Posts Tagged ‘Tennessee’

HLL: Lane Kiffin Leaves USC For Dream Job At GameStop

More news on Tennessee’s former head coach:

Lane Kiffin Leaves USC For Dream Job At GameStop | Onion Sports

Lane Kiffin told reporters that he would be leaving the school indefinitely to pursue his dream of working at GameStop. “I was approached by a cousin who works at the GameStop on Wilshire Boulevard, and when he said there was an open sales clerk position, I had to take it,” said Kiffin, who then proudly placed a GameStop baseball cap on his head…

HT HT / via: PatrickAry on Twitter

I think that might actually be a good fit for him…

HLL: NY Times Reports NCAA Investigating “Vol Hostesses”

Headlines, Links & Lies | Gate 21

Tennessee FootballOkay, this pretty much sucks…

As the Vol Ambassador pointed out earlier today here on the Gate, according to the New York Times (which, as a general rule, avoids simply making stuff up), the NCAA is currently engaged in a wide-reaching investigation of recruiting at Tennessee under Lane Kiffin, with an emphasis on the use of the so-called “Vol Hostesses,” (with particular attention being paid to Hostess Lacey Earps), who routinely accompany recruits on visits to campus.  This investigation was confirmed by Mike Hamilton, though he declined to comment on the substance , and the UTAD has since issued an official statement.

The real interest appears to be trips taken by some of the Vol Hostesses to watch potential recruits play as high schoolers.  These visits, especially if they result in direct communications related to the recruiting of the athlete are potentially barred under NCAA regulations.  Times reporters Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans noted instances where Vol Hostesses had traveled as distance up to 200 or more miles to see recruits play, and had occasionally exchanged text messages with potential recruits.

As official representatives of the UT Athletic Department, contact by these Hostesses could lead to secondary violations, even if the contact was not sanctioned by athletic department officials.

Read the rest of this entry

Hostess Gate

Ok.  So by now you’ve already experienced your mini-meltdown over the coaching changes.  If you’re anything like me, you probably went thermo-nuclear when you found out that not only is the NCAA “probing” (ha, I know) the situation with our hostesses, but that they’re contacting our recruitsFret not.  The rumor mill has produced the following information:

1.  Kiffin and staff were aware of this after the fact, but did not ask the hostesses to attend the game.

2.  The hostess at the center of the controversy is originally from South Carolina and went home with some of her friends for the weekend.  While there, they attended Lattimore’s game.  Apparently they’re facebook friends.

Irrespective of how this turns out, this is not a good development this late in the recruiting game.  Maybe I’m drinking the orange Kool-aid, but something about this isn’t right.  I get Wilson going to LSU and his comments recently should dismiss any notions of foul play there.  What I don’t like is that Gran left and the next day Luc commits to FSU, then Lattimore commits to SC and the NCAA comes knocking.  There are a lot of adjectives being thrown around the message boards to describe Gran, but I’m not sure what actually happened to him.  As far as I can tell, it was too hot in the kitchen for him. I’m ok with that.  I like the idea that our staff is too intense for some people.  Wes Rucker put it best in saying we have a great administration, a ton of money, and a hungry fan base.  Will be fine.

This thing with the hostesses, though, probably looks way worse than it really is.  Were the rules bent?  Maybe, maybe not.  Will there be another Kiffin rule passed in the offseason in response?  You bet.

I have the honor to be, the VolAmbassador | Gate 21

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And now the Lane Kiffin Era Begins… Liveblogging

Western Kentucky vs. Tennessee


Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

7

Toppers
1
2
3
4
OT
Final

WKU

0
0
7
0
-

7

Tennessee

0
28
7
28
-

63

63

Tennessee Volunteers
Vols
Final

For the first time ever (since I am stuck in Raleigh and can’t make it to the game) I am going to try a little live-blogging during the game.  I will also be in of the live game thread over at Rocky Top Talk.

The SEC Network just went on the air

After many long months, finally…

It’s Football Time in Tennessee!

More later…

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Eric Berry: Relentless

2 Days, and Counting…

Video: Eric Berry: Relentless

HT HT: VolNation

This is by far the best Eric Berry highlight video I’ve seen (and there are at ton of them) and it is light years beyond the recently released Heisman promotional video which just simply defies explanation.  Anyway, this may be old for a lot of folks, but I figured it appropriate as we get ready for kickoff.  A little something to get the orange pumping in your veins.

Are you ready?

– So it goes Email lawvol No McAlisters

UTAD Announces Naming Rights Sold, Neyland Stadium to be Renamed

Neyland Stadium is in the process of getting a new face, but now it is also getting a new name…

At a press conference early this morning, UT Athletic Director Mike Hamilton announced that starting this season the Home of the Vols—known since 1962 as Neyland Stadium—will have a new name: “Nissan Stadium at Neyland Landing

Nissan-Stadium

New logo for Nissan Stadium at Neyland Landing

Joined by UT Acting President Jan Simek, Athletics Board leader Jim Haslam, head football coach Lane Kiffin, and Nissan representatives, Hamilton unveiled preliminary designs for the new stadium logo and explained why Nissan was ultimately chosen as the new principal naming partner for Tennessee’s most visible icon.

This is an historic opportunity for athletics at Tennessee and for the stadium that we all love.  Furthermore, this partnership assures the financial future of this program for many years to come.  When we began the process of exploring a naming alliance, from the outset, we were committed to forging a pact with an organization that was both committed to this great state, but also one that fans and alumni could be proud of.  That is precisely what Nissan could offer.  Furthermore, this historic alliance only serves to amplify the national respect for Tennessee football and for the university as a whole.

• Mike Hamilton, commenting on UT / Nissan Partnership

In total, Nissan will contribute over $1.1 billion to the UT athletics program over the next 5 years.  Though unconfirmed at this time, there were indications that Nissan is considering a re-branding of its products to feature an orange and black color scheme.

Since the start of the athletic department’s master plan renovations to Neyland Stadium in 2004, the project has been funded by private funding sources.  UT Athletics Board leader Jim Haslam noted that, while largely relying upon VASF donors, the scope and size of the project was such that corporate partners were envisioned from the beginning.   “While it was never publicly advertised, the naming rights for the stadium were always available,” said Haslam.  Haslam also indicated that other companies were considered, but none could provide what Nissan ultimately offered.

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So, did the Butler do it?

No Pass Out Checks | Gate 21

Brian Butler has been called many things by many people, not all of them are nice.

Butler is a former rapper and call-center manager, and a seemingly respectable football trainer based out of Wichita, Kansas.  At present, Butler is the principal and operator of the Potential Players recruiting service through which he serves as a self-styled, come-lately, “recruiting adviser” to high school football standouts across the country.  A “gifted” self-promoter, he is also the subject of a recently announced investigation by the NCAA.

Brian Butler working a recruit (NY Times / Simmons)

There are many questions being asked about Butler by many people, especially those recruiting high school standout Bryce Brown (which includes Tennessee).  The fundamental question, however, centers on whether he is essentially seeking to act as a sports agent for players being recruited by college football programs.

For now, at least, there is no definitive answer to this query.

The reason that this is an issue is that Butler has widely taken the position that the only way that college recruiters can speak with high-schoolers that he is “advising” is by going through him.  To many, this appears—at least outwardly—that Butler is serving as an “agent” rather than simply as an “adviser.”

Again, why does anyone care?  Under NCAA bylaws, current and potential student athletes are prohibited from retaining agents, and requires that all prospective athletes undergo an amateurism certification process, which includes, among other things, certifying that the athlete has not agreed to be represented by an agent.  On the issue of agents, NCAA Bylaw 12.3 states that:

An individual shall be ineligible for participation in an intercollegiate sport if he or she ever has agreed (orally or in writing) to be represented by an agent for the purpose of marketing his or her athletics ability or reputation in that sport. Further, an agency contract not specifically limited in writing to a sport or particular sports shall be deemed applicable to all sports, and the individual shall be ineligible to participate in any sport.

See NCAA Operational Bylaw 12.3.1 (PDF )

The NCAA’s website offers additional guidance stating that:

…a student-athlete (any individual who currently participates in or who may be eligible in the future to participate in intercollegiate sport) may not agree verbally or in writing to be represented by an athlete agent in the present or in the future for the purpose of marketing the student-athlete’s ability or reputation. If the student-athlete enters into such an agreement, the student-athlete is ineligible for intercollegiate competition.

Also, a student-athlete may not accept transportation or other benefits from an athlete agent. This prohibition applies to the student-athlete and his or her relatives or friends.

The term “agent” includes actual agents, runners (individuals who befriend student-athletes and frequently distribute impermissible benefits) and financial advisors.

It is not a violation of NCAA rules if a student-athlete merely talks to an agent (as long as an agreement for agent representation is not established) or socializes with an agent.

• via: Overview of NCAA Bylaws Governing Athlete Agents | NCAA.org

Thus, Butler acting as the only means of communication with a recruit could be troubling and potentially a violation of NCAA rules, hence the NCAA investigation.

This raises a particularly thorny set of issues for high school athletes and their families, college athletic departments, high school coaches, college boosters, the NCAA, and State Legislators.  That’s right, I said State Legislators.

For these reasons, I am personally of the opinion that someone—whether it be Butler, athletes, college institutions, or otherwise—will end up paying for what amounts to an infraction that lies in the proverbial “gray area” of the NCAA’s rules.  A violation in spirit, if not in the letter.  The problem is, however, that whether Butler’s conduct violates many rules or none all depends on the perspective applied to the facts, and for the record, I make no assertion that I know or understand all of the facts.

Still, let’s use a hypothetical to illustrate the complexity of the situation.

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