Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Kiffin's brother-in-law quizzed by NCAA
By Chris Low
ESPN's Joe Schad is reporting that the NCAA has talked with David Reaves, who's Lane Kiffin's brother-in-law and was on the staff at Tennessee under Kiffin.
The interview of Reaves was the latest step in the NCAA's continued investigation into Kiffin's recruiting practices while he was at Tennessee. There could be an interesting dynamic in play here, too. Kiffin didn't take Reaves with him when he bolted Tennessee for Southern California, and Reaves said at the time that he didn't even know Kiffin was leaving.
That's despite being the brother of Kiffin's wife.
Last week, the NCAA spent two hours interviewing former Tennessee running back Bryce Brown, who was Kiffin's highest-profile signee. Brown has since opted to transfer to Kansas State, although current Tennessee coach Derek Dooley declined to give him a release.
The question for Tennessee in this whole ordeal essentially boils down to one thing: If the NCAA finds that wrongdoing did indeed occur under Kiffin at Tennessee, how hard would the Vols get hit? One of their defenses would almost certainly be that Kiffin was only at Tennessee for 14 months and is no longer around, but it's important to note that Kiffin left on his own accord and wasn't pushed out by Tennessee.
Furthermore, the NCAA would take a long look at whether or not Kiffin was properly managed and monitored by the Tennessee administration before deciding on any penalties.
Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton has said he expects a letter of inquiry is likely coming from the NCAA, but the university has still yet to receive one.
Ultimately, if it's determined that NCAA violations were committed on Kiffin's watch at Tennessee, the Vols can expect to receive penalties in some form. How severe those penalties are remain to be seen.
Tennessee officials and most fans would just as soon forget about the whole Kiffin era in Knoxville. The NCAA, though, isn't as ready to let it go.