Tennessee Receives NCAA Notice of Allegations; Lane Kiffin Cited
The story was first reported here by FanHouse earlier this month.
Kiffin has also been hit with a failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance charge. The levying of these two charges against the former coach rather than the Vol program represents a last-minute appeal by Tennessee to avoid the saddling of the program itself with the penalties. Instead, Tennessee deftly stepped aside and served up the head of Kiffin to the NCAA.
Meanwhile Bruce Pearl, head basketball coach of the University of Tennessee was cited by the NCAA for, per the UT release, "impermissible contact with prospective student-athletes during an unofficial visit, acting contrary to the principles of ethical conduct, failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance, and failure to monitor the activities regarding compliance of all assistant coaches within the men's basketball program."
The majority of these charges stem from Pearl's lying about having junior recruits over to his house for a barbeque. Hosting juniors at the home of a head coach is a secondary violation, but Pearl's lie made the matter a major violation that led to a dock in pay, an eight-game SEC suspension, and more punishment to come, potentially, from the NCAA.
While Tennessee declined comment other than posting the letter, Pat Haden, the athletic director at USC, released this statement in support of Kiffin:
"We have received from the NCAA a notice of allegations against Lane Kiffin pertaining to his tenure as the head football coach at Tennessee. The NCAA enforcement process provides for Tennessee and Lane to address those charges. Until that process is completed, it would be unfair and premature for me or USC to comment on this matter."
"However, I will say this: Since his return to USC last year as our head football coach, Lane has been vigilant in making sure he and the football program follow the NCAA's rules and compete the right way. Lane has my support as our head football coach."
For his part, Kiffin, who declined comment when FanHouse broke this story, released the following statement: "On the advice of my legal counsel, we cannot comment other than to say we look forward to working through the process with the NCAA."
Tennessee will have 90 days to respond to the NCAA's notice of allegations and then will appear before the Committee on Infractions in early June.
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