Fulmer says he wasn't aware of Foster getting paid

Tennessee head coach Phil Fulmer consoles tailback Arian Foster after a fumble at Florida.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee head coach Phil Fulmer consoles tailback Arian Foster after a fumble at Florida.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer says he wasn't aware of Houston Texans running back Arian Foster ever receiving money during his college career.

"As the head coach at Tennessee for 17 years, I took great pride in having a program that was NCAA compliant, as did our staff and administration," Fulmer said in a statement released to the Associated Press on Sunday. "If we knew of a violation, big or small, we reported it."

Foster, now a running back with the Houston Texans, says in an upcoming documentary he "was getting money on the side" during his senior year at Tennessee. Fulmer coached Foster at Tennessee from 2005-08.

Sports Illustrated first reported Foster's comments in the EPIX documentary "Schooled: The Price of College Sports." Foster expanded on his comments Friday and said the money he received didn't come from a coach.

"Side people always offer you money all the time, just random people usually. 'Can I take care of you?' " Foster said Friday. "It happens all the time. When you're at college and your family doesn't make a lot of money, it's hard to make ends meet. ... Toward the end of the month, you run out every month. It's a problem all across America. It's just when you play top-tier Division I football, there's people that are willing to help you out. I got helped out."

Andrew Muscato, a producer of the documentary, said Foster didn't specify during the four-hour interview that took place in February how much money he received or who paid him.

Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart said in a statement released by the university Friday that, "We can't speak to something that allegedly happened a long time ago."

Hart said what the university can "say is that the values and priorities of our athletic department and football program are aligned, and the constant education of our student-athletes regarding the rules and the consequences of their choices is of the highest priority."

The Foster report came one week after Yahoo Sports reported that a runner for agents provided illegal benefits to Tennessee defensive lineman Maurice Couch and former Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray as well as former Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, former Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and former Mississippi State wide receiver Chad Bumphis. Couch has been ruled ineligible while the school investigates those allegations.

Tennessee is on probation through Aug. 23, 2015, for previous violations.

Generally, the NCAA has a four-year statute of limitations on allegations. But if the NCAA determines there are extenuating circumstances in this case such as a pattern of behavior, it could subject Tennessee to another investigation and potentially more penalties.

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Comments » 12

AtLannaVFL writes:

Ok so there's a quote by Foster that after a game, he called one of the coaches and told him he was hungry and had no money and that he might do something stupid if he couldn't help him out. According to Foster the coach showed up at his apartment with "like 50 tacos". Fact: if Phil Fulmer left Taco Bell with 50 tacos, by the time he got to Foster's apartment, there is no way that more than 35 tacos would have made it to the apartment. I think that exonerates Coach Fulmer right there.

Case closed.

Go Vols

atnvol#283282 writes:

Will the pocket change Foster supposedly received while at UT be worth the distaste and spite that most of the Big Orange Nation will have toward him now. He did not give this alot of thought before his "poor pitiful me" confession. He dropped the ball on this one just like he did on the field while playing for the Vols......Fumbles Foster....as illustrated by the pic in the story.

VolDoginFl writes:

The players should get a small amount of money each week. Like Spurrier says some of these kids can't even afford to take their girlfriends out on a date after the games on Saturdays. Its no different than the kids working in the library or bookstore that get paid. College athletes put in a huge amount of time for these programs and these schools can well afford to give a small amount to the athletes per week. This would also reduce the amount of time and money the NCAA spends chasing down all these small infractions. These kids deserve at least $200 per week or so.

labernathy448#206536 writes:

Scholarship includes tuition, meals and housing. Easily obtained PELL grants of up to $5,500 per year are standard for student-athletes. Stop the crying!

allvol8 writes:

in response to VolDoginFl:

The players should get a small amount of money each week. Like Spurrier says some of these kids can't even afford to take their girlfriends out on a date after the games on Saturdays. Its no different than the kids working in the library or bookstore that get paid. College athletes put in a huge amount of time for these programs and these schools can well afford to give a small amount to the athletes per week. This would also reduce the amount of time and money the NCAA spends chasing down all these small infractions. These kids deserve at least $200 per week or so.

They get free meals..housing..books...what is wrong with a loan if they want to go out on a date...my daughter worked 2 jobs as well as me so she could have what she needed while attending UT..I paid for her meals..books..housing..

sseivers#1394928 writes:

Foster is at the 10, the 5 the. . . . Oops he fumbles just before the goal line. Alabama, Penn State, Alabama, Florida recovers.

MadMax49 writes:

Why didn't "Foster Mom" send her poor starving son the money she spent on the pay sports boards arguing with Vol fans?

msghoops writes:

That's because he blew it all on weed hence poor productivity his senior year.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to AtLannaVFL:

Ok so there's a quote by Foster that after a game, he called one of the coaches and told him he was hungry and had no money and that he might do something stupid if he couldn't help him out. According to Foster the coach showed up at his apartment with "like 50 tacos". Fact: if Phil Fulmer left Taco Bell with 50 tacos, by the time he got to Foster's apartment, there is no way that more than 35 tacos would have made it to the apartment. I think that exonerates Coach Fulmer right there.

Case closed.

Go Vols

Why are you so stupid?

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to msghoops:

That's because he blew it all on weed hence poor productivity his senior year.

Prove it or shut the f up.

gc_scvol writes:

OL Abner's got a burr under his (or her) saddle. Sounds as though he might be awfully close to the situation.

johnlg00 writes:

Unless something comes out about players getting regular cash infusions from coaches or AD officials, there won't be much fallout from this. If every player who took a "hundred-dollar-handshake" from a booster or fan were named, and suspended if still eligible, nearly all FBS teams would be reduced to playing waterboys and cheerleaders.

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