UT self reports recruiting violations in football, women’s basketball

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A paintball game on the football team’s practice field, a video shared on social media, and a phone call to the daughter of a coach were among four NCAA recruiting violations reported last year by the University of Tennessee.

According to the UT athletic department, the infractions were reported to the Southeastern Conference and the NCAA. UT self-imposed sanctions in all four cases. The SEC levied additional sanctions in two cases. The NCAA did not add sanctions.

The football team held a paintball game for players in May 2019 and eight recruits participated in the event. The game equipment and “battlefield” were supplied by an outside company making it a “special addition” to the UT facilities according to recruiting rules.

Some of the university’s imposed sanctions were barring the involved staff member from on-campus recruiting for 30 days, the football program forfeited their three remaining 2019 spring evaluation days, and the football staff was advised that similar future violations may result in potential head coach suspension.

The conference went further and allowed no more than two additional off-campus contacts with the involved prospects.

In another incident, football staff members attended an off-campus meal with recruits during an unofficial visit. The staff were not permitted to participate in any recruiting activities for a period of 14 days following the violation.

An assistant Lady Vols basketball coach was also hit with a 14-day no recruiting and no telephone calls/text penalty after returning a phone call. The coach believed they were returning the call to an AAU coach. However, the missed call was found to be from the daughter of the coach. The daughter is considered an underaged recruit.

The SEC added an additional 7 days to the telephone/text penalty.

The women’s basketball team also had some of its staff undergo a recruiting rules course after a social media video showing the image of three prospects was posted to the team’s accounts. The video was taken down 35 minutes later after an assistant coach contacted UT’s compliance department.

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