Posted on: August 23, 2011 7:18 pm
Posted Bryan Fischer
Tennessee's football program and former head coach Lane Kiffin will not be subject to further NCAA sanctions, according to The Knoxville News Sentinel.
The two parties went in front of the Committee on Infractions in June to explain major violations surrounding recruiting infractions and Kiffin's failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance. According to the report, the committee deemed these violations minor and accepted Tennessee's self-imposed penalty of two-years probation.
Former basketball coach Bruce Pearl and staff were not as lucky, as a source told CBSSports.com that Pearl would receive a multi-year show-cause penalty and former Vols assistants Tony Jones, Steve Forbes and Jason Shay will each receive a one-year show-cause. No further restrictions were placed on the program beyond what was self-imposed.
Kiffin left Knoxville to become head coach at USC and is dealing with that school's NCAA sanctions following the Trojans' unsuccessful appeal earlier this year in the Reggie Bush case.
The News Sentinel and other outlets are reporting that the full NCAA Infractions report will be released on Wednesday.
Posted on: July 22, 2011 5:11 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 5:27 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Given the craziness breaking out in Columbus, Tennessee picked an awfully nice time to make a little announcement of their own: the Volunteers are self-imposing two years' worth of probation following violations committed under Lane Kiffin and former men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl.
The NCAA Committee on Infractions could still set stiffer penalties at their meeting with the Vols, a meeting that at this time remains unscheduled but which should occur in the next eight weeks. But the university feels "the penalties imposed during the course of its investigation, coupled with its corrective measures, adequately address the violations that occurred."
Besides the probation, the school also imposed some minor recruiting restrictions on Derek Dooley's (as well as new hoops coach Cuonzo Martin's) staff. Their 168 "recruiting days" for the spring 2011 evaluation period were cut to 162, and only five members of Dooley's 10-member staff are allowed to make telephone calls to recruits on Nov. 1 of this year, the first day of the "recruiting "contact period."
The penalties come in addition to a number of other penalties issued by Tennessee compliance earlier this year. As the story from the Knoxville News-Sentinel reports:
As noted in the response [to the NCAA], all individuals associated with the violations, with the exception of football Director of Player Personnel Steve Rubio, are no longer employed by the university. That includes former athletic director Mike Hamilton, who resigned days before the June hearing, and former men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl and his three assistants, who all collectively misled NCAA investigators during June 2010 interviews.The NCAA may slap on another year of probation or offer a few more (more substantial) recruiting restrictions. But unless another violation is uncovered during the two-year probation period, the worst for Tennessee athletics is now probably over.
Posted on: July 19, 2011 11:16 am
Edited on: July 19, 2011 11:39 am
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
When last we left former Nebraska quarterback Cody Green and his efforts to find a transfer destination, he was promising to visit USC and take a long look at Lane Kiffin's Trojans.
Either Green didn't end up liking what he saw, or Kiffin decided Green wasn't worth the invite, or some combination of the two -- because Green will not be headed to USC, per this report from Fox 26 Sports. His final two candidates?
"There's two schools, between Baylor and the University of Tulsa," Green said. "They're great schools academically, and that's a big part of it; and offensively, where they're going and in the future, both of those schools are at the peak of their game."That decision's not entirely surprising. With the Trojans boasting four blue-chip quarterbacks already on the roster and a scholarship shortage, USC always seemed like something of a longshot for Green.
But that hardly means Green is settling. Both Baylor and Tulsa -- as he correctly points out -- boast high-flying, quarterback-friendly offenses that Green's four-star arm and above-average mobility should fit into snugly. And both should be more than happy to welcome Green with open arms; while neither is hurting for QB play with the Bears' Robert Griffin III and the Golden Hurricanes' G.J. Kinne around, signal-callers with Green's combination of raw ability and BCS-level experience don't just fall into these programs' laps everyday.
So Green's decision may not wind up making the kind of headlines it would have if he'd headed west. But it should prove a win-win situation for him and his new team all the same.
Posted on: July 18, 2011 3:17 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Posted on: July 18, 2011 12:40 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 1:55 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
If you want a quick and easy gauge of how happy a college football team's fanbase is with its current lot in life, check out their season ticket sales. Auburn fans? Yep, pretty happy: they've sold out their season tickets for this season. Oregon fans? Hope you like standing-room-only. Think Mississippi State supporters are pleased with Dan Mullen's decision to return to Starkville for another season? They've already broken their record for earliest sell-out, set just last year.
Contrast that with the reports out of Tennessee, where the picture isn't nearly so rosy:
As of Friday, the school had sold roughly 61,500 of its 72,500 season tickets, said UT senior associate athletic director for external operations Chris Fuller. That's about 2,000-2,500 tickets fewer than what was sold at this point last year.
"We've got some work left to do for sure," Fuller said. "When you look at the factors in our case, obviously most of our fans lock in on performance.
"If you win, they'll come."Certainly, last year's 6-7 mark isn't the kind of winning Volunteer fans are used to. But the chaos of the Lane Kiffin era didn't exactly leave the cupboard full, and on paper, Tennessee should be much improved in 2011. There's budding stars at quarterback (Tyler Bray) and wide receiver (Justin Hunter); arguably the SEC's best secondary now that Janzen Jackson has returned; the natural improvement that comes with being in the second year of a coaching transition; and the impressive* four-game winning streak to end the regular season.
In short, this seems like the perfect formula for an atmosphere of optimism and excitement, and with dates against LSU, Georgia and South Carolina, the home schedule shouldn't be that much of a drag. So why aren't Volunteer fans buying in? Is there a way to answer that question that doesn't suggest skepticism regarding Derek Dooley?
Maybe. The economy's still no great shakes, of course. Cavernous Neyland Stadium means that sell-outs are going to be naturally harder to come by. And improved or not, the Vols are almost certainly still another year or two away from being an SEC East contender again.
But we doubt too many Mississippi State fans believe they've got a shot at an SEC West title, and that hasn't stopped them. No team in the country has been more disappointing over the past two seasons than Georgia, but the Dawgs sold out their 2010 season tickets with ease and have already bought their entire allotment of seats for the 2011 opener vs. Boise State. In the SEC, any glimmer of hope is usually enough for demand to outstrip supply.
Not selling out still isn't an issue, necessarily, considering the huge numbers of seats the Vols have available. But that tickets are selling at a reduced pace in year two of the Dooley era suggests all the same that the Volunteer rank-and-file simply weren't impressed by year one, and don't yet see the need to get in on the ground floor for years three and four.
It's far too early to start speculating about what this might mean for Dooley's job security. But with a new A.D. in charge (eventually), we also don't doubt Dooley is already feeling the pressure to make sure that downward arrow on the sales graph is heading in a different direction this time next summer.
*Yeah, the wins came over Memphis, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Kentucky. Still, the average margin of victory in the streak was 24 points, with none of the four decided by single digits. That's nothing to sneeze at.
Posted on: July 15, 2011 4:52 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
On certain Fridays we catch up on four stories you might have missed during the week ... and add a few extra links to help take you into the weekend.
THE FOUR LINKS ...
1. Sure, we love Twitter for its ability to get big news out quickly and allow fans (and, ahem, bloggers) to interact directly with their favorite athletes and coaches. But we love it even more for allowing college football players the chance to Tweet pictures of their teammates dressed up like Harry Potter:
That's Alabama offensive lineman Tyler Love, as photographed by Tide safety Will Lowery. We'll turn this whole site into a Tyler Love tribute page if, in the event Alabama wins another national title, he pulls a wand out of his sock and screams "Accio crystal football!" on the championship dais.
2. One of college football's most well-known annual charity events still isn't well-known enough. It's Penn State's yearly "Lift for Life," which last weekend raised nearly $100,000 for kidney cancer research. Over its nine-year run, the event has raised almost $600,000 and is growing each year. A video report:
Well done, Nittany Lions.
3. It was a busy week of comings-and-goings on the personnel front in the SEC. Ole Miss return man/receiver Jesse Grandy is now officially no longer a part of the Rebel roster. Georgia linebacker Richard Samuel has moved back to running back after moving to linebacker last year (and may have a better shot at playing time after Caleb King's recent departure). Former Auburn backup linebacker Jessel Curry has landed at Delaware. And new Virginia Tech lineman Brent Benedict confirmed that a conflict with Bulldog strength-and-conditioning coach Joe Tereshinski was responsible for his leaving Athens.
4. Fans of Michigan submitted designs for a Wolverine mascot as part of a contest at the Detroit News. Even though there's no way to make this work as an actual flesh-and-cloth presence on the sidelines, we thought we'd pass on our favorite anyway:
More schools should totally be represented by vaguely feminine fang-toothed anime killing machines, right? Am I right? (No, I am probably not right.)
AND THE CLOUD ...
We're not sure who's really talking up Southern Miss for an undefeated season (negotiating road trips to both Virginia and Navy in a three-week span won't be easy), but head coach Larry Fedora is surprisingly fine with that talk anyway ... Desmond Howard says Michigan should start retiring numbers again, numbers like, say, just to pick an example totally at random, Desmond Howard's ... Alshon Jeffery took to Twitter to dispel rumors he'd been arrested for a fight ... Former Tennessee receiver (and one-time Lane Kiffin recruiting coup) Nu'Keese Richardson has had another run-in with the law ... The schedule of players to be made available at the annual carnival of cray-cray that is SEC Media Days has been released ... Cam Newton made an appearance (of sorts) in a Jeopardy! Daily Double answer recently ... Mississippi State and Ole Miss play out their rivalry in a who-has-the-best-promotional-Intern
et-video battle ... and, finally, though the Syracuse version was the first college-themed "pillow pet" to catch the Internet's eye ...
you should know there's a whole zoo of the things out there for purchase.
Tags: Accio crystal football!, Alabama, Alshon Jeffery, Big Ten, Brent Benedict, Cam Newton, Desmond Howard, Friday Four Links, Georgia, Harry Potter, It's Friday Friday Gotta Get Down on Friday, Jesse Grandy, Jessel Curry, Joe Tereshinski, Lane Kiffin, Larry Fedora, Michigan, Mississippi State, Nu'Keese Richardson, Ole Miss, Penn State, Richard Samuel, SEC, SEC Media Days, Southern Miss, Syracuse, Tennessee, Tyler Love, Virginia Tech, Will Lowery
Posted on: July 7, 2011 3:14 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 4:48 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
When former Nebraska quarterback Cody Green left the Cornhuskers, he called the decision one of the "hardest things I've ever done." With that decision out of the way, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound signal caller from Dayton, Texas must now decide where to take his talents -- and there are some equally big names on the list.
Green told ESPN.com's Joe Schad on Thursday he plans to visit USC "as early as next week." Several members of the Trojans' coaching staff reportedly have a positive relationship with Green, and the former Cornhusker has them on the list as potential destinations. Green has already visited Tulsa and Kansas State and will take a look at Baylor as well. Nebraska's move to the Big Ten helped open up these Big 12 opportunities near his hometown, but Green has not made it clear which way he is leaning.
2010 saw an already crowded quarterback position become even more competitive with freshman Taylor Martinez emerging as the latest dual-threat star in the Nebraska backfield. Green started in two victories for the Cornhuskers last fall, including the division-clinching victory over Colorado. But at the end of spring practice, Martinez was still the number one quarterback, and Green realized that now is the time to search out other opportunities.
Green told Schad he plans to enroll in a new school in time to join the team for fall camp. Most FBS schools will start their fall camp on or around Aug. 1.
Posted on: July 6, 2011 1:15 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 1:29 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
When last we heard from Tennessee safety Janzen Jackson, he'd left school after the Vols' Music City Bowl loss to concentrate on what Derek Dooley termed "personal issues." But Dooley expressed optimism Jackson would return, has repeated that optimism throughout the offseason and saw it repaid today when the university confirmed that Jackson has re-enrolled for summer classes.
As expected, Jackson is also back with the Volunteer football team and will be a "full participant" when practice resumes in August.
The news could not be better for Dooley and his Volunteers, who haven't enjoyed the smoothest of offseasons. Jackson isn't just an experienced upperclassman who starts at a position that has a lack of quality depth, but he walks back into the Vols' locker room as arguably the best player on the entire team.
A former five-star recruit from Louisiana, Jackson has more than lived up to the hype -- on the field, at least -- his first two years in Knoxville, earning second-team All-SEC honors last year after racking up five interceptions and 69 tackles.
Considering that no other Vol earned all-league recognition (at least from the conference's coaches), Dooley could ill-afford to lose a talent like Jackson. But at this stage, the coach can also ill-afford to lose any warm body, given that less than half of Jackson's star-studded and scandal-plagued 2009 recruiting class (the only one compiled by Lane Kiffin during his brief Vols tenure) is no longer with the team.
So if you happen to run into Dooley today and he's floating by on a cloud somewhere between 9 and 10, you'll know why.