On Friday the NCAA announced that they were extending the Tennessee Volunteers current probation by two additional seasons which will now keep the university under penalty until August 23, 2015.
The reason for the further disciplined handed down was a result of a ruling that former assistant coach Willie Mack Garza reimbursed talent scout Will Lyles for plane tickets and hotel expenses associated with an unofficial visit made by Lache Seastrunk and his mother in the summer of 2009. This violation of NCAA rules will result in penalties which include a public reprimand and censure plus a reduction in official visits, evaluation days and complimentary tickets for recruits on unofficial visits.
In 2011 Tennessee was found guilty of committing 12 secondary violations all involving recruiting in a 10-month span and placed on probation in August of that year. Former Volunteers coach Lane Kiffin and his staff were in the center of all of the questionable recruiting tactics but are no longer at the university to share the fallout with the program. Tennessee will now see their official visits drop from 51 to 47 and can’t provide complementary tickets to recruits for unofficial visits for their first two conferences games of the 2013 season.
In a statement released on Friday, Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart had the following to say in regards to the NCAA’s ruling, “We will finally close the chapter on the prior actions of members of a previous coaching staff. We have significantly strengthened our culture of compliance at Tennessee and we continue to do so. We disagree with additional penalties for a matter we believed should have been part of the previous case. We will now move forward.”
This season the Vols are just 4-6 on this season and have yet to win a conference game going a dreadful 0-6 in SEC competition.