Vols set to release notice of allegations

February, 23, 2011
2/23/11
7:00
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The letter Tennessee has been waiting on for months has finally arrived, and university officials are set to release what they're accused of by the NCAA on Wednesday.

Sources told ESPN.com that the NCAA notice of allegations is in hand and outlines infractions involving the Tennessee football, men's basketball and baseball programs.

The allegations involving the football team go back to Lane Kiffin's turbulent 14 months as the Vols' head coach during the 2009 season, and some of the most serious charges revolve around a trip Tennessee recruiting hostesses took to Duncan, S.C., to see a pair of high school prospects the Vols were recruiting. One of those prospects is current Tennessee defensive end Corey Miller.

In particular, the NCAA was interested in what role Tennessee's coaches had in that trip to Byrnes High School by members of the now-defunct Orange Pride and whether or not that trip was properly reported to compliance officials. The coach at Byrnes, Chris Miller, said he called David Reaves the night of the trip to tell him about the Tennessee hostesses being there at the game and talking to the players. Reaves, who was the Vols' quarterbacks coach at the time and had South Carolina as one of his recruiting territories, was interviewed by NCAA investigators. Kiffin and former Tennessee recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron have also been quizzed by NCAA investigators.

Reaves, who is Kiffin's brother-in-law, did not go with Kiffin to USC and spent last season on the New Mexico staff as quarterbacks coach.

One of the more intriguing subplots in this whole deal will be what, if anything, follows Kiffin to USC and what degree of blame Tennessee places on him for the allegations the Vols are facing.

Tennessee will have 90 days to respond and is expected to go before the NCAA's Committee on Infractions in June.

While there are likely to be some penalties associated with the football end of this investigation, the feeling among Tennessee officials continues to be that those penalties won't be crippling and relatively minor compared to what Bruce Pearl and the men's basketball program could be facing.

Chris Low | email

College Football

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