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.