first!” he wrote.

Couch, 23, and his wife have one child. They are expecting their second.

Bray left Tennessee with one year of eligibility remaining. He was not selected in April’s NFL draft, but made the Kansas City Chiefs’ roster after signing a free-agent contract with the team. Bray has made no public comment about the allegations.

Ben Frederickson contributed to this report.

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Comments » 19

namici#1422384 writes:

So, I guess they should negate every game (and subsequent win) that the Alabama player participated in, right?

Where ya at on that, NCAA???

jakethevolguy writes:

in response to namici#1422384:

So, I guess they should negate every game (and subsequent win) that the Alabama player participated in, right?

Where ya at on that, NCAA???

As I said before, it's Bammer. They can get away with murder. Thank god that Couch only received money. Had they given him a hot dog the football program would have probably been handed the death penalty.

Oldhickory writes:

Maurice did what he did and the punishment is correct, but he's still a Vol for Life. I'm sure Johnny Manziel is worrying too....uhhhhh oh I forgot...the NCAA looked the other way in his case kinda like it did with Cam Newton too.

johnlg00 writes:

Well, we can't really say we didn't see this coming. CBJ really had no choice but to sit him as soon as this story came out. I feel bad for Big Mo with his family situation and all. At least he did the right thing by his child by getting married. All I can say is, I hope he finishes his degree, works out like a madman, and maybe turns some heads at the NFL combine. Too bad it didn't work out for him on the field here.

gc_scvol writes:

That is just one more reason to believe that the NCAA is totally biased and totally useless. Perhaps when the new play-off system goes into effect some of the major colleges can begin their disassociation with these crooks.

ccjensen writes:

I'm sure the NCAA is getting ready to vacate dozens of Alabama wins and national championship because Fluker did the same thing....or not.

BrassMonkey writes:

what a loser

Rookie2 writes:

It's the correct decision. At some point the NCAA has got to quit being the whipping post and put it's foot down on this stuff. Couch knew the rules, he broke the rules, time to move on and be a "father first". I'm disappointed to begin with, that he would put a program that is/was on probation in this situation. Didn't surprise me with Bray, we all know what he's about.

MikeNPS writes:

in response to Rookie2:

It's the correct decision. At some point the NCAA has got to quit being the whipping post and put it's foot down on this stuff. Couch knew the rules, he broke the rules, time to move on and be a "father first". I'm disappointed to begin with, that he would put a program that is/was on probation in this situation. Didn't surprise me with Bray, we all know what he's about.

Yes, the NCAA needs to get control of these situations but needs to be consistent in how it handles these issues. Unfortunately the NCAA has lost all credibility because it tends to "look the other way" whenever it wants to.

Orange_Power_T writes:

in response to MikeNPS:

Yes, the NCAA needs to get control of these situations but needs to be consistent in how it handles these issues. Unfortunately the NCAA has lost all credibility because it tends to "look the other way" whenever it wants to.

The NCAA looks the other way on programs that are doing well or have high clout at the moment. Cam Newton was a classic example. When your'e poised to play for a championship game, the NCAA will find ways to say they could not track the money trail.
Bruce Pearl didn't receive just a slap on the wrist, yet look at the decision that came down for Miami. I don't disagree with the fact that Mo did something he knew was wrong, but he should be punished just like anyone else in NCAA athletics. The going punishment is to look the other way. The inconsistencies amaze me!

halhhaynes#364264 writes:

Another example of just how irrelevant the NCAA has become. It is clear that there is no consistency to sanctions for violations. The NCAA clearly has their "pets," and because of this the rest of the sane world just rolls their eyes at an organization that is inept and ineffective. Here is hoping that we soon see the demise of this "dinosaur" of an organization that is neither relevant nor credible.

brewlocal writes:

Classic. Johnny football pulls a Bill Clinton and just doesn't remember any money trading hands when he signed 2,000 autographs in a hotel room. The NCAA looks the other way. They have no credibility. They can't be saved. They need to pay the players and fold up the sorry a-- NCAA. Its a sham.

MikeNPS writes:

Had his name been Cam Newton, I'm sure the NCAA would have looked the other way.

Snapshot writes:

in response to Rookie2:

It's the correct decision. At some point the NCAA has got to quit being the whipping post and put it's foot down on this stuff. Couch knew the rules, he broke the rules, time to move on and be a "father first". I'm disappointed to begin with, that he would put a program that is/was on probation in this situation. Didn't surprise me with Bray, we all know what he's about.

He was being a "father first", from what I've heard that's why he took the money. Don't be so quick to criticize it you don't know all the facts. Sure it was against the rules, but everything is not all black and white.

Orange_Power_T writes:

in response to Snapshot:

He was being a "father first", from what I've heard that's why he took the money. Don't be so quick to criticize it you don't know all the facts. Sure it was against the rules, but everything is not all black and white.

I get that, but...... athletic scholarships were based on a player attending classes, living in dorms, and marrying after graduation. Mo made decisions that made him a father and that has nothing to do with football. I empathize with MO, but your decisions affect your outcome. So much for MO- the NCAA is a whole other story. No consistency, no gonads when it comes to the current 'power' schools. Do you think the NCAA is willing to take on Saban about anything? They pick and choose who they determine their "whipping boy" will be thinking they are showing their teeth. Problem is, all they are doing is showing to the world how dis-connected to reality they are. The scholarship system needs to be overhauled and then the NCAA needs to clean house, re-vamp, update, and start over.

TommyJack writes:

It's seriously time for the NCAA to go.

Plasticman85 writes:

in response to Snapshot:

He was being a "father first", from what I've heard that's why he took the money. Don't be so quick to criticize it you don't know all the facts. Sure it was against the rules, but everything is not all black and white.

If all of the "fathers" playing college football did what Mo did, there would be a lot less eligible players. The NCAA is a joke, however, the fact that Couch did what he did and put his eligibility at risk as well as Risking Getting UT in more trouble with the NCAA was a very selfish decision. At least be smart enough to not leave a paper trail next time Mo!

Slats writes:

An agent that graduated from Al-abama?

Cheating in Alabama is so common them and the NCAA knows it is SOP!

Slats writes:

in response to Plasticman85:

If all of the "fathers" playing college football did what Mo did, there would be a lot less eligible players. The NCAA is a joke, however, the fact that Couch did what he did and put his eligibility at risk as well as Risking Getting UT in more trouble with the NCAA was a very selfish decision. At least be smart enough to not leave a paper trail next time Mo!

Maurice told the truth and got shafted and the Miami coach and players lied and kept lieing and received suspensions?

Our former Athletic Director, etc. through Bruce under the bus!

Justice at it's finest!

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