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Tuberville: Withholding aid to hold academic, rules violators 'accountable'

Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville said he will consider withholding some cost of attendance money from players who fail to meet academic requirements or violate team rules or athletic department policies, including student code of conduct.

"We are holding them accountable," Tuberville told ESPN.

Cincinnati said that the plan, which Tuberville has considered long before Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster made similar comments Wednesday, would be subject to an appeal.

Tuberville said "effort" -- in addressing off-the-field shortcomings, not athletic performance -- would be a factor in determining any withholdings.

Cincinnati athletics director Mike Bohn told ESPN: "It's not a fine. It's not a threat. It's a tool. We want to help our student-athletes and are committed to helping them.

"Our expectations are high. Coach told them, 'We love you but don't think that if you continue to do the wrong things that we are required to provide every piece of that support package.' It's an accountability measure."

Bohn mentioned academic fraud or drinking and driving as examples of cases that could cause a reduction in aid, adding that a reduction had not yet occurred.

Cincinnati senior associate director of athletics Maggie McKinley, a voting member on NCAA regulation and overseer of the school's compliance office, said the language used in players' grant-in-aids expressly gives the school the ability to reduce or terminate the financial assistance if there are violations of department policy or student code of conduct policy.

McKinley said other schools are closely examining the language in their grant-in-aids with the advent of players receiving thousands more starting this year. McKinley said Cincinnati players receive $5,504 to $7,018 per year in cost of attendance dollars, with the higher figure being among the highest, if not the highest, in the country.

McKinley noted that coaches will have clear and consistent policies that must be clearly communicated to their teams and that financial reduction decisions will be reviewed by an oversight committee.