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Friday, August 20, 2010
NCAA questions ex-Lane Kiffin recruit

By Joe Schad
ESPN

Former Tennessee Volunteers running back Bryce Brown recently enrolled at Kansas State and on Thursday spent about two hours answering questions on a teleconference with the NCAA about the recruiting practices of former Vols coach Lane Kiffin and his staff, according to Brown's father.

"The NCAA has asked us not to speak to the specific questions that Bryce was asked about their investigation," Arthur Brown said. "What I will say is that at the time Bryce was being recruited, he was already under investigation by the NCAA.

"So on our part, we and the coaches were hypersensitive and above board and didn't violate rules. We asked questions if we didn't know. He was already under investigation at that time and was cleared."

The interview of Bryce Brown, who will sit out this season and plans to play for Kansas State in 2011, is part of the NCAA's broadened inquiry into recruiting practices of Tennessee under Kiffin. Among things the NCAA is investigating are the timing and nature of contact Tennessee coaches had with recruits, sources said.

According to sources, the Vols' football program is expecting a letter of inquiry from the NCAA to come soon. The NCAA also has been planning to interview Kiffin and other former Tennessee assistants, sources said.

In August 2009, before he played a game for Tennessee, the NCAA cleared Bryce Brown -- one of the top recruits in the nation -- after examining his eligibilty.

Among the things the NCAA looked into then was whether money was improperly raised for Brown to visit colleges and collegiate football camps during his sophomore year of high school.

Brown has appealed for a reversal of Tennessee coach Derek Dooley's decision not to release him from his scholarship. Arthur Brown hopes to hear from Tennessee later Friday but says he may not hear until Monday.

Either way, Bryce already has gone through an orientation in Manhattan, Kan., and plans to be reunited with his brother, Arthur, a former Miami linebacker who transferred to Kansas State and will be eligible in 2011.

If Dooley does not release Bryce from his Tennessee scholarship, the Brown family will have to pay Bryce's tuition for this year at Kansas State.

Joe Schad covers college football for ESPN.