Butch Jones has a tough task ahead of him on Saturday when he tries to become the first Tennessee coach to start his first full season 3-0 since General Robert Neyland in 1926. As if that wasn’t a tall enough order, it got a little tougher on Thursday when Jones ruled Mo Couch ineligible for the Vols’ game against Oregon after the senior defensive lineman was accused of receiving improper benefits.
Now at first, Jones said Couch probably wouldn’t play because of heat exhaustion in Tuesday’s practice, but now it’s clear the decision to sit the troubled star stemmed from these allegations, which seem to be sweeping across the college football world in 2013, and especially in the SEC.
Johnny Manziel has obviously had a busy offseason with plenty of accusations of his own, but five other former and current SEC players were accused of receiving improper benefits, including Couch. The others were former Vols quarterback Tyler Bray, former Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker and former Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and receiver Chad Bumphis.
Is anyone really surprised by this? It seems like there are new allegations like this every day, especially against big-name players at big-time schools. It’s only a matter of time before these benefits aren’t “improper” anymore. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is a whole different story.