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The University of Tennessee and its lawyers have wrapped up their investigation into the violations that occurred under the previous football staff. According to multiple sources, this investigation was concluded in the recent weeks and that the school decided that it wasn’t fair to punish the current players with a “bowl ban.” This was first reported by VolQuest.
The investigation into the Tennessee football program started in November of 2020, when Chancellor Donde Plowman was first tipped off to potential violations.The allegations involved impermissible benefits to student-athletes who were a part of the program at the time, as well as several recruiting violations by former coaches and staffers.
It should be noted that the Glazier group, who has been representing Tennessee during this process, has stopped billing the university monthly. They will now be on retainer and bill quarterly. One thing tu understand about this all is that the NCAA is still doing their job, but Tennessee didn’t feel like waiting around for a potential punishment regarding a bowl game.
The Tennessee football program has already begun self-imposing some recruiting restrictions. They notably did not host visitors during the first games of the season. The staff has also self-imposed other recruiting restrictions this season. This was done to get out in front of potential sanctions as well as to penalize themselves. We will continue to see the football program self-impose in the recruiting area, which could also mean a reduction in scholarships and recruiting visits and coaching restrictions as well.
It was wise for Tennessee to start this process, as we all know the NCAA will take their time, based on recent cases, to make up their mind on the penalties they will assess. Tennessee has yet to receive a notice of allegations, so this is not over in the eyes of the NCAA. This is only the university and its lawyers finishing their investigative part.
The University of Tennessee has released a statement on ending its investigation:
“The university has completed its investigation of rules violations within the football program. We are moving forward with our focus on rebuilding our football program and supporting student-athletes. We will now work to finalize a fair and efficient resolution through the applicable process while navigating a rapidly changing landscape in intercollegiate athletics that includes transformative change for the NCAA, the Alston decision and significant new name, image and likeness rights for our student-athletes. We will hold ourselves accountable considering the nature of the violations, our prompt investigation and corrective personnel actions, the new recruiting environment and other factors. In the interest of protecting the rights of innocent student-athletes, the university will not impose a postseason bowl ban. NCAA bylaws prevent us from sharing details of the investigation at this time, but we do commit to providing that information when we are able. We appreciate the patience and support of our fans during this process.”
The decision not to impose a bowl ban is key, as it would not be fair to the current athletes in the program. The school was not going to punish the current roster by punishing them for actions they weren’t a part of. This is a hard stance by the university, with guidance from the lawyers it hired.
The school will now wait for the NCAA to finalize a resolution, and nobody knows how long that will take.