Blog Entry

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

Posted on: February 23, 2011 1:30 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2011 10:42 am
What does it take these days to get lack of institutional control?

We may be about to find out. Connecticut basketball didn't get it on Tuesday. Tennessee's basketball coach went so far off the reservation in lying to the NCAA that he needed a sherpa to get back. Tennessee's former football coach, already allegedly a serial secondary violator, got more thrown at him Wednesday when the NCAA's notice of allegations finally came out.

Bruce Pearl lied. Lane Kiffin pushed the envelope ... off the table all the way into the paper shredder. All we get is "failure to monitor" and "failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance". If Jim Calhoun didn't blink after being suspended for three games next season consider the Vols. After 22 months of an NCAA proctology exam, Wednesday read a lot like a net win for Tennessee.

Major violations? Sure. It's conceivable that Ol' Mr. Unethical Conduct himself, Pearl, could be suspended for a year. He could also still return after that year which, you have to admit, would be a plus for the Tennessee basketball program considering his winning percentage. Outlandish? About as outlandish as how Tennessee got to this place meaning anything is possible. Assistant Tony Jones did all right (5-3) in Pearl's absence.

Kiffin has taken his act to USC where the penalties could follow. So how bad can it get? If you're Tennessee, it's damn embarrassing if a) the basketball coach gets suspended and b) if he comes back. For football, figure it will be nothing more than a slap on the wrist -- some recruiting visits, maybe some scholarships. 

That's what staying away from the dreaded lack of institutional control gets you. That designation from the NCAA is about as bad as it gets in these cases and indicates "a systematic breakdown in compliance," according to an association spokesman. Having it on their record keeps coaches and administrators from getting better jobs. The last two BCS schools to get slapped with institutional control were Arizona State baseball in December and USC football in June. Both schools were given postseason bans. That seemingly isn't going to happen at Tennessee.

For what it's worth, Arizona State is first all-time with nine major penalty cases.

Kiffin is the gift that keeps on giving in Knoxville. He was on that USC staff during the years in question. (To be fair, he is not named in the infractions report.) He was the head coach for one tumultuous year with the Vols. The NCAA wouldn't drop the institutional control label until the final infractions report. But for now, overall, it looks "good" for Tennessee. The NCAA alleged "failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance ... and failure to monitor ..." in the football program. That's almost always considered a major violation. Bad. In this case, not damning.  

The "atmosphere of compliance" allegation is the same one that Rich Rodriguez and Michigan vigorously fought. It was eventually left out of the NCAA's final report in the case regarding abuse of weekly workout time limits under Rodriguez. The dropping of that charge essentially made it much easier for Rodriguez to find his next job. 

A further question is what will follow Kiffin to USC? Kelvin Sampson was found to be a serial violator at Oklahoma and Indiana. He was eventually given a five-year show-cause order, the NCAA's kiss of death when it comes to being able to find work. Rick Neuheisel was in a similar situation at Washington. After he moved from Colorado, the NCAA banned him from off-campus recruiting for a year. Could the same happen to Kiffin, and what would his new boss, Pat Haden, think about it? It would be hard to rebuild USC without being able to go out on the road for a while.

"The penalties are directed at the [originating] university," said NCAA spokesman Stacey Osburn. "However, there are things like a show-cause order that could follow a coach regardless of where they are, where it limits their athletically-related duties."

There is precious little in the allegations about the Tennessee Orange Pride scandal, at least on the record. The New York Times reported 14 months ago that the student ambassador group had been used to make improper contact with recruits. The Times report said Tennessee hostesses were traveling to South Carolina to see recruits play. Former assistant David Reaves is mentioned in a heavily-redacted section mentioning impermissible phone calls and text messages.

 The most interesting part of the allegations might be in section 9 c. The NCAA says Kiffin allowed recruiting intern Steve Rubio to make impermissible contact with the staff at Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas, Rubio's old school. The NCAA says the contact occurred after Kiffin and Rubio were both told by Tennessee's football operations guy that Rubio couldn't enter the grounds while accompanying a coach on a recruiting visit. This occurred, the NCAA said, before Rubio was certified to recruit off campus.

Rubio is now current Tennessee coach Derek Dooley's director of player personnel.

Vacating wins are at least on the table: Tennessee is being asked by the NCAA for "a list of the institution's win-loss record for the past four seasons." I'm told that's fairly boiler plate in these types of investigations. But it's also the type of language that was included at Florida State before Bobby Bowden had to give up those wins.

Is all that enough reason to be worried? After 22 months during which it was jilted by one coach and suffered the lies of another, Tennessee still has to feel "good".
Category: NCAAF
Tags: NCAA, Tennessee

Since: Oct 10, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 10:40 pm

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

Chris, you said USC is reaping the bennefits of having Kiffin. Exactly what bennefits are you talking about. His record this year at USC was 8-5 using Carroll's recruits. This guy breaks the rules to get the recruits he gets, so does Ogeron. He can't coach. I am willing to bet anything he get's caught violating recruiting rules at USC while your still on probation and possibly before the NCAA smacks him for this. The guy sucks, we know we had him for a year. He will only hurt USC and not win anything.


Here's to hoping the NCAA rids us all of the poison that is Lane Kiffin.

Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2011 10:24 pm

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

Yes I said wants want on purpose.

Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2011 10:22 pm

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

Pat Haden, enough said. Just because you SEC wants want it to happen doesn't mean it will.  The guy is not as clueless as you guys would like to believe or he would have never made it to where he is in the first place.

Once again Tennesee fans and Tennessee residents need to move past this.  We have Kiffin under control so were reaping all the benefits at no cost what he did as the Vols head coach is done.  There is no amount of complaining that will fix it or a rule that says we will be punished for it. 

Hee hee haa haa whatever, what happened but it did get over it you don't play football for the school and it's just a game.

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 9:11 pm

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

I'm sure the NCAA infractions committee are all in their offices chanting SEC, SEC, SEC!!! It seems there is a huge double standard lately of handling SEC schools versus PAC 10 schools. They try and ruin a progam (USC) while it looks like a slap on the wrist for Tennessee and nothing for Scam, his pimp daddy and Auburn. I guess the money flowing through the SEC is just too much to pass up on.

Since: May 9, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2011 9:08 pm

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

I totally agree with you Alazarrulz and I almost never agree with a Tennessee fan. BTW I live in Collierville, Tennessee and listen to several sports talk radio shows so all of the anti-Lane Kiffin talk has been a topic of discussion for months. The thing is it is well deserved. It is about time the NCAA goes after the coaches who do the crime. It is outrageous that a coach commits these infractions and the school is left holding the proverbial penalties bag. Enough already. Coaches get fired for infractions and managed to get rehired somewhere else. The fact that Lane Kiffin chose to blatantly and knowingly violate the rules should warrant some kind of punishment for him. Ignorance is no excuse but when you do know and do it anyway you shouldnt be allowed to just get away with it much less leave The University of Tennessee subject to penalties from infractions which should have never happened to begin with. Good for USC you deserve him. How someone with his pathetic resume keeps getting hired is beyond me. Make no mistake though your day is coming. He has total disregard for the rules at UT so what makes you think the same thing wont happen at USC...again?

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2011 8:38 pm

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

You are absolutely right everything is Kiffin's fault. Are Tennessee fans still feeling sour grapes for Kiffin leaving Tennessee?

The conduct of adults performing their job is now required to be directly supervised by the head coach. Why have assistance if you have to supervise them directly in every aspect of their jobs.

How in the hell do you know who a coach call at 9PM at night or in January instead of November. This is ridiculous.

I can see why the NCAA have such a difficult time in their decisions and trying to enforce the rules they have, they have stupid rules and no way or means to enforce them.

Now they are gonna try and hang the errors and mistakes of assistant coaches on Lane Kiffin from a school where he is no longer the coach. What coach had been hung with this accusation before?

It appears as it they are out to get Lane no matter where he might coach as well as Southern Cal.

Now is a chance for all you Lane Kiffin and SC haters to vent, so let’s hear it.

Of course the NCAA has to take some of the blame. They have stupid rules that mostly can not be interpreted and if there is something that is not covered then they throw this blanket blame called Institutional control!!! What the hell is that?? No one, did you hear me no one can control of be with a teenager especially with the harmones flying all over the place.



Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2011 8:37 pm

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

.... but, it's kind of shameful that in Knoxville an off duty policeman is beaten senseless in a bar brawl involving 10-12 scholarshipped football players (underaged players in a bar, where they serve adult beverages) and there is no rule that the NCAA or the SEC has regarding player behavior or even crimes (so the fact that only one of those players, who had 3 priors, lost any PT)

..... unless it involves a player selling HIS bowl game ring or HIS bowl game jersey.  NCAA and the SEC give Barnum and Bailey and Ringling Brothers a run for their money, literally.  "Greatest Show on Earth," yeah, right!

Since: Jul 8, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2011 7:44 pm

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

NCAA sucks and will continue to be a complete joke.

Since: Oct 10, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 7:43 pm

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

The posters on this board are some of the stupidest people alive. Commenting on things you know nothing about. Do any of you even know what the violations the football program is facing are?

Of course the football program is going to get a slap on the wrist, they didn't do anything wrong. KIFFIN DID


Sending females to see recruits. - Perpetrated by Reaves after being ordered to do so by Kiffin and Ogeron after Blackburn told Kiffin it was against the rules and not to. He did it anyway. Kiffin's fault

Impermissible calls to recruits - Kiffin and Ogeron spent a week before bolting to USC calling Tennessee commits and trying to get them to bolt to USC with them. Once again quoted the rules by Blackburn and ignored them anyway. Kiffins fault


Don't see anything the school did wrong at all, do you? The school monitored his every move and told him the rules yet he chose to ignore the rules and the school. The school then told the NCAA everything immediately. SCHOOL WINS

Or really you guys don't care, you just post this BS because you want to see Tennessee get in trouble for nothing simply because you don't like them.

NCAA is doing the right thing in going after the coaches that do this crap and punishing them, this is how you get it to stop. Not by punishing the school for something a retard did after he bolted to the University of Stupid Caucasions where he belongs.

Since: Dec 28, 2010
Posted on: February 23, 2011 7:19 pm

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

I can only hope this follows Kiffin the USC and he's not allowed to recruit for the 2 years USC has limited scholarships. The Basketball has dug it's own grave and really needs to be slapped hard by the NCAA.

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